By: Dorothy Giobbe
First woman to cover the Boston Red Sox returns to spring training 15 years later sp.
SHE WAS THE first woman to cover the Boston Red Sox baseball team, and 15 years later, Marie Brenner returned to the beat, at least temporarily.
“Everytime there’s a spring training game, someone remembers me,” Brenner said, laughing.
After she wrote an op-ed piece for the New York Times last year about following spring training with her young daughter, Travel and Leisure magazine asked her to cover Red Sox spring training in Fort Myers, Fla., this year.
“I’m not sure how I’m going to write the piece. I guess it’ll be a mood piece about coming back and comparing the 1979 atmosphere with this atmosphere,” Brenner said.
The atmosphere has changed considerably from the often-exasperating experience she had the first time.
“The change is extraordinary. It’s a new Red Sox, a different team,” Brenner said. “The players, far from being the churlish, old-fashioned Red Sox that I met in 1979, are a very warm, incredibly friendly group of ballplayers.
“The racial mix of the team is fascinating. There are so many blacks on the team now, and [in 1979] Jim Rice was one of the few blacks on the team.”
At spring training, Brenner again found herself the only woman covering the Red Sox, although, she said, it’s not for lack of opportunity.
“There are no women on the beat, but I think that’s just more a function of the fact that there are no women who have appeared to be on the beat,” she said.
In fact, Brenner said, when she asked a group of male sportswriters why there were no women covering the Red Sox, one laughingly answered, “Women are smart. They would never want this job.”
After her stint for Travel and Leisure, Brenner will return to the New Yorker magazine, where she is a staff writer.