“Dirt on Their Skirts” Ashley Ravo Capstone 2009
Core Question How can a Coventry High School sophomore show eighth graders how the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League has had an effect on society?
Why did I choose this topic? • I am interested in baseball. • I want to learn more baseball history. • I wanted to choose a topic I could work into my National History Day project. • “A League of Their Own”
Learning Stretch • I will learn how to create an organized presentation for a group of students and a panel of judges. • I will learn how to compile and organize the research necessary to educate others about a specific topic. • I will learn how to present a formal presentation with confidence. • I will learn about my core question which is, “How can a Coventry High School sophomore show eighth graders how the All-American Girls Baseball League has had an effect on society?” • I will learn how to stay organized and on a schedule.
The idea for a league came about when minor league teams disbanded because players were going to fight in WWII. Philip Wrigley was worried this would happen to MLB teams as well, so he told Ken Sells to come up with an idea on how to save the parks from possible closure. In 1943, the AAGPBL began their first season with 108 games and 4 teams. Over time, the league was sold to Arthur Meyerhoff when it was realized major league teams would not disband. The league climaxed with 10 teams and then began to lose popularity. The league disbanded in 1954 when MLB games were broadcasted on TV and AAGPBL games were not. General League History • Lesko, Jeneane. "League History." All-American Girls Professional Baseball League. Sept.-Oct. 2008 <http://www.aagpbl.org/league/history.cfm>.
Rosie the Riveter was a 1940s icon that was an inspiration to women during the war. She inspired women to take jobs a man would normally have in order to help out with the war. This helped encourage women to join the league and leave their typical housewife duties. Rosie the Riveter • "Prelude to Women's Baseball, WWII." Open-Site Free Internet Encyclopedia. 24 Sept. 2008 <http://open-site.org/sports/baseball/history/all_american_girls_baseball_league>
Player salary was about $75 a week. The league gave women better opportunities to increase their education and quality of life. The AAGPBL lead to the formation of women’s professional golf (LPGA) Salary and Lifestyle Improvements • Pierman, Carol J. The All-American Girls Professional Baseball League: Accomplishing Great Things in a Dangerous World. 97-101
The number of teams in the league ranged from 4 to 10 teams. Teams were added and disbanded depending on finances and advertisement. The league started and ended with 4 teams. The league had 10 teams during two seasons. The amount of teams peaks when advertisement was strongest and dwindles when the league loses popularity. Teams • "Teams of the AAGPBL." 10 Oct 2008 <http://www.nocryinginbaseball.com/women/teams.html
Charm School • All players had to attend Charm School. • Players were given beauty kits and beauty routines they had to follow so they would always look presentable. • Players had to have a proper etiquette that portrayed the image of the “All-American Girl.” • "AAGBPL Charm School Pamphlet." 1 Oct 2008 <http://baseball-fever.com/archive/index.php/t-27483.html>.
“Belles of the Ball Game” • Teams played about six games a week. • The league started with underhand pitching and switched to overhand in 1948. • League proved the women didn’t have to sacrifice their femininity to do things in a man’s world. • Players worked out and practiced all day and then attended Charm School at night. • Fincher, Jack. ""The 'Belles of the Ball Game' were a hit with their fans"." July 1989 88-97. 17 Oct 2008 <http://www.aagpbl.org/articles/general.cfm?ID=2>.
Manager’s Point of View • Managers sometimes got frustrated with players because sometimes married players got pregnant during the season. • By the 7th season, 17 managers had quit because there was no future in managing women’s baseball. • At the time the managers thought someday they would be able to play in MLB parks while the major league teams were playing away games. • "Belles of the Ball Game": Women's Professional Baseball League Thrives in the 1940s." 8 Oct 2008 <http://historymatters.gmu.edu/d/6251>.
Lesko found out about the league when a boy’s father on her baseball team told her about a news article he read. At the time women playing sports was considered being a “tomboy.” Players felt patriotic during games but they didn’t know at the time why the league was formed. It allowed people to forget about the war and depression for a while and was cheap entertainment. Player’s Point of View This interview was between Jeanie Des Combes Lesko, a pitcher from the Grand Rapid Chicks, and Leanna Kamrath. The V for victory before each game was a way for players and fans to be patriotic. • Combes Lesko, Jeanie. "Interview with Jeanie Des Combes Lesko, Pitcher, Grand Rapids Chicks, 1953-54 By Leanna Kamrath, San Dimas, CA,." Interview with Leanna Kamrath. All-American Girls Professional Baseball League.
Sports and Economy • Studies show that local sports events attract large amounts of people that are willing to spend their money at these events. • This allows businesses to earn money which helps the economy. • Ballparks were able to earn money from people coming to games. • Players in the league were able to earn a living from playing in the league and have a better life. • “Developing Local Markets Through Sport." International Platform on Sport and Development/ Sport as a Means to Build Skills for Employability. 3 Oct. 2008 <http://www.sportanddev.org/learnmore/sport_and_economic_development/sport_as_a_means_to_build_skills_for_employability/index.cfm>.
