PHOTOS: ’90s Chicago Cubs Photog Blazed Social Trail for Women

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Happy NLDS Chicago Cubs fans! Between now and the late start tonight we have plenty of reading material, audio and visual to both keep you occupied, and get you in the mood for Game 1 tonight. Andie Giafaglione was a photographer for the Chicago Cubs from 1996-1999 , and she witnessed a lot of history over those years.

The Sammy Sosa home run chase, Kerry Wood’s 20 strikeout game, 0-14 start in ’97.

“I was out in the stands, all around the ballpark looking for a story,” Giafaglione said. “I wanted the whole story; the fans the ballpark. everything.”

“It didn’t hit me until years later, some of the things I got to see.”

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I did an interview feature of Giafaglione for Thursday’s edition of the Chicago Tribune’s RedEye newspaper. Here’s an excerpt of the story.

The Cubs’ historical struggles, while monumental in their own context, pale in comparison to the battle women have fought against sexism.

Photographer Andie Giafaglione has worked to shatter gender barriers since taking a job with the Cubs in the late ’90s. Few women worked in the field at the time.

Her work, currently on display at the GMan (formerly the Gingerman) Tavern in Lakeview at least through the Cubs’ playoff run, is a collection of photos taken between 1996 and 1999.

In those days, women commonly did not enter locker rooms of pro sports teams. The 43-year-old Philadelphia native described working alongside grizzled veteran photographers who held suspicions.

” ‘Who’s this 20-something girl? Why does she want to shoot sports?’ ” said Giafaglione, who has lived on Chicago’s North Side for 23 years. “It took a while but I won them over, and they realized that this girl is for real. She’s not here to meet a husband, she really wants to shoot baseball.”

Read the whole story at this link.  

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Sexism and chauvinism in baseball isn’t something going away either. A year ago, we had an exclusive with ESPN’s Jessica Mendoza, who broke through many gender barriers in baseball during 2015.

Of course, on the same exact day that the Giafaglione story ran, a second baseman in the Houston Astros farm system Tweeted awful sexist remarks aimed at Mendoza.

Which is just yet another reminder of how important Giafaglione’s story, and her work with the Chicago Cubs truly is.

Be sure to check out her website okaygoodindrustries.com and follow her on Twitter @pedra_rose

For more on Giafaglione and the exhibition, here’s a link to an interview she recently did with WGN radio. Have a listen to the podcast.

Paul M. Banks runs The Sports Bank.net, partnered with FOX Sports Engage Network. and News Now. Banks, a former writer for the Washington Times, currently contributes regularly to the Chicago Tribune’s RedEye publication and Bold Global.

He also consistently appears on numerous radio and television talk shows all across the country. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram and Sound Cloud.

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