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Book Review

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Ardell's book might very well be subtitled “The Seven Faces of Eve” as she argues for goddess worship theories for baseball's origins and then organizes the rest of the chapters around the seven ways in which women can interact with the game of baseball: as fans (both in and out of the stands), as players (both amateur and professional), as umpires, owners, and members of the media. Baseball's gender barrier (a first cousin to the game's now obsolete color barrier) provides a consistent and compelling undertone to the book as so many of the women that Ardell writes about (perhaps herself included) seek to interact with the game on a deeper level than they are allowed to by their friends, relatives, and society in general. As such, this book will appeal especially to female fans of the game, as well as to baseball historians of either sex.