The EWBC was launched in 2000, but had its roots in the Washington Metropolitan Women’s Baseball League (WMWBL). The WMWBL was founded in 1990 by Lydia Moon. During the first year of the WMWBL, players showed up for informal pick up games. In 1991, three teams played in formal games. Moon moved out of the area and Brooke DeLarco kept the league alive during the 1992 season with two teams.
In 1993, the movie “A League of their Own” prompted the press to increase its coverage of women’s baseball, and a full-page article in the Weekend section of the Washington Post in July of that year became an eye-opener for many women who never knew that women’s baseball existed. As a result, the WMWBL expanded to four teams in the autumn of 1993.
In 1995, DeLarco left the D.C. area, and JoAnn Milliken began her tenure as WMWBL President. In 1998 the first team from Baltimore-the Stars-entered the league, bringing the total to 5 teams. The following year, the WMWBL (5-teams), the Mid-Atlantic Women’s baseball (Baltimore Blues), and New Jersey/New York Region Women’s Baseball (NJ Nemesis) joined forces to form the Eastern Women’s Baseball Conference.
The EWBC vision was that each region would eventually expand to multiple teams in Northern, Southern, and Mid-Atlantic divisions. Travel logistics eventually thwarted that plan, and the Nemesis left the EWBC in 2001. In 2005, the Baltimore Blues folded, but a new teams -the Lasers- was formed. In 2006, the Baltimore Blues returned. In 2007, the Lasers folded, and the Virginia Fury was formed. Some teams went through name changes throughout the years. Olympus Gym/ Womyncrafters “Hammers”/ now the Virginia Flames Baltimore Stars (1998-2002)/Cantina Banditas(2003-2004))/Hawks (2005-2009)
For more than 30 years the Eastern Women’s Baseball Conference (EWBC) has been providing opportunities for women and girls to play baseball. The league, based in the DC and Baltimore metro areas, currently features four teams, with games beginning in May and going through August. Players in the EWBC come from all walks of life – students, teachers, doctors, lawyers, scientists, and more. They also span all ages (13-77 and counting) and all levels of experience. Some teams have current/former U.S. National players and semi-pro softball players, but also roster those, who until they found the league, had never experienced organized team sports.
The EWBC strives to balance the recreational and competitive nature of baseball. While those just starting out enjoy the league at a play-by-play pace, a group of more competitive players created a travel team. Players wishing to compete at a higher level began the all-star team – DC Thunder – to play in regional and national tournaments. Additionally, the league assists the Thunder in hosting an annual tournament held in Purcellville, VA over Memorial Day weekend, featuring national and international teams.
Although our vision of a baseball “conference”, hasn’t come to fruition, women’s baseball has grown world wide. It hasn’t always been easy at times for our small organization to hang in there, but we are proud to still be standing after 30 years. “Our success is not ours alone. We have been fortunate to have many supporters over the years- the volunteers who donate their time to help manage, coach and train; the schools and counties that maintain and provide the fields we play on; the players, teams, and organizations who promote women’s baseball around the country; and all our sponsors. We thank you all.” J. Milliken, Past-President EWBC.
Our Charity Work
As a 501(c)(3) organization, the league is committed to promoting the sport of baseball for women and girls of all ages at the local, regional, national and international levels. The league participates in several events per year with groups like U.S. State Department’s Sports United Program, Orioles Advocates and Chesapeake Men’s Senior Baseball League.
We participate in several benefit events each year, often alongside our dedicated affiliates. Coed Baseball Battles Cancer is an annual EWBC charity event created to “Strikeout Cancer.” Give 10 for #10 -inspired by the life and legacy of our friend, teammate and captain Carmen Dominguez, whose life was cut short by breast cancer – raises funds for various projects including Coming Home for Fisher House. “Coming Home for Fisher House Foundation” is our pledge to donate to the Fisher House Foundation with every run scored, honoring US veterans and their families.