Pitcher Ila Borders: A League of Her Own |  Archive – Video

Pitcher Ila Borders: A League of Her Own | Archive – Video

In 1998, Ila Borders made history as the first woman to pitch in men’s professional baseball. At just 23 years old, Borders shattered stereotypes and broke barriers in the world of sports. Despite facing criticism and skepticism from her male counterparts, Borders proved her talent on the field by striking out professional hitters and making a name for herself in the sport she loved.

Borders’ journey to professional baseball began in her childhood, where she displayed a fierce determination to pursue her passion for the game. Throughout her career, she faced challenges both on and off the field, from verbal abuse to physical threats from teammates. Despite the obstacles, Borders remained focused on her goal and continued to defy expectations.

This 60 Minutes Archive video provides a glimpse into Borders’ groundbreaking career and the impact she made on the world of sports. Through her perseverance and dedication, Borders paved the way for future generations of female athletes to follow their dreams and make their mark in the field of professional sports.

Watch the video by 60 Minutes

Video Transcript

60 Minutes rewind what an historic season for baseball just four years after the player strike in a cancelled world series comes along a Mark Maguire and a Samy Sosa and baseball is back as our national Pastime but chances are you have never heard about Isa borders who’s

Come along to break one of professional baseball’s Cardinal rules borders is a 23-year-old young woman in a league of her own the first woman ever to pitch in men’s professional baseball as you’d expect the mere presence of a female on a minor league ball Club is enough to cause a stir but

Borders has really been getting under the skin of the men in baseball in professional baseball striking out against a female pitcher is not just unprecedented it’s Unthinkable but that is exactly what was happening this summer when when we first caught up with Isa borders she was pitching for the duth

Superior dukes and facing the best team in the league the Fargo Morehead RedHawks she was striking out professional hitters men who believed they’re good enough to play someday in the major leads borders styed the Red Hawks leaving their most dangerous hitters talking to themselves like Allstar catcher Chris Coast the only thing that

Was going through my mind was how I’m going to see my myself on 60 Minutes striking out I can’t even tell you how many pointers guys were given everybody I mean stay back be patient take it to right field stride late take a pit I mean all these things and and you know

You’re on your way up to the plate and you’re actually thinking of this stuff and you get there and it all is erased it’s it’s almost unexplainable the feeling you get when you look up at her and she’s coming and wind up her hair’s flying around and it’s a trip I’ll tell

You but even after she shut out the Red Hawks for six Innings some of their players still still insisted she does not belong in professional baseball I I don’t understand what she’s trying to prove I mean baseball has always been I won’t say a men’s game but

Men have just always played it and that’s the way it is in the big leagues borders has been hearing talk like that since she was a kid growing up in larada California she started out playing softball with the girls but at the age of 10 she announced she wanted to play

Baseball with the boys you wanted to play Little League mhm right from the beginning right from the beginning yeah and they’re saying IA go away basically yes that must have knocked you down a little bit not then I just I’ve always had this Fierce Spirit of um doing what I want to

Do I’ve been raised that way if you want to do something then you go out there and you do it and you do it the best you possibly can and don’t let anybody get in your way and she didn’t from the start she was a phenomenon not just

Because she was a girl but because she was a very gifted ball player and her passion for the game surprised even her dad Phil borders himself a former Semi-Pro ball player she would call me up at work on a Friday and asked me what time I’m coming home by the time I’d get

Home she’d have all the baseballs and all the bats laid out in the front yard waiting for me to get home so I’ve never had to ask her do you want to go play baseball where do you think this passion came from I have no idea but it’s an

Unquenchable thirst and she just can’t get enough of it ever since Little League borders has always paid on all male teams a dominating left-handed pitcher she set records in junior high school that still stand a day and as a high school senior she was named Most Valuable Player on her team and she

Didn’t stop there first wanted to go to college on a baseball scholarship mhm first one to pitch in professional ball first woman starting pitcher first woman to win a professional ball game so Pioneer you feel like a Pioneer no just because to me it’s just I’m playing this

Game because I love it are you in any sense a feminist no feminists to me is a person that goes out there and plays baseball because they want to make a statement that you know women are superior than men are women can do it a lot of some people actually come up to

Me and say I’m glad to you know that you’re out there to show that women can do it too I’m like I’m sorry I’m not out there for that reason you know I’m out there cuz I love the game but the game and the men who play

It haven’t shown much love for is of borders out on the field what kind of comments do you hear from the other players other team mostly obscenities I would tell you that what kind of obscenity seriously seriously we we can we can bleep them if they’re too obscene

Well most of them are all obscene you know there’s not one nice word that they is think of every rotten word you could think of that’s what basically they’re yelling I can handle the verbal stuff that doesn’t bother me whatsoever because I’ve heard everything but you know when it gets to the physical

Aspects that’s what kind of physical yeah that’s what ticks me off what do you mean like in college it got so bad that you know my teammates were trying to harm me physically you know I’m might be out I as a pitcher you shag and in

The Outfield and I would pick up the balls shag balls yeah well the guys would be out there and they’ pick up the balls and I would be putting them in the bucket I’d turn my back and they would just rifle as hard as they could from

