Memories & Dreams: Ladies Days

By Marty Appel

Ladies Days ended in, naturally, the 1960s, an era when much that was accepted without question in America came under challenge.The Yankees, like many teams, scheduled numerous Ladies Days throughout the season, charging only 50 cents to women for a general admission ticket. One day in the summer of 1969, Jim Gleason, the Yankee ticket manager, approached Howard Berk, a team Vice President, to say that a gentleman was insisting on a 50 cent ticket because the policy was discriminatory to men.

Within days, a subpoena arrived from the New York State Human Rights Commission. Berk, accompanied by a CBS labor attorney (CBS owned the team then), attended a hearing in the Bronx, where the practice of Ladies Days was indeed found to be discriminatory.

That ended it by law for the Yankees, but all the other teams saw the inevitability of their promotion ending as well, and that brought to a close a time honored ballpark tradition.