“A League of Their Own” • This movie portrays a good idea of what the league was like. • None of the characters in the movie were based on players in the league. • Players did not do the “flashy” things on the field like the characters did. • "AAGPBL FAQ." All-American Girls Professional Baseball League. 17 Sept. 2008 <http://www.aagpbl.org/faq.cfm?qid=7>.
Obstacles and Solutions • Trying to find different sources that provided me with accurate information that was related to my project was a challenge. • I overcame this by searching every website that had potential information I could use in my PowerPoint. • I had to be patient and reading everything in order to find what I needed.
Obstacles and Solutions (cont.) • Trying to get accurate information on what exactly it is I need to do my project. • I kept looking online and trying different websites until I finally found everything I needed to make the PowerPoint. • After presenting to the eighth grade, the teacher of the class I presented to made suggestions of what could possibly make the presentation better.
Obstacles and Solutions (cont.) • Trying to find a time when I could come and present to the eight grade that fit my schedule and the teacher’s schedule. • My mom had to take the day out of work to take me to the middle school to present. • I was almost late because the office did not call me down when my mom arrived at the school even though they told her they would.
Obstacles and Solutions (cont.) The class had lunch in the middle of class, so it was hard to get the kids to focus and pay attention to the presentation. The kids aren’t quite aware of the importance of Capstone, so some of them did not feel as though this was important and therefore they did not put effort into the worksheets. Middle school classes are not organized into levels so the kids in this class were of mixed abilities. This meant not all of the worksheets would be completed to the best of each students abilities.
Students were able to learn about the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League through my presentation. Students preformed better on the crossword puzzle than on the final survey questions. Dealing with different abilities is challenging but it is something you have to overcome. Final Reflection Summary
Answer to Core Question Gathering research about the league. Finding important facts within the research. Using facts to design an educational slide show at an 8th grade level. Making activity sheets for students to fill out during and after the presentation to enforce learning and keep students engaged in the presentation. Grading papers to prove students learned new information from the presentation. A CHS sophomore can teach 8th graders about the AAGPBL by…
I was able to successfully design a presentation suitable for a class of eighth graders that flowed well and was not confusing. I was able to create this slide show in an organized manner appropriate for its viewers. Learning Stretch I will learn how to create an organized presentation for a group of students and a panel of judges.
Learning Stretch (cont.) I was able to find 10 sources containing information about my topic. I was able to read through each source and highlight the most important and necessary facts within the sources. These facts were organized into a slide show. I will learn how to compile and organize the research necessary to educate others about a specific topic.
Learning Stretch (cont.) I was able to present to a class of 26 students in the eighth grade. I was able to present this slide show in front of my Capstone class and teacher. I am presenting it right now in front of a panel of judges who will determine whether or not I pass or fail this project. I will learn how to present a formal presentation with confidence.
Before I could teach others about the AAGPBL, I had to learn more about it myself. By using a variety of sources I was able to gain more knowledge about the league. By teaching others about the AAGPBL I was able to prove my knowledge. Learning Stretch (cont.) I will learn about my core question which is, “How can a Coventry High School sophomore show eighth graders how the All-American Girls Baseball League has had an effect on society?”
This entire process requires a schedule of dates for journals, reflections, presentation dates, ect. I had to keep on schedule to make sure this project got done. Organization was key to make sure each component was in my binder and in both slide shows I made. Learning Stretch (cont.) I will learn how to stay organized and on a schedule.
So what did I learn? Of course, I learned about the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League. I learned the reasons it began, addition of teams, why the league disbanded, and the lasting affects the league had on society.
Dealing with people’s differences I learned that people have different abilities and can only help you to a certain extent. Sometimes you have to be independent and find the answer to your problems yourself if no one can help you. I learned the challenges of being a teacher and having to deal with students that might not always cooperate in situations.
Procrastination gets you nowhere. This is not a project you can still complete successfully if you procrastinate. Waiting until the last minute to finish anything, even just a journal, can be very stressful. I would recommend to other students completing their Capstone to use every minute of time to their advantage to stay ahead and be ready for each deadline.
Independence I learned I need to rely on myself to ask questions and get answers. I learned that if I can not get answers when I ask for them I need to use other sources to find the answers for myself. Its up to me to make sure I get everything done that I need to do. I am my own responsibility.
Thank you to… • Mr. Kiley, my Capstone teacher, for guiding me through this process. • Mr. Mitchell, an 8th grade social studies teacher at the Coventry middle school, for allowing me to present to his class. • The students of the class I presented to for listening to my presentation and filling out the worksheets. • My friends and family that helped me through this process and encouraged me to do my best.