Research Notes for Women at Play, Vol. 1 | Reviews

Research Notes for Women at Play: The Story of Women in Baseball, Volume 1, can be purchased at independent bookstores, chain bookstores, college bookstores, and online, including, Kindle, and Kobo.

What reviewers are saying...

When I came upon Gregorich's Research Notes, the unexpected pleasure of accessing raw material was reminiscent of another reading experience I had long ago. I'll never forget opening the pages of The Waste Land, facsimile edition, complete with T.S. Eliot's early typewritten drafts and Ezra Pound's assertive revisions. Viewing the rough copy, annotations, and raw materials that evolve into a literary masterpiece is an immense privilege and a joy. Admittedly, it may be a stretch to compare a baseball book with an epic poem crafted by a Nobel laureate, but the learning experiences are not altogether different. In one case, we open to the drafts, scribbles, and edits from which poetry was rigorously yet magically shaped; in another, we glimpse the raw material out of which an entire culture of sport and a whole new literary genre came to be. On both counts, we have an opportunity to delve into valuable primary material, without which the thing itself — a masterful epic poem or an entire culture of baseball — would not exist as we know it.

          — Judy Johnson, Watching the Game


This collection of notes is perfect for this sort of introduction to research. The subject appeals to students. Because of the blatant sexism of many articles, the book offers rich grounds for thesis statements on tone, gender bias, and humor — as well as the more concrete and obvious sports topics. The use of outdated sports slang and unfamiliar cultural references presents opportunities to model the common need to do further research to understand sources. In some instances, Gregorich summarizes articles and gives only  limited direct quotes. A discussion of her choices could provide insight into how real authors select what goes into direct quotes, indirect quotes, summaries, or paraphrases. Her careful attention to detail, such as the use of [sic] for irregular spellings and score tallies that do not add up, again shows what professional writers do — without sounding pedantic. The final chapter, in which she discusses her four-year search using archives, letters, interviews with relatives, and other venues to find something as simple as the real names of these early female athletes, is an eye-opener. I will use this resource. I am sure.

          — Robin D. Smith, PhD, The Needle's Eye
          (Newsletter of the Virginia Association of Teachers of English)