On Thursday, September 14th, the Amazin’ Mets Foundation honored Maybelle Blair for her contributions to women sports and LGBT representation. Blair, who turned 96 this year, first took the field for Peoria Redwings 75 years ago, and ever since then she has been a champion of women’s baseball all across the country. Blair was not only a pioneer in women’s baseball, but still, to this day, travels the country on behalf of the IWBC, or the International Women’s Baseball Center. In addition to her work in women’s sports, she also contributes to LGBT representation within the sports community. 1 year ago, at the Tribeca film festival, one of the largest and most popular film festivals in the world, Blair publicly came out as a lesbian. She said that she felt that she had to hide her true self for almost her entire life, and now that she has come out, she has encouraged not only female athletes, but people in general to realize that they are not alone and they do not need to hide.
After giving a press conference with Buck Showalter by her side, Blair took the field before the Diamondbacks @ Mets game and threw out a ceremonial first pitch from in front of home plate. She was also presented with first ever Amazin’ Mets Legacy Award, and in honor of Blair, the Amazin’ Mets foundation donated $5,000 to Athlete Ally, a nonprofit organization that helps to build inclusive environments in sports, and educates athletic communities on how to better understand and engage with obstacles for members of the LGBTQ+ community that appear in athletics.
This is not the first time the Mets have shown support for the LGBT community. In addition to honoring Blair, the Mets also put on pride nights in which they wholeheartedly show their support for the LGBT community with signs, merchandise, and uniform changes. Even the players get in on it. At one Met‘s pride night Mark Canha changed his walk up music to a popular Taylor swift song, starting from the line “shade never made anybody less gay.”
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