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Susan Perabo Honored as the First Woman to Play NCAA Baseball

Susan Perabo with her family at the St. Louis cardinals' field.

Susan Perabo on the Busch Stadium field in St. Louis, with, from left, her father, Cardinals mascot Fredbird and her son, Brady.

Professor of creative writing recognized by alma mater—and the Baseball Hall of Fame

by Tony Moore

Professor of Creative Writing Susan Perabo was recently honored by her alma mater, Webster University (B.A. English), at the university’s inaugural Women of Webster event. The celebration included the premier of the documentary film Untold Stories: Webster Women Speak, which explores the careers and achievements of four of the university’s alumnae.

Perabo, Dickinson’s writer-in-residence, was celebrated as the first woman in NCAA history to play baseball, when she was a Webster undergrad.

“I just wanted to play baseball,” Perabo told the St. Louis Fox affiliate’s AM Show of her journey into NCAA ball. “I wasn’t trying to be a groundbreaker, a trailblazer, anything like that. I just have always loved to play ball and had the opportunity to do that at Webster.”

The night before, after she and her family met Cardinals’ legend Adam Wainwright, Perabo was honored by the St. Louis Cardinals and threw out the first pitch of their game against the Cincinnati Reds (seen below).

First pitch

Perabo’s baseball legacy extends far beyond the Missouri diamond where she played second base for Webster; she’s also been recognized by the Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum in Cooperstown for the achievement. And that (surprise) recognition came for a milestone she didn’t even know she had set until long after hanging up her cleats.

“It wasn’t until several years later that I found out that I was the first woman to play NCAA ball,” she said. “And I didn’t even know I was in the Hall of Fame until my parents visited, … and they walked past the Women in Baseball exhibit, and there was a plaque there with my name on it. And that’s how we found out. It was an amazing thing.”

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Published October 2, 2023