Jon and special guest Perry Barber celebrated women in the national pastime in style on March 10, 2019, at the San Francisco Public Library. Perry Barber has been umpiring for nearly 40 years and is a true baseball pioneer.
She’s umpired around the world and is a tireless advocate for women to participate in our national pastime. Before strapping on the umpire’s mask, Perry had a successful career as a singer-songwriter in NYC, opening for the likes of Bruce Springsteen, Billy Joel, and Hall & Oates.
Jon called on Perry’s musical background, and the two of them donned acoustic guitars to perform Perry’s stellar arrangement of “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” for voice and guitar. You can watch their performance here: Jon & Perry perform “Take Me Out to the Ball Game”
Jon screened three films from “The Sweet Spot,” featuring stories of fandom and impacting the landscape of baseball in spite of crippling gender discrimination. The post-screening Q&A session with Jon and Perry got lively when Tom O’Doul, Lefty O’Doul’s cousin, asked her to demonstrate how she rings up called third strikes. In an instant, Tom, Perry, and attendee Charles Fracchia, Jr. assumed the position of batter, catcher, and umpire. As the third strike whizzed past Tom, Perry rang him up with a flourish!
Other baseball pioneers in attendance included Rachelle “Rocky” Henley, a member of the inaugural Colorado Silver Bullets Baseball Team (1994) and author/political scientist Jennifer Ring. Rocky (L) is pictured with Jon and Perry in the photo above.
The post-event party was held at the marvelous new baseball-themed restaurant, The Pine Tar Grill, which is festooned in San Francisco Giants artifacts, memorabilia, and equipment.