"THE GIRLS OF SUMMER"
AMANDA CLEMENT PAGE 1 of 1

Amanda Clement
Photo courtesy The South Dakota Amateur Baseball Hall of Fame.


AMANDA CLEMENT
1888–1971
Umpire

Amanda Clement was the first woman ever paid to umpire a baseball game. In 1904, her family traveled from their home in South Dakota to Iowa to watch her brother Hank pitch in a semi-pro game. The first game of the afternoon was an amateur game, and the scheduled umpire hadn't shown up. Hank said that his 16-year-old sister was a pretty good ball player and could take the guy's place. The semi-pro teams were so impressed with her officiating that they hired her on the spot.

Anecdote
In those days, umpires stood behind the pitcher. Amanda tucked her long hair under her cap, and tucked a few extra baseballs into the waistband of her ankle-length blue skirt. Then she yelled, "Play ball!" and made all the calls at the plate, on the bases, and in the outfield.

She umpired semi-pro games for the next six years, working 50 games a summer, for pay of $15 to $25 per game. She became so well known that when there was an important game anywhere in the northern Midwest, she was the first umpire called.

Her umpiring pay put her through college--first at Yankton College, then the University of Nebraska, where she both umpired and played basketball and tennis. After she graduated, she taught high school physical education, taught at the University of Wyoming, and later became a social worker. She was inducted into the South Dakota Hall of Fame in 1964.

 


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