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Women in Baseball

New Jersey Baseball Feature Story

Marvelous Maeve


The Amazin’ Mets’ Marvelous Marv Throneberry

Fans of the game – particularly Mets’ fans – will no doubt recall Marvelous Marv Throneberry, who played first base for the Amazin’ Mets of the early-to-mid-1960s. Long-time Mets fans remember Marvelous Marv as a tall, soft-spoken, slugger who brought infrequent but impressive power to the plate and, well, butter fingers to the field.

Nearly a half-century later, another young player emerges who commands the same nickname, but this time for all the right reasons. Meet Marvelous Maeve Ducas, a nine year-old phenom from Scranton, Pennsylvania who dazzles on offense and defense for a boys’ little league baseball team called Tim Wagner’s Sporting Goods.


Marvelous Maeve Ducas

Maeve started playing baseball innocently enough. She is the youngest of four children and, at the tender, young age of seven years-old, she accompanied her older brother Matthew to a baseball camp. She enjoyed the experience, found that she did well among all the boy players, and decided “to keep going.”

Keep going she did, as she then proceeded to excel in a skills competition, held at the Joe Rossi Baseball Camp that involved 7-to-13 year-olds. As though simply competing against boys who were older and more physically developed than she were not enough, she managed to take first place in the hitting, fielding, and speed drills. And for those of you who still find yourselves among the non-believers, Maeve the Marvelous also took home the Michael Ferke trophy for Best Sportsmanship on her hometown boy’s baseball team.


A Baseball Champion is born

Mike Ducas, Maeve’s Dad and biggest fan, could not be more proud. “Maeve puts more time in practicing than anyone else I know. If she’s not pitching, she’s asking me to pitch to her.” He further explains that, “Normally she’s a leadoff batter, but her versatility makes her a valuable team player at any position in the (batting) order and on the field.”

Not to be outdone, and not unexpectedly, young Maeve returns the compliment, acknowledging Dad’s encouragement and support. “Dad and I run two miles together every day, and he takes me o all my basketball practices and games. He and I play catch almost every day; he’s always there for me.” As to the position she favors the most, she says, “I play 2nd base, and I really like pitching; it’s really cool to pitch.” Maeve intends to also join the lacrosse and field hockey teams at her school.

With that kind of talent, work ethic, and support, who would not expect a young player to perform well? Her favorite players include the same variety of major league stars that you might expect from a young player of Maeve’s caliber. She names Chase Utley for his hitting and fielding, Ryan Howard for his power, Shane Victorino for his speed and all-around ability, Cole Hamels, and Roger Clemens, “especially when he made his comeback attempt.”


Shane Victorino

Ryan Howard

Roger Clemens

Most of all, she tries to pattern herself after Cole Hamels of the Philadelphia Phillies. ”I watch how he pitches, to see what he does. I mimic his windup, and how he pitches from the stretch.” As a hitter, she admires Chase Utley, “He plays 2nd Base and bats 2nd or 3rd in the order, just like me.”


Pitcher Cole Hamels

Second Baseman Chase Utley

In trying to emulate those major league ballplayers, Maeve holds herself to high standards, but it might surprise NJB readers to know exactly the height of those self-imposed standards. Put simply, she wants to be “the first woman to play in the major leagues.” Judging from her performance in the game to date, who’s to say she cannot achieve that goal?

Maeve is currently the only girl who plays in the Greenridge Little League of Scranton. PA. She likes her Dad being her coach and has many friends on the team, dating back to T-Ball. As Coach Dad observes, “She beats out routine ground balls; her speed is her ally.” But even Maeve knows that, while she might be a dominant player in Little League, there’s still a long way to go to make her big-league dream become a reality.

From watching the AAA Wilkes Barre-Scranton Yankees, she sees that “the pitchers are a lot faster; it’s a lot harder.” Not lacking in self-confidence, she does not miss a beat in also saying that, “If I keep playing, I’ll get better and better.”


NY Yankees AAA Affiliate

In that regard, Maeve looks forward to playing year-round at the planned Magic Sports complex that Coach Dad has had a key role in developing over the last several years (See NJB’s feature story about “Magic Sports”).

With all her achievements to date, Maeve already has her share of baseball memories. Of them, she cherishes three in particular: in Farm League when she hit an inside-the-park home run to win a game, and in her fall recreation league when, in two separate games, she recorded an unassisted double play and “did a triple play” as well.

Most players do not experience any of these feats in their entire amateur and professional careers; Maeve the Marvelous, though, has accomplished them before reaching the ripe old baseball age of ten years-old. Her blue eyes sparkling, she described how she completed the triple play. “I caught a fly ball to short left field, stepped on 3rd and threw to 1st base.”

Right, nothing to it.

Before she began living the baseball life of a baseball player-prodigy, Maeve started playing the piano at age six. “It helps me with my concentration,” she explains. With that she developed a maturity beyond her years. How many nine year-olds do you know who recognize, let alone will articulate, the contributions of “dedicated residents and volunteers in the community” that build press boxes and care for fields, keeping everything “tournament ready?” (Coach Dad names two people in particular who give generously of their time and energy, Ron and Kim Kroptavich).

New Jersey Baseball Magazine wishes Maeve Ducas nothing but the best of luck as she pursues her dream of a lifetime. She might end up becoming a world famous concert pianist for all anyone knows now; then again, she might just become the first woman to play Major League Baseball. When that happens, NJB will be right there with Coach Dad and her entire family to cheer her on.

After all, there’s really nothing to it.

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New Jersey Baseball & New Jersey Baseball Online are your original source for stories about the human interest side of baseball. Coverage ranges from travel team baseball and showcase tournaments to girls’ softball and women’s fast pitch to recruits and prospects; performance enhancing drugs and substances, such as steroids and human growth hormone (HGH); health & nutrition; sportsmanship; the best batting cages & baseball training academies, such as Frozen Ropes, The Hit Doctor, Zoned, Extra Innings, Batters Box, & Dave Gallagher Baseball Academy, women in baseball, youth baseball baseball history,, sports officiating and umpiring, field maintenance, men’s amateur baseball, and many others. NJB is also your first and best source for baseball rules and interpretations through its unique Ask The Ump feature.

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