HUNTINGTON, W.Va. — When Kat Williams was growing up in a working-class family in Louisville, Kentucky, she didn’t always get it right. Her clothes weren’t right. The character on her lunchbox wasn’t right. And, struggling through school with undiagnosed dyslexia, her schoolwork certainly wasn’t right.
But there was one place where she was always spot-on: At shortstop on the baseball diamond.
“The only place in the whole world where I felt confident was at shortstop,” said Williams, a women’s history professor at Marshall University. “I was good. I knew I was good. I played with the boys and was often the person choosing the teams. They would look to me. That was the place for me, and it was a savior. It kept me moving forward.”
That confidence that Williams came to understand some 50 years ago playing baseball in the streets was what made her think maybe she should try college, even if she did struggle in school, and maybe she could become a teacher to help young people with challenges of their own.
Williams thinks the confidence learned through sports – particularly women in sports, who have long been overshadowed by their male counterparts – is something to celebrate. And she’s just wrapped up 10 years of research and writing to celebrate those achievements in a book which will be published later this year by McFarland Publishing. Titled “Life After the League…