The film was released July 1, 1992. Everything was going well with the war and for the League. He calculated this would maximize the use of the parks which were now only utilized 50% of the time. The committee recommended a girls' softball league be established to be prepared to go into Major League parks should attendance fall due to franchises losing too many quality players to attract crowds. Photo Credit: Florida Memory. The cities chosen were Racine and Kenosha Wisconsin, Rockford, Illinois, and South Bend, Indiana. This gave Wrigley the opportunity to try his dream of placing the girls' teams in Major League parks. Feel old yet? But in the years afterward, that number began to drop when the league became decentralized and there were no concentrated efforts to publicize the games. For the next two years the Colleens and Sallies became rookie training teams that played exhibition games and recruited new talent as they toured through the South and East. As revenues fell, individual teams were no longer able to support rookie training teams like the Colleens and Sallies, and funds were limited to advertise nationally as a way of recruiting scattered baseball talent. They were now involved deeply in displaying their abilities on the playing field. We come from cities near and far. They wore a one-piece short-skirted flared tunic, satin shorts, knee-high socks and baseball hat. In addition, femininity was a high priority.

The 1948 season was its peak, but as the 1950s rolled in attendance declined. Around 600 women suddenly got the opportunity of a lifetime – to play professional baseball in front of millions of fans. “Talk about crying in baseball — almost,” she said with a laugh. The top teams then competed in a series of play-off games to determine the League Champion. This regulation continues through the playoffs for all, even though your team is not participating. Official Website for the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League In many cases they were making more than their parents who had skilled occupations. All around the country an estimated 40,000 women played semipro softball in small towns and communities. Johnny Gottselig became the first manager of the Racine Belles in 1943, and managed his team to the first recognized World Championship of the newly organized AAGPBL. As the author of this blog, I (Jess Zimmerman) create posts based upon cited sources. Photo Credit: Florida Memory, Dorothy “Dottie” Schroeder Photo Credit: History by Zim via the Louisville Slugger Museum. Susan, thank you for sharing!

Digital producer Gabrielle Wright contributed to this report. Batter up! Hunter Clauss is a digital editor at WBEZ. The actresses had to hone their baseball skills for the movie, and O’Donnell actually could throw two baseballs at once. No drinking or smoking in public, though “limited portions” of “intoxicating drinks” were allowed with meals after a game. Several of the players had husbands and brothers overseas and many had relatives in the service. The first major issue facing the trustees was to establish what game of ball was going to be played by the women and to define the rules for this new brand of ball.
Like the men's teams, all the games were reported with articles and box scores and sometimes the papers even ran photographs. Midway in the first season of play, the board of trustees changed the League's name to All-American Girls Baseball League (AAGBBL) to make it distinctive from the existing softball leagues and because the rules of play were those of Major League Baseball. The rules were modified each year to lengthen infield distances and approve first side-arm pitching (1946) and overhand pitching (1948). The smaller cities received extensive media support. After their daily practices, the women were required to attend Rubenstein's evening charm school classes.

It was believed that by acquiring notable men sports figures as managers for the girls' teams, there would be greater curiosity and interest by the public. Some foods, luxury items, tires and gasoline were rationed. © Life Magazine June 1945. I’m actually from Minnesota too.