The All-American Girls Professional Baseball League 1943-1954 Players for the 1944 South Bend Blue Sox From 1875-1934, “Bloomer Girls” played men’s minor league teams around the country. After this stopped, many women played on semi-professional softball teams, but no
Players for the 1944 South Bend Blue Sox
teams around the country. After this stopped, many
women played on semi-professional softball teams, but no
women played baseball.
President Roosevelt wrote
the “Green Light Letter”
to Kenesaw Landis, the
Commissioner of Baseball,
saying that Major
League Baseball should
continue for the good
of the country.
People still worried that
the league would have to
War II, women across the
country pitched in to help with
the war effort. Women
“pitching in?” Hhhmmm...
Cubs, had an idea. Female softball players
would form a professional league. He
enlisted the help of several major league
owners including Branch Rickey, to be
trustees. He also hired former MLB
players such as Jimmy Foxx to manage.
Philip K. Wrigley
Wrigley sent scouts around to softball teams. In May of 1943, 280 women were invited to Wrigley Field to compete for 64 spots on four teams. The women came from 26 states and five Canadian provinces.
In the spring of 1943, the
All-American Girls Softball
League was formed.
The first four players signed were
Clara Schilace, Ann Harnett, Edie Perlick
and Shirley Jamerson (sitting).
The original four teams of the All-American Girls
Professional Baseball League (Wrigley changed the
name halfway through the first season) were...
The Muskegon Lassies (1946-1950)
moved to Kalamazoo (1950-1954).
The Milwaukee Chicks (1944)
moved to Grand Rapids (1945-1954)
The Chicago Colleens
and the Springfield Sallies
lasted only a year: 1948.
The Fort Wayne Daisies
The Battle Creek Belles
The Peoria Red Wings: 1946-1951
each team had a female chaperone.
More than two-thirds of the players
were between the ages of 17 and 22.
Uniforms were very feminine and
unpractical. Players wore belted
dresses with satin briefs underneath,
along with high socks.
that the players act like
ladies at all times. For
the first several years
of the league, the players
attended charm school
at night. At left is an
AAGPBL guide on how to
dress, act and apply
rationing, folks couldn’t travel, and
the games gave them hometown
Often the teams played at military
bases and veterans’ hospitals.
During World War
Two, the teams
would form a
“V” for “Victory”
during the anthem.
Fun fact: Thanks to
portable lights, the first
night game ever played at
Wrigley Field was on July
1, 1943 at an AAGPBL
biggest draw. These ladies could play! The rules changed
as the league grew, and by 1954, they were almost exactly
like those of Major League Baseball.
Faye Dancer sliding into third base
The players worked hard: daily games, two on Sundays, traveling often. During rationing, they went by train, switching to buses after the War. Most players were paid well for the times; starting weekly salaries ranged from $40 - $85, with some making $125.
Player treated for a
while sliding into a base.
Players had the same worries as other
American women; one night, Mickey Maguire played minutes after learning her husband had been killed in action.
After debuting at 15, Dottie Schroeder was
the only player to play all 12 years in the League.
Annabelle “Lefty” Lee,
throwing a knuckleball,
became the first player
to throw a no-hitter in the League.
Sophie Kurys, “The Flint Flash,” was a star player for the Racine Belles. In 1946, she played so well that she was featured on the back cover of the 1947 Major League Baseball Yearbook; Stan Musial was on the front cover.
Her most amazing accomplishment? In 1946 alone, she stole 201 bases out of 203 tries. That
record is unequaled to this day, even allowing for distance discrepancy. AND she did it in a skirt!
first baseman, the best all-around player
in the League, and a seven-time All-Star.
the League’s first
Player of the Year.
After seeing Dottie Schroeder in action at
shortstop, he said, “If that girl were a man,
she’d be worth $50,000 to me.”
won by The Racine
Cartoon poster featuring
Girls Professional Baseball League folded in 1954.
Among the contributions to its demise were the
growth of television, other ways of spending free time,
and regressive views of women’s roles in society.
Girls Professional Baseball League were
finally recognized at the opening of a
permanent exhibition at Cooperstown.
Museums around the country honor
the players as well.
President Ford to Vivian
Kellogg, who played for
the Fort Wayne Daisies.
co-written by LaVonne Paire-Davis and Nalda Phillips
Batter up! Hear that call!
The time has come for one and all
To play ball. For we’re the members of
the All-American League,
We come from cities near and far.
