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May 6, 1911

At the annual Field Day Caroline Johnson ’13 set a new college record for the 100-yard hurdles, running the course in 16 1/5 seconds, and freshman Dorothy Smith ’14 set a new Vassar record in the running high jump. Smith also threw a baseball for a new women’s world record, 204 feet, 5 inches.

“Amazed” by the feat, a New York Herald reporter covering the event wrote, “Girls do not throw a baseball further than the average boy without some sort of training….” But Smith claimed no special training: “I have always played ball with boys ever since I can remember.” Noting that Smith was “tall and slim and lithe,” the reporter saw her as “the modern type of girl athlete…not marred by overdeveloped muscles, but so well trained that every bit of her strength counts.”

Jennifer Ring, Stolen Bases: Why American Girls Don’t Play Baseball

Smith’s record stood until August of 1915, when high school senior Ruth McCabe from Tacoma, WA, threw a baseball 209 feet, 5 inches.

The Years