In literature, baseball has been referred to as a game for “the boys of summer,” but Morgan Hosty is writing her own chapter as the only girl in the Forest Park Little League.
The 7-year-old ground breaker joined Little League baseball for no other reason than simply an unabashed love of the game instilled by her older brother, Jack. The classic Americana image of young boys kicking up dust on the diamond will simply have to make way for Hosty, who said she is hopeful that more girls will be playing alongside her in the near future.
“The boys on my team have been really good to me, but it makes me feel a bit sad there are no other girls,” Hosty said. “I play a lot of sports but baseball is probably my favorite. My brother taught me how to pitch and catch.”
Hosty, who also enjoys softball, tennis, soccer and dance, began playing tee-ball at age 4. Her passion for baseball, cultivated by positive influences like her first and current coach, Glenn Garlisch, her parents John and Barb, as well as her brother, made the decision to join Little League a fairly easy one.
“The key for Morgan is having a brother who she could hang out with and learn the game,” said her father, John. “She really likes both softball and baseball but chose baseball this summer.”
As a member of the Brown Cow Ice Cream team in the Rookie Boys division, Hosty has played a key role on a squad that finished with a scintillating 11-1 record. She has fit in perfectly with a talented, fun group that includes all-star teammates Henry Harper, Grant Goode, Nick Garlisch and Trevor Evitt.
“The boys have treated her like any other player,” assistant coach Gene McCormack said. “There are no concessions of any kind. Morgan has played several positions and even put on the catcher’s gear. She has a joy for the game, which is an invaluable asset for any player.”
While enjoying summer, the ebullient Hosty is also looking forward to entering the second grade at St. Luke’s in River Forest.
“I love St. Luke’s and have a lot of friends [there],” she said. “My cousin [Sue Hosty] teaches third-grade at St. Luke’s, and I love my classes, especially math.”
Hosty’s wish that more of her female friends will join her on the baseball diamond–rather than the softball field–isn’t that far fetched. Forest Park Little League President Anthony Lazzara said he too, would like to see more young girls playing Little League baseball. The league organizes games for both softball and baseball teams, but Lazzara said he isn’t about to force a child who loves baseball to play softball.
“I’ve known Morgan since she was very little, and she’s a spectacular kid,” Lazzara said. “She has so much personality and energy. As a first-year president, one thing I have wanted to do in order to boost the league is encouraging girls to play baseball or softball. My position is to allow kids the choice to play either sport.”
Lazzara said his top priority in preparation for next season is to increase participation, particularly among Forest Park kids.
The Forest Park Little League will host a league party at 5:30 p.m. on Sunday, July 15 at the Park District of Forest Park. Along with food, drinks and fun, every child who attends the event and participated in Little League competition this summer will receive a trophy.