We've got Canadians, Irishmen and Swedes,
We're all for one, we’re one for all,
Each girl stands, her head so proudly high,
Her motto Do or Die.
She’s not the one to use or need an alibi.
Our chaperones are not too soft,
They’re not too tough,
Our managers are on the ball.
We’ve got a president who really knows his stuff,
We’re all for one, we’re one for all,
-All-American Girls Professional Baseball League logo. Retrieved October 12, 2004 from
-1944 Candid Blue Sox. Retrieved October 12, 2004 from aagpbl.org/photos/phm44sb.html.
-Western Bloomer Girls. Retrieved October 14, 2004 from http://www.vbba.org/images/pics/bloomer.jpg
-Green Light Letter written by President Franklin Delano Roosevelt to baseball commissioner Kenesaw M. Landis. Retrieved October 13, 2004 from
-Rosie the Riveter. Retrieved October 12, 2004 from www.tamucc.edu/wiki/KathrynGrubaugh/PortfolioOne.
-Who Said Girls Can’t Play Baseball? Located at Grand Rapids History and Special Collections Center. Retrieved
October 12, 2004 from http://www.grpl.org/coll/grhsty_spcoll/exhibits/baseball/
-Philip K. Wrigley at the ballpark, CHS-DN-99483. Retrieved October 13, 2004 from
-Branch Rickey. /http://www.baseballhalloffame.org/hofers_and_honorees/hofer_bios/images/
-Jimmy Foxx. Retrieved October 13, 2004 from http://members.aol.com/jsoco3/jfoxx.jpgmar99/mar99fact2g.htmlReferences
-See the girls play ball today poster. Retrieved October 12, 2004 from www.aagpbl.org.
-Women got a baseball league of their own. Photo courtesy of Baseball Hall of Fame. Retrieved October
12, 2004 from www.kcstar.com/sports/history/junerep.html.
-All-American Girls Softball League Official Program. www.aagpbl.org
- Rockford v. Kenosha poster. Retrieved October 12, 2004 from ali.apple.com/.../ files/gifs/phposter5.gif
-Box lid from a ‘47 MacGregor Goldsmith baseball. Retrieved October 13, 2004 from
-1943 Kenosha Comets. Retrieved October 13, 2004 from www.aagpbl.org/photos/phtp43kc.html.
-1946 Kenosha Comets Yearbook. Retrieved October 12, 2004 from www.aagpbl.org.
-Kenosha Comets logo. Retrieved October 13, 2004 from www.logoserver.com/AAGPBL.html.
-1943 Racine Belles. Retrieved October 12, 2004 from www.aagpbl.org/photos/phtp43rb.html. Photo
contributed by Kay Bowser from the Mackie Peters collection.
-1946 Racine Belles Yearbook. Retrieved October 12, 2004 from www.aagpbl.org.
-1946 Racine Belles logo. Retrieved October 12, 2004 from www.logoserver.com/AAGPBL.html.
Slide ten: -1944 Rockford Peaches. Retrieved October 12, 2004 from www.aagpbl.org/photos/phtp44rp.html
-Rockford Peaches yearbook. Retrieved October 12, 2004 from www.aagpbl.org.
-Rockford Peaches logo. Retrieved October 12, 2004 from www.logoserver.com/AAGPBL.html.
Slide eleven:l-1943 So. Bend Blue Sox. Retrieved October 12, 2004, www.aagpbl.org/photos.phtp.43bs.html.
-South Bend Blue Sox yearbook. Retrieved October 12, 2004 from www.aagpbl.org.
South Bend Blue Sox logo. Retrieved October 12, 2004 from www.logoserver.com/AAGPBL.html.References, continued
-The other AAGPBL teams logos. All Retrieved October 13, 2004 from logoserver.com/AAGPBL.html.
-Fort Wayne Daisies and Peoria Redwings yearbooks. Both retrieved October 13, 2004 from
-Fort Wayne players. Retrieved October 12, 2004, www.baseball-almanac.com/hero/doris-sams_JOES.jpg
Kalamazoo Lassies uniform, worn by Gloria Cordes.Retrieved October 13, 2004 from fmnh.org/trivia5.html.
-A Guide for All American Girls. Retrieved October 13, 2004 from
-V is for Victory 1945. Retrieved October 12, 2004 from http://eteamz.active.com/hallfame/albums/index.cfm?id=134685&picture=920922.
