The Trail Blazer Story

Subscribe to our Newsletter

How this all got started

2 years ago in Cooperstown Dreams Park, my daughter playing with our Tecumseh Rangers Team, was approached by a Female coach of a boy’s team from Chicago that had 2 girls on it.
It was then I learned that Girls Baseball even existed.
She was selling a Program called the Chicago Pioneers, run by a a couple who have a huge passion for growing Girls Baseball.

In 2012, the Pioneers will have teams playing at the 12U, 13U, 16U, and Women's levels. They draw from all over the United States and get some
very talented female baseball players. Currently, 7 past and/or current Women's National Baseball Team players help fill the roster of the Pioneers senior squad. At the 12U playing level, the Pioneers are helping girls play baseball in a local boys house league for the first time as an all-girls team. Girls can be 11-13 years old, as of April 30, 2012, and will play together on one team at 70 ft. bases and 48 ft. pitching distance. In the United States, house leagues are local baseball leagues in individual neighborhoods and/or park districts. At the 13U playing level, the Pioneers will compete in a travel league at 80 ft. bases and 54 ft. pitching distance with girls who can be 15 as of April 30, 2012. Travel leagues afford a higher level of competition for the teams that want it and bring together many neighborhood and park district teams into one league. 2012 will mark the 6th consecutive year the Pioneers will play in the Travel Ball North Shore (TBNS) League as the only all-girls team in the otherwise all-boys league. Formerly called the North Shore Baseball League, the TBNS has allowed this age variance and it has worked out nicely for the young ladies and the league. The age equalizer evens things out a bit. The play is quite competitive. The 16U team plans to compete at various female baseball events. This team is preparing the girls for playing on their high school's baseball team and for a chance to someday compete for a spot on the women's national team. The Pioneers who compete at the women's level, play in Elite Women's Baseball Tournaments around the country, including the national championship at the Roy Hobbs World Series in Ft. Myers, Florida in the fall.

When we got back from Cooperstown I found an all girls clinic being sponsored by OBA at the Canadian National Exhibition at the CNE Grounds. I took Jenna down there and it was an eye opener, when that many young ladies from Ontario showed up. I was told by the man running it to get Jenna involved in the Ontario Bantam Girls Team even at the age of 12 at that time, she belonged, and again this was news to me.

In the summer of 2011 through the OBA website, I contacted the Ontario Bantam Girls Coach, David Gilroy. They had 3 open tryouts and he knew most of the other girls play on boys travel teams, he asked we make at least 1 tryout.

Jenna made the Team and had the most amazing week batting second in the lineup, played 2b, and they won the Gold Medal in the Bantam Girls Canadian Championships in North York. At the age of 13, she has 3 more years eligibility in this Tournament.

Jenna has travelled to Chicago and played 5 league games for the Pioneers last year. They went 4-1 with her in town. While there she got to tour Wrigley Field (Cubs)and saw a game at U.S. Cellular Field. (White Sox)

She also attended a Tournament in Ft. Myers Florida this past October, as part of the Women’s Division in the Roy Hobbs Tournament. The Pioneers sent a 16U team and their Senior Team. The Senior Team went undefeated and won the Tournament at Hammond Stadium, the Spring Training Home of the Minnesota Twins.

The 16U team did not win a game but were competitive in every contest. They played at The Player Development Complex and City of Palms Park the Spring Home of the Boston Red Sox
An amazing Experience to say the least, meeting other women/girl baseball players, from all over the United States and Canada.

There is Girls baseball out there and internationaly it is growing big. My older daughter Caitlyn also plays baseball and loves it. I want to provide her and other Essex County females a chance to play ball with an entire team or someday, an entire league of girls. Right now there is great momentum in the Girls game.

With the Pioneers in Chicago

City of Palms Park, Former Spring Home of the Red Sox

Canadian Champs - Team Ontario 2011

What's possibly ahead for Jenna 2012

What’s Ahead in 2012
In February building on the effort with Team Ontario Bantam Girls Team, the girls were all invited to accompany the Canadian Women’s National Team to Cuba for one week, to train and compete with the Cuban National Women’s Team. This not only a baseball trip but also a cultural experience, put together by the two governments.

Jenna at the age of 14 is scheduled to compete at the Cooperstown All Star Village, as The Pioneers have secured a Variance to play at the All Star Village against boys teams 1 year younger.

She has been extended the Invitation to join the Women’s Pioneers in a Spring tournament in Baltimore Maryland

This year’s edition of the Bantam Girls Canadian Championships has seen Baseball Canada really take a huge step forward, This years Tournament will be held just outside of Halifax, Nova Scotia. Taking a page out of the Little League World Series, this years Tourney will see the Province’s compete in 1 Division for a Canadian Title and will also have 5 International 16U Girls Teams competing in the International Division and the 2 Champions will play for a Girls 16U World Title. Australia, Cuba, USA, Netherlands have given the early indication they will attend.

We hope to return to Florida for the Roy Hobbs with the Chicago Pioneers or with our Trail Blazer Team if things work out.

Playing in the Roy Hobbs Tourney, Ft. Myers Fla.