Already Postema has lasted longer than her two female predecessors. In 1977, after two years of umpiring, Christine Wren quit for a better-paying job at, coincidentally, UPS. Wren is remembered for the occasion a manager in Eugene, Ore. got mad at a call she'd made, stormed the field, got right in her face and said, "Smile if you love me."
The first female umpire, Bernice Gera, had to go to court to fight her way into the Class A New York-Pennsylvania League. The case was settled in her favor in 1972, but she left her first game crying after seven innings. She never umped again. Gera got the courts to waive the minor leagues' size requirement—it had been 5'10", 160 pounds—which is fortunate for Postema, who's 5'8", 150.
Postema didn't know the story of Gera's foreshortened career until recently. When told, she asked, "Why would anyone work so long and hard and then quit?" Postema's willing to wait a while longer. "I'm not in any rush, but everyone has a deadline," she says. "You can never think you're not going to make it.
"The hours are good, I like to travel, and I feel like one of the guys. But the odds of making it are so slim. Unless you really love baseball, it isn't worth a year or two of your life. Don't get me wrong. I love baseball. I just don't know how I did it. And I don't know if I could do it again."