A Personal Note On International Women’s Day

Dear Reader,

Almost two years ago, we started this site on a whim. I was obsessed with baseball, I loved talking about baseball, watching baseball, and had dabbled in writing about baseball. But I had no idea that this site would quickly become my life. We started The 15 Net, and the rest is history.

Since then, so much has happened. I found my passion, purpose, and identity. My Red Sox have won the World Series for the fourth time this millennium, more than any other franchise since 1999. I’ve gone to dozens of games, including back-to-back postseasons, and bore witness to the longest World Series game in the history of baseball. I launched a clothing line, and my Twitter family has grown by literally thousands. I’ve spoken to and even met some of my heroes, like Kevin Millar, Luis Tiant, Tim Wakefield, and Pedro Martinez. I told Reggie Jackson that David Ortiz was the real ‘Mr. October,’ and he told me I have ‘some balls.’

If you told me two summers ago that any of this would happen, my jaw would’ve smashed through the floor on the way towards the earth’s crust. Most days, I feel like I’m living in a dream.

But as this brand grows, so do the challenges. More people want to see me succeed, and more people want to see me fail. I’ve received the kindest encouragement and love from people I’ve never met, and I’ve been bullied and tormented by total strangers cowering behind their screens. But I’ve learned so much about myself: to choose my battles, to be less impulsive, to be even more sensitive to the emotions and hardships of others. I’ve learned what kind of person I want to be, and I strive every day to be someone I can be proud of.

Being a woman in this world is incredibly difficult. And being a woman in sports is, too. Don’t let anybody tell you otherwise, especially a man. But I’ve found a strength inside of myself these last couple of years, and it’s come from the struggle.

So today, on International Women’s Day, I want to thank every one of you who has supported me; your love, friendship, and kindness is overwhelming. And, I want to thank those of you who do not, because you only make me work harder.

And to my fellow girls at games, this day is ours, but the future ours, too.

Love, Diane

Diane Sparn was born and raised in South Dakota, but adopted Boston sports upon her arrival at Emmanuel College in 1995. In addition to her writings here, she is a Thought Poet, Community Advocate and needlepoint extraordinaire. She now resides in Claremont, New Hampshire with her cat, Blaho.

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