Pioneering sports reporter and fiction author Alison Gordon died early Thursday morning in a Toronto hospital, family confirm.

Gordon was assigned to cover the Toronto Blue Jays in 1979, becoming one of the first female sports reporters.

Alison Gordon

Alison Gordon was fondly remembered by Blue Jays players after she became the first female to cover the team.

Baseball Writers Association of America infamously issued her press accreditation as Mr. Alison Gordon, as it had no female-specific or gender-neutral honorifics at that time.

Gordon was also one of the first females allowed into a Major League Baseball locker room, which was controversial at the time but since paved the way for female sports reporters. She was also the first woman on the American League beat, the division of baseball the Jays play in.

She previously worked for CBC in radio and television.

Gordon was also the author of the Kate Henry series of mystery novels, which focus on a heroine sports writer who solves murders in professional baseball. She published five novels from 1988 to 1997.

She was 72 years old.