Female sports media pioneer dies at 72

Alison Gordon, BBWAA's first female member, was on Blue Jays beat from 1979-84

Female sports media pioneer dies at 72

The first female member of the Baseball Writers' Association of America, Alison Gordon, died in Toronto on Thursday at age 72.

Gordon was a pioneer for women in sports media as the first female beat writer to cover a Major League club. Her BBWAA press credential infamously listed her name as Mr. Alison Gordon.

She assumed the Blue Jays beat at the Toronto Star in 1979 and covered the team for five seasons. She was among the first female reporters to enter a big league clubhouse.

"The Toronto Blue Jays are saddened to learn of the passing of Alison Gordon, who covered the club for the Toronto Star beginning in 1979," president and CEO Paul Beeston said in a statement. "Allison was a pioneer in journalism opening the door for many to follow, as she was the first female writer to cover Major League Baseball on a full-time basis. On behalf of the Toronto Blue Jays, I extend my sincere condolences to Alison's family and friends."

Gordon also authored five mystery novels featuring a female sports reporter as the protagonist, as well as a nonfiction account of her experience on the Blue Jays beat.

Funeral arrangements for Gordon have not been announced.

Chad Thornburg is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.