Like 30 feet away and just nail me in the back coming home to my my roommate and she’d be like oh my gosh what is up with your back you know I’d have like just wel all over me and she’d be like what in the heck are you doing this for

And I go I can’t let him get the best of me this past summer that determination wanted a spot on the Duke’s starting rotation but in eight games she won only one and lost four however in one streak she pitched 12 consecutive scoreless Innings which turned some heads in the

Northern League even in high school you know you never thought that the girls could play with the guys George mwall played 11 seasons in the Major League now he manages the Dukes he says borders has proven she belongs on the team if you watch your work and you watch her

Out in the field and you watch her run by some of the other pitchers and you say she really she really wants it she wants it bad do you manage a woman differently from the way you manage man the only thing different is I I have a

Habit of patting people on the rear end I’ve always done that when I was a catcher I did that and with her I don’t do that despite her ups and Downs when borders pitches at home in duth attendance Soares my job is to pitch and keep my

Team in the ball game after every game she’s mobbed by the media and by hordes of young fans to whom Isa borders is a hero Jim wardley is co-owner of the Dukes the man responsible for bringing borders to duth didn’t she upset the chemistry of your team when she first

Came aboard she sure did as far as I was concerned she she increased it she helped the chemistry of this team the um the intangibles that Isa created by coming here with her work ethic and her ideals uh of work and what this was all about she was giving a level of

Professionalism that maybe some of these guys didn’t have last year but Isa is part of the team only up to a point before every game she dresses by herself at home or at the hotel after the game she goes home to shower she’s rarely allowed in the locker room so much

Happens in here like when guys talk and they bond this is where the bonding takes place so it’s kind of hard for her to bond with us as much as everyone else because you know she’s got to go out there and dress and she can’t really

Come in here with us and she makes a point of not socializing with her teammates after the game don’t date any baseball players especially the ones on my team I I know baseball players way too well not get a date one what does that mean I’ll just leave it as that I

Want to marry like a doctor or a librarian that’s what I want no baseball players she admits it’s a lonely life she’s not paid much only $1,100 a month and until this year she says she’s never had a friend on any of the team she’s

Played on so I just stick to myself and I stay in the hotel room and that gets tiring after a while going from hotel the hotel room I’m not talking to anybody watching a lot of television and writing to your friends a lot of reading actually yeah I understand you read uh

Jackie Robinson’s biography yeah and that helped me out a lot tell you the truth because there’s stuff that occur sometimes and you’re like well how do I go about this I’m like well who’s been here before is Jackie Robinson somebody gave me his book and I read it in one

Day and it was just it’s great reading that because I’m like wow this happened to somebody else too the story will continue after this Isa bord is facing the right hand hitting D Dalton the first pitch is swung on and this every time Isa takes the M it’s another test to prove to

Skeptics that she belongs in the league her critics say she simply doesn’t throw hard enough to pitch in pro ball on this game day in duth she was starting against the Sue City explorers and just before the game I talked with one of her critics explorers manager Ed nle she has

No future in this business you have to see Major League tools I think to continue allowing somebody to go on a profession field looked pretty good she had what a 12 scoreless Innings uh just the past couple of weeks I would I love you I’ve followed you forever but you’d

Never be my scouting director I’ll tell you that B’s father her mother Maryanne and her little brother came all the way from California to see her pitch and what they saw was a harsh dose of baseball reality that hit well the left center field T and they’re saying home run on

That one it’s four to nothing Sous City she was hit hard and pulled out of the game in the second inning after giving up seven runs including three home runs when you get bad at Iran like what happened last night yeah do you still love the game at that point in time no

But the next day yeah just need to get back out there again I’ve had four great starts and I’ve had three bad starts um that’s what I really need to work on as consistency but I just wish he could have seen a better game because I’m better than that former San Diego Padre

Pitcher sa young winner Randy Jones watched Border’s pitch we had asked him to come to duth to give us a scouting report he belongs in pro ball sure she belongs in pro ball not necessarily Major League ball no I’m not I’m not sure Major League Baseball I we we’re

Stretching that she’d have to show me a lot more if she wanted to play Major League Baseball how much of the criticism that’s directed against Isa borders because of the way she pitches and how much simply because she’s a woman who has invaded their game I would

Say 70% because she’s invaded the game maybe 30% you know cuz you have her ability to pitch and that they just don’t want a lady around sure they they didn’t want blacks at the Masters for years and golf they didn’t want blacks in the ball game true until Jackie

Robinson I I I think the problem is ISA borders when she was a lot younger got a dream in her mind she got a dream that she wanted to pitch and what she’s doing is she’s pursuing that dream and how can anyone out there really question someone

That’s out pursuing their dream no one knows how far Isa borders will go in professional baseball but for her at least right now she’s exactly where she wants to be wow sometimes I just get there I’m like I can’t believe what I’m doing you know I’m I’m living a dream

You know I’m playing professional baseball I’m on a great team I have great support you know this is just so amazing that everything’s happening basically what I wanted to happen since I was 10 years old

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Video “A League of Her Own: Pitcher Ila Borders | 60 Minutes Archive” was uploaded on 03/08/2024 to Youtube Channel 60 Minutes