Maria Pepe (born 1960) is best known for being one of the first girls to play Little Leaguebaseball. In 1972, at age 12, she pitched three Little League games for a Young Democrats team in Hoboken, New Jersey.
This was the same team which her friends from the neighborhood had joined, so she joined as well, after having been invited to play by Little League coach Jim Farina. The refusal to allow Pepe to play attracted the attention of the National Organization for Women (NOW).
A court case began on Pepe's behalf, which was supported by NOW. Ultimately the New Jersey Superior Court decided that Little League must allow girls to try out. As a result, the Little League organization began a program specifically for girls starting in 1974.
Pepe became a minor celebrity and drew media attention to various women's causes at the time.The New York Yankees made her an honorary "Yankee for a day".