-1944 advertisement. Retrieved October 12, 2004 from www.chicagohs.org/AOTM/mar99/mar99fact1.html
-Cover of an official 1944 schedule. Contributed by Jim Sargent. Retrieved October 13, 2004 from http://www.aagpbl.org/graphics/phmp44os.jpg.
-Faye Dancer sliding into third. Retrieved October 12, 2004 from http://eteamz.active.com/hallfame/albums/index.cfm?id=133054&picture=906150.
-Ouch! That iodine has got to hurt! From “The Belles of the Ballgame a hit with their fan” by Jack Fincer, Smithsonian Magazine, July 1989, p. 84. Retrieved October 12, 2004 from www.aagpbl.org/phipdgc.html.
-Dorothy “Mickey” Maguire at bat for the Muskegon Lassies. Courtesy of the National Baseball Hall of Fame Library, Cooperstown, New York. Retrieved October 13, 2004 from www.chicagohs.org/AOTM/mar99/mar99fact1.html.
-Dottie Schroeder: Portrait on the cover of Parade magazine in August 1948. Retrieved October 12, 2004 from www.aagpbl.org/ photos/phipdds.html.
-Jean Faut poster. Retrieved October 13, 2004 from http://www.aagpbl.org/graphics/arti_jf1.jpg.
-Joanne Weaver: Duchess of the Diamond. Retrieved October 13, 2004 from http://jordan.fortwayne.com/ns/sports/top50/art/weaver.jpg
-Annabelle Lee, from the June 4, 1945 edition of LIFE magazine. Retrieved October 13, 2004 from www.oddball-mall.com/knuckleball.
-Sophie Kurys. Photo courtesy of the Northern Indiana Historical Society. Retrieved October 12, 2004 from http://www.exploratorium.edu/baseball/kurys_2.html
-Dottie Kamenshek Rockford Peaches card. Retrieved October 13, 2004 from http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&category=53&item=5129531467&rd=1#ebayphotohosting
Slide twenty-one, continued:
-Connie Wisniewski. Connie Wisniewski photo collection is housed at the National Baseball Hall of Fame Library. Retrieved October 13, 2004 from http://www.aagpbl.org/graphics/arti_cw2.jpg
-Philadelphia Athletics legendary manager Connie Mack joins the Kenosha Comets in the dugout during a home game. Photo courtesy of National Baseball Library, Cooperstown, New York. Retrieved October 12, 2004 from http://ghills.metamora.k12.il.us/webquest/dubois/girlsbaseball.htm
-1946 playoff trophy. From the official 1947 AAGPBL yearbook. Retrieved October 12, 2004 from
-Faye Dancer cartoon poster. Retrieved October 12, 2004 from http://eteamz.active.com/hallfame/albums/index.cfm?id=133054&picture=906152
-The good wife’s guide. Retrieved October 13, 2004 from www.alcade.net/me/junk.
-Housewife in kitchen. Retrieved October 13, 2004 from quazynet.no-ip.org?gerry/goddess.html.
-National Baseball Hall of Fame logo. Retrieved October 12, 2004 from baseballhalloffame.org.
-National Baseball Hall of Fame, view of exterior. Retrieved October 12, 2004 from baseballhalloffame.org.
--Ball signed by Springfield Sallies and Chicago Colleens. Retrieved October 12, 2004 from http://users.rowan.edu/~shontz/refpathfinder2003/baseball/baseball/html
-Baseball mitt used by Betty Weaver Foss. Retrieved October 13, 2004 from www.baseballhalloffame.org.
-1954 Lassie’s Catcher’s Mask.Retrieved Oct.13, 2004 from www.aagpbl.org/ photos/phmp54cm.html
-Letter written by Gerald Ford to Vivian Kellogg. Retrieved October 13, 2004 from http://www.thediamondangle.com/archive/dec02/kellogg.html-Vivian Kellogg Baseball Card. Retrieved October 14, 2004 from http://www.aagpbl.org/graphics/arti_vk1.jpg
-Grand Rapids memorabilia. Retrieved October 13, 2004 from
-Rockford Peaches pennant. From the collection of Suzanne Atkins, a former Rockford Peach. Retrieved October 13, 2004 from http://talent.ed.uiuc.edu/baseballquest/peaches/peaches.htm
Dottie Stolze: The Big Swing. Retrieved October 12, 2004 from http://www.markreubengallery.com/bs_baseball/bs_0341.html