"THE GIRLS OF SUMMER"
KIM BRAATZ-VOISARD PAGE 1 of 1

Photo By Laura Wulf.


KIM BRAATZ-VOISARD
Born 1969
Center Field

Colorado Silver Bullets, 1994-1997

In 1994, the Colorado Silver Bullets were formed, the first women's professional baseball team since the All-American Girls Baseball League disbanded in 1954. They were a touring team, traveling around the country from May to September, playing men's college, amateur, semi-pro, and professional minor league teams.

Like most of the women on the team, Kim Braatz-Voisard played softball in high school, because she was not allowed to play on the boys' baseball team. At the University of New Mexico, Kim continued to play softball, occasionally taking batting practice with the baseball team.

According to Kim, the biggest obstacle the women of the Silver Bullets had to overcome was making the change from the underhand pitch (and larger ball) of softball. It takes some time to learn to read an overhand pitch. But as they got more familiar with the style and rhythms of baseball, the team's record improved from a dismal 6-44 in their first season to a winning 23-22 in 1997.

Braatz said the highlight of her baseball career was hitting the team's first home run against the Cape Cod League All-Stars in 1996.

At the end of the 1997 season, the team's sponsor, Coors Light, announced it was ending its support, having invested more than $8 million over the previous four years. Reportedly, Coors was also concerned that, at a time when there's an upsurge in women's sports, Coors might be viewed as a women's beer.

 


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