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Speaking for League Park: Women Baseball Owners
March 11, 2017 @ 12:00 pm
Major League Baseball, throughout history, has been nearly exclusively a man’s game. But while women often haven’t played on the field, they have occupied the owner’s box. Some inherited their teams, but others bought them. The first woman owner of a Major League Baseball team was Cleveland’s own. Helene Britten.
Here is a bit of her story:
Helene’s father was Frank DeHaas Robison , owner of the Cleveland Spiders and, later, the team now known as the St. Louis Cardinals. Robison’s decision to move his best players from Cleveland to St. Louis decimated the Spiders and effectively ended Cleveland’s tenure as a National League city.
When Frank died on September 25, 1908 ownership of his St. Louis team passed on to his brother Stanley. When Stanley died on March 24, 1911 ownership of the Cardinals passed on to his niece and Frank’s daughter Helene. Thus Helene, by then married to Schuyler Britton, became the first woman owner of a Major League Baseball team.
Mrs. Britton remained owner of the team until 1918. Frank, Stanley and Helene are all buried not far from League Park at Lake View Cemetery.
Come learn more from journalist and author Vince Guerrieri. This program is free and open to the public and is made possible, in part, by a grant from Cuyahoga Arts and Culture (CAC).