By Stacey Dresner
WORCESTER – Robbin Miller was nine years old and living in Queens, N.Y., when one day she went on a family picnic and saw kids playing baseball.
“Only boys,” she recalls, “and I thought it was pretty cool. I asked my father to teach me how to play.”
Her dad agreed and began teaching Robbin and her eight-year-old brother, Bruce, about baseball. They didn’t didn’t have any mitts or bats, so they used a tennis ball and a stick.
“He taught us how to field,” Miller recalls. “And that’s when I decided I wanted to play Little League. I got good at it. And I wanted to play little league with the boys in the neighborhood and they said I couldn’t because I was a girl. We got into a little fight about it. We were city kids in the ‘70s.”
Refusing to give up her dream, Robbin was excited to learn about a famous court case that ruled that same year, that girls were to be allowed to play little league with boys. The long-standing barrier was finally lifted, and Robbin signed up to play in 1975. A brave and determined Robbin strutted her stuff and showed her community that she could play ball just as well as the boys, on any baseball diamond. Despite encountering jeers, boos, and name-calling from the stands and from the boys, Robbin exceled on the field and played with her head held high for the love of the game.
Miller writes about her love of baseball in Breaking Barriers: A Girl’s Dream to Play Little League with Boys. This is Miller’s first chapter book. Miller says that with Breaking Barriers, she wants to inspire girls to stand up to the obstacles they may encounter along their journey and to be resilient and persistent in developing their goals in life.
Miller, who has lived in Worcester since 1993, is the mother of a nine-year-old son, E.J. Together they have also written a picture book, The Stray.
“It tells the story of adopting our dog, Woody,” Miller said. The book is about “the mitzvah or doing a good deed in your community like adopting a stray from a local animal shelter. That is important for children to learn at home.”
Miller has published two other picture books, Playgroup Time and Three Best Friends, since 2015.