Women at Play: The Story of Women in Baseball

Overview

Girls and women have played baseball (hardball: the real thing) from the beginning. Soon after professional baseball started up in 1869, women formed "base ball clubs" and - wearing heavy stockings and striped, shortened dresses - challenged men's teams across the country. One star pitcher, Maud Nelson, often struck out four or five men in the first few innings of a game. After World War I, these "Bloomer Girl" teams, such as the Philadelphia Bobbies and the Chicago All-Star Ranger Girls, proliferated. During the...
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Overview

Girls and women have played baseball (hardball: the real thing) from the beginning. Soon after professional baseball started up in 1869, women formed "base ball clubs" and - wearing heavy stockings and striped, shortened dresses - challenged men's teams across the country. One star pitcher, Maud Nelson, often struck out four or five men in the first few innings of a game. After World War I, these "Bloomer Girl" teams, such as the Philadelphia Bobbies and the Chicago All-Star Ranger Girls, proliferated. During the 1930s women such as Jackie Mitchell pitched against major leaguers; in one memorable exhibition game, Mitchell struck out Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig. In 1943 the first and only women's professional baseball league was born, the one featured in the hit movie "A League of Their Own." Nearly 600 women, all of them skilled athletes, earned a living by playing on all-female baseball teams in the All-American Girls Baseball League. Sophie Kurys of the Racine Belles was one such player, an aggressive infielder who in 1946 stole a phenomenal 201 bases. After the AAGBL's demise in 1954, women's baseball entered a period of doldrums, but with the successful integration of Little League, coaches began to help girls develop their baseball talents. With the admission of women to umpire ranks in the minors and the sexual integration of baseball on the college level, some say that the first woman baseball player in the majors is only now a matter of time. Is a woman's place at home ... plate? Women at Play is the first book to tell the whole fascinating story. Drawing on pioneering original research and interviews with many of the women who made - and are now making - baseball history, with some 70 photographs and illustrations, this is a handsome and thoroughly entertaining book that will prove an eye-opener to even the most informed baseball fan.

Girls and women have played baseball from the beginning. Women at Play is the first book to tell the whole fascinating story, drawing on pioneering original research and interviews with many of the women who made--and are now making--baseball history. An entertaining and eye-opening book with 60 period photographs and illustrations.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
The 12-year existence of the All-American Girls Baseball League, as depicted in last summer's hit movie "A League of Their Own," is only the culmination of a long history of women being paid for playing baseball not softball. Did you know that hundreds of "bloomer teams'' barnstormed the East and Midwest from the 1890s to 1935, playing against men's teams? Or that a few women played American Legion and minor league ball until the organizations officially banned women? Or that in a 1931 exhibition game, Jackie Mitchell, age 17, struck out Lou Gehrig and Babe Ruth? Gregorich, author of the woman-plays-pro-ball novel She's on First LJ 1/5/87, here focuses on personalities and teams, relying on newspaper accounts and teammates' reminiscences. Women loving baseball and struggling to leap men's roadblocks are the themes of this attractive and unique book. Recommended for popular collections.-- Kathy Ruffle, Coll. of New Caledonia Lib., Prince George, B . C.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780156982979
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
  • Publication date: 3/1/1993
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 214
  • Product dimensions: 8.04 (w) x 7.98 (h) x 0.64 (d)

Table of Contents

Introduction
Acknowledgments
The Early Years 1
Maud Nelson 6
Lizzie Arlington 13
Amanda Clement 17
Alta Weiss 22
Lizzie Murphy 27
The Western Bloomer Girls 32
The Bold Years 37
Margaret Nobel and the New York Bloomer Girls 42
Edith Houghton and the Philadelphia Bobbies 52
Margaret Gisolo 60
Jackie Mitchell 66
Babe Didrikson 73
The All Star Ranger Girls 79
The League Years 83
Dorothy Kamenshek 90
Winter and Wisniewski 96
The Minneapolis Millerettes 107
Rose Gacioch 114
Sophie Kurys 122
The Rockford Peaches 131
Jean Faut 141
Isabel Alvarez 150
Lois Youngen 158
The Modern Years 165
Toni Stone 169
The Sun Sox 177
Gera and Postema 184
Julie Croteau 197
Epilogue 206
Photo and Permissions Acknowledgments 209
Index 210
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