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Dorothy Jane Mills

Dorothy Jane Mills

Dorothy Jane Mills is an author, editor, consultant & speaker who has written numerous sports history, historical fiction & children's books. As the widow of baseball’s leading historian, Dr. Harold Seymour, she was his co-author in the classic series on baseball history they wrote together.
 

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Dorothy's main work through her life has been in the field of baseball. She and her late husband, Dr. Harold Seymour, cooperated on the first and still highly-respected series of three books devoted to baseball's history, published over the years 1960-1990 by Oxford University Press. Their titles are Baseball: The Early Years, Baseball: The Golden Age, and Baseball: The People's Game. Information about these books is available at Dorothy's web site, http://www.dorothyjanemills.com.

Writing baseball history is still an unusual field for a woman, but back in 1950, when she began this work, Dorothy was entirely alone in the field. A Woman's Work is the title of Dorothy's baseball biography, published in 2004 by McFarland. It explains how and why she began this work and how she accomplished it. Her latest book, Chasing Baseball (McFarland 2010), presents the passionate and obsessive behavior of fans like stat hounds, fantasy league players, and vintage league players. It includes information on the way historians have picked up on baseball and how women now participate in it.

BestThinking.com has published a speech Dorothy presented to the 2010 convention of the Association for Women in Sports Media, made up of women who write sports for newspapers or magazines or present it on television and radio. This presentation, revealing some of Dorothy's experiences as a baseball historian, struck a familiar chord with the AWSM women because their experiences as participants in a field dominated by men are not unlike hers.

BestThinking.com has published an eBook, First in the Field, in which Dorothy explains what it is like to be the first woman to write baseball history, what she tells people who ask her about it, and how she has coped with the difficulties that arose during her unique career.

Dorothy's fans are looking forward to her next McFarland book, in which she combines her two main writing interests, baseball history and historical fiction. Drawing Card, to be published in early 2012, is a novel about a woman ball player signed to a minor-league contract. The baseball commissioner cancels her contract as soon as he discovers that she is a woman, so she is prevented from showing what she can do on a professional level.

If this sounds unlikely, you don't know your baseball history! Two women have already been signed to minor league contracts, one in 1931 and one in 1952, and both their contracts were canceled as soon as the commissioner found out that they were females.

These two women responded to their rejection as females were supposed to: they went home quietly and engaged in some other athletic activity. Unlike those two historical women, the player in Drawing Card reacts angrily and decides to do something drastic about it. Her volatile personality and her descent from violent and athletic women of the past help explain her reaction.

Those who have read Drawing Card in manuscript find it "compelling," "exceptional," even "extraordinary." One fan said he "couldn't put it down" and stayed up far too late at night reading it. As with her other work, Dorothy's extensive research and her knowledge of history as well as the human condition combine to make what readers call "a good read" and "a powerful story."

 
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