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About the Author: Jean Hastings Ardell
How I got this way: I grew up in New York City, the daughter of a mother who loved books and a father who loved baseball. Ever since, literature and the game of baseball have informed my life. I became a writer because stories demand to be told -- of places, events, and people. I also find satisfaction in working as an editor and teacher with others who seek to write their stories. The profile is a favorite form. I’ve published pieces on authors Geoffrey Wolff and Dean Koontz (the Orange County Press Club’s Best Profile of 1995), Jack Peltason, president of the University of California, and artist Alexandra Nechita. Recent profiles include Mr. October, Reggie Jackson, www.newportbeachmag.com; Laguna’s Scribe of Summer, baseball author Arnold Hano www.lagunabeachmag.com; and Mark McGwire, in theShady Canyon Golf Club magazine.
Whenever I discover a place of interest, I like to share the news. My published travel articles include one on a self-guided boat trip up England’s Thames River, a reprise on the 100th anniversary of one of my favorite books, Jerome K. Jerome’s Three Men in a Boat; the Wine Country of Santa Barbara County, published a decade before the appearance of the film, Sideways; and the rekindling of a family tradition with my son and his wife on a camping trip to Mineral King, California. Food goes along with travel, and I’ve written about my encounter with the green chiles of New Mexico, dining out along San Francisco’s cable car routes, and the foolishness of trying to stick to a diet in France (lost weight anyway.)
Speaking of travel, each March I head to Arizona where I co-chair the NINE Spring Training Conference, a collegial gathering of baseball scholars, with Trey Strecker of Louisiana State University. To learn more, please click on All About Baseball.
About the Subject: Ila Borders
Ila grew up in La Mirada, CA. She is the oldest of 4 kids. She has two younger brothers and one sister. She started out playing ball at the age of 6. Ila played La Mirada Little League at Behringer park. When she was 12 years old, she stuck out 18 of 18 batters. She then went on to play high school baseball at Whittier Christian High School, and was MVP two out of the 4 years. She became the first woman to get a scholarship to play men’s collegiate baseball at SCC, now Vanguard University. Ila also became the first female to pitch, win, and have a complete game victory in college. Ila played 4 years of men’s collegiate baseball and then went on to tryout and make men’s professional baseball. She started out with the St. Paul Saints. She played 4 years of men’s professional baseball in the minor leagues. Ila became the first female to get a win in men’s professional baseball. She was apart of the Duluth-Superior Dukes Northern League Championship team in 1997. Ila was inducted into the Baseball Shrine of the Eternals and the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, twice.
Since retiring from baseball, Ila has been a firefighter/paramedic and works in the greater Portland area. She also works at Portland Community College as an instructor in the Fire Academy. Ila is a part time scout for the MLB Association and is a US Women's National Development Team pitching coach. On her days off, she states you can usually find her shooting hoops, fishing, doing baseball clinics, hiking, biking, running, playing tennis, reading, playing ping pong or doing some sort of construction work. She is happily married to Jenni Westphal who was a standout track and field athlete at the University of WI. Madison. They both have four dogs and one cat.
My dream is to show more women out there that there is a pathway to playing baseball in college and professionally. It was available 20 years ago and people’s minds are more open now, and you can see that by the new series called, “Pitch”. Stay strong, work hard, and play ball!!!!