This article is dedicated to the special contribution made by women in Dodger Baseball. I came up with a list of 3 but I know that there have been hundreds of women over the years that have been a part of the Los Angeles and Brooklyn Dodgers. I went with the following 3: Nancy Bea, Kim Ng, and Sharon Robinson.
First on the list is Rachel Robinson. Rachel Robinson is the first lady of baseball integration. She is the wife of Jackie Robinson and continues to be celebrated year after year at Dodger Stadium. She can sometimes be seen on Jackie Robinson Day in April and sometimes she attends on special occasions. The Dodgers have honored her and her family for what they mean to our national pastime. Rachel is a business leader, a civil rights activist, a nurse, a professor, and a mother. She is a woman of enormous accomplishments apart from being the wife of Jackie Robinson. When Jackie died, Mrs. Robinson incorporated the Jackie Robinson Development Corporation, which was created to build and manage housing for people of moderate and low incomes. She eventually began the Jackie Robinson Foundation, providing scholarships to college going students and helping them to pay for tuition. She is portrayed in the movie “42” as a very strong supportive wife of Jackie who had to wrestle with insults and face disrespect every step of the way, from fans, coaches, owners, and teammates who resisted the giant step of integration. To find out more about the Jackie Robinson Foundation you can visit the page here.
Next on the list is Nancy Bea Hefley. Nancy Bea Hefley was the very popular Dodger organist for 27 years. She retired in 2015. She learned how to play the piano and the accordion by watching her older sister. Eventually she started playing the piano with an instructor and then asked her to teach her how to play the organ. She played at the Bellflower Baptist Church for many years as well as the Pomona and Orange County Fairs. One time, a friend of hers was unable to go to work and asked Nancy to fill in for her as the California Angels organist. Nancy was offered a job but she refused because she did not want to take her friend’s job away. Eventually when Helen Dell retired in 1987, Nancy was asked to become the everyday organ player at Dodger stadium. You could always hear Nancy playing “Take Me Out to the Ball Game” during the 7th inning stretch at home. In between innings Nancy could be heard playing some ballpark classics as well as the tune played right before everyone screams “CHARGE!” She also joined the fans when the fans began the “Defense” chant and occasionally she could be heard playing some popular rock songs or hit songs. In 2015, she stepped down very quietly and walked away into the sunset, and will be remembered by many who attended games over her 27 year tenure. To own a couple of her well known songs from Dodger Stadium you can purchase her music here and relive a day at Dodger Stadium.
The next person on the list is Kim Ng. She is the former Assistant General Manager to Ned Colletti and for many years she was touted as having the highest position in baseball operations throughout the league with the highest possibility of earning the call to be the first female GM in Major League Baseball. This year, Derek Jeter, now the CEO of the Marlins, offered her the top job in Miami. She was hired as the first female general manager in Major League History. She is a pioneer because she opens the door for other women in operations throughout baseball. Kim Ng, Her dad was a financial analyst and her mom was a Virginia Banker. She was born in Indianapolis but grew up in Queens, Long Island and New Jersey. She played softball for the University of Chicago as an infielder and now she is considered the highest ranking woman executive in MLB. She first got her break in 1991 with the Chicago White Sox when they realized how good she was with computers and data analysis. Kim Ng now paves the road for all women who dream of a career in sports operations. 2021 will be her first year managing the Marlin team in the NL East.
Women have been a part of the game of baseball ever since the game was invented. If you have a story of a famous woman that you would like to honor leave it in the comment section and thank you for reading this article. If you have any additional comments that you would like to contribute about these women, please also add that to the comment section.