Baseball’s first female scout dies at 100

Published On February 12, 2013 | By Kimberly Petalas

One of the pioneers of women in baseball, Edith Houghton, passed away Feb. 2. She was 100 years old and was just eight days away from her 101st birthday.

Houghton had always loved baseball, and in 1946, she decided she wanted to scout for the Philadelphia Phillies, making her the first female scout in the major leagues. This once male-only profession had opened up to females because of Houghton.

At the age of 10, Houghton started playing for the Philadelphia Bobbies, a factory team of all women. Though she was the smallest on the team, the media constantly praised her for her hitting and fielding. She could play any position on the field.

After touring Japan in 1925 with the team, she left the Bobbies to play with the New York Bloomer Girls. She played here for 6 years before moving on to the Hollywood Girls in 1931 for one season.

She then left to serve in the navy during World War II. When she came home, she wrote to Bob Carpenter, owner of the Philadelphia Phillies, asking for a job as a scout. Looking at her past, Carpenter decided to give her a chance, making her the first female scout in the major leagues. After six years of scouting for the Phillies, she was called up by the navy during the Korean War. By the time she retired from the navy, she achieved the rank of Chief Petty Officer.

Houghton never married or had children. She is survived by her great-nieces.