Women in Baseball: All-American Girls Professional Baseball League

 

Women have been playing professional baseball since the 1940’s, however, this fact become more well known with Penny Marshall’s 1992 movie, “A League of Their Own.” The All-American Girls Professional Baseball League was initially owned by chewing gum mogul Philip K. Wrigley from 1943-1945. With America's entry into World War II, several major league baseball executives started a new professional league with women players in order to maintain baseball in the public eye while the majority of able men were away. Initial tryouts were held at Chicago's Wrigley Field.  

 

The women of the league were expected to act like ladies and had to abide to the rules of conduct and had to attend charm school to continue to act as a proper lady. Wrigley and his advertising agent promoted the new "Girls Baseball" as wholesome family entertainment for war workers. The uniforms worn by the female ballplayers consisted of a belted, short-sleeved tunic dress with a slight flare of the skirt. Rules stated that skirts were to be worn no more than six inches above the knee, but the regulation was most often ignored in order to facilitate running and fielding.  The AAGPBL peaked in attendance during the 1948 season, when 10 teams attracted 910,000 paid fans. The Rockford Peaches won the most league championships with four (1945, 1948, 1949, 1950). The Milwaukee/Grand Rapids Chicks were second with three (1944 in Milwaukee, 1947 and 1953 in Grand Rapids). The Racine Belles (1943 and 1946) and the South Bend Blue Sox (1951 and 1952) each won two, and the Kalamazoo Lassies won in the league's final season (1954). The league lasted from 1943 - 1954. The All American Girls Professional Baseball League memorabilia is enshrined in the Cooperstown, New York Hall of Fame. 

March 8, 2010 | E-mail | Comments (0) | Comment RSSRSS comment feed

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