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How did Womens Baseball start(AAGPBL), why? And the history of the All-American Girls Professional Baseball league

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Mauvy Allan

on 15 March 2014

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Transcript of How did Womens Baseball start(AAGPBL), why? And the history of the All-American Girls Professional Baseball league

How it started and History
Rules of the game
How did Womens Baseball start(AAGPBL), why? And the history of the All-American Girls Professional Baseball league
End of the league
The league officialy started in 1943 with only 4 teams:
*Kenosha Comets
*Racine Belles
*Rockford Peaches
*South Bend Blue Sox
Only two of the original four teams played all 12 years of the league's existence. They were the Rockford Peaches and the South Bend Blue Sox.
The league was formed because in the fall of 1942,
many minor league teams disbanded due to the war. Men, 18 years of age and over, were being drafted so there was a fear of this continuing and then not having enough teams and players. This caught Philip K. Wrigley, the chewing-gum mogul who had inherited the Chicago Cubs' Major League Baseball franchise from his father, attention. Philip wanted to find a solution for this problem so they could still keep the men and women at home entertained if the minor league couldn't play. They had hundreds of girls come to try out, ages as young as 15. Once the final teams were made the league had them sign contracts that issued they were not allowed to have any other occupations during the baseball season. In addition, femininity was a high priority. Wrigley contracted with Helena Rubenstein's Beauty Salon to meet with the players at spring training. After their daily practices, the women were required to attend Rubenstein's evening charm school classes.
Wrigley didn't exactly feel like the league would draw a crowd with just the game. He thought that the fact that the players were girls he could get men to come and pay more to see the "show". In the All American Girls League they had to wear skirts and look like ladies at all times. They protested about being able to wear pants but they were never allowed. They attracted more crowds because of that. The guys would look at there short skirts, then look at there legs and wonder how they could slide without taking all the hide off themselves. Well, they did take the hide off themselves. They didn't have a choice, femininity was a high priority. Since they loved the game even if the crowd was there for a different reason they still played there best. Most players would get horrible burns and scars up there legs from sliding because the skirt would just go up. Wrigley contracted with Helena Rubenstein's Beauty Salon to meet with the players at spring training. After their daily practices, the women were required to attend Rubenstein's evening charm school classes.The Charm classes were to make sure the womens actions and appearance both on and off the field reflect on the whole profession. Since the league was doing well with lots of fans, the girls were expected to keep up proper etiquette. They had classes on proper speech and classes on beauty techniques.
How does baseball as played in the All-American Girls' League differ from men's baseball? Well there were a few differences and changes that occurred from 1943 through 1954. All in all, the rules, strategy and general play were the same. Differences were only in the distances between the bases, the distance from the pitching mound to home plate, the size of the ball, and pitching styles. These differences varied from the beginning of the league, progressively extending the length of the base paths and pitching distance and decreasing the size of the ball until the final year of play. That year, 1954, the league was using an official men's baseball with pitching distances the same as the men. The length of the base paths, however, remained shorter than regulation baseball by 5 feet. "Girl's baseball began in 1943 with a 12 inch ball which was pitched underhand a distance of 40 feet. The base paths were 65 feet in length. The league quickly adopted a smaller ball in mid-season of 1943, extended pitching distance to 42 feet and base paths to 68 feet. This game was modified fast pitch softball which was played with baseball rules, including leading off bases. The pitching distance and the base paths were, however, longer than regulation softball. Modifications were made throughout the league's history, including changing to pitching overhand in 1948"
The league ended in 1954 with a total of 12 years running. When the league first started it didn't have many fans and wasn't thought of as "professional." During the first few years it became more and more popular. Fans got into the game and supported there home teams. The players were becoming known in there home towns and cities and the league was becoming more competitive. The All-American Girls Professional Baseball League gave over 600 women athletes the opportunity to play professional baseball and to play it at a level never before attained. The League operated from 1943 to 1954 and represents one of the most unique aspects of our nation's baseball history.
1943 Kenosha Comets
Photograph Lineup
Back, L-R: - "Josh" Billings (Manager), Audrey Wagner, Ethel McCreary, Elsie Harney, Ann Harnett, Janice O`Hara, Ada Ryan (Chaperone).
Middle, L-R: - Phyllis Koehn, Kay Heim, Joyce Westerman, Helen Nicol, Darlene Mickelsen.
Front, L-R: - Clara Cook, Merna Nearing, Mary Louise Lester, Shirley Jameson, Pauline Pirok
1943 Racine Belles

Photograph Lineup
Back, L-R: Charlotte Smith, Joanne Winter, Johnny Gottselig (Manager), Mary Nesbitt, Dorothy Hunter, Marie Anderson (Chaperone).
Middle, L-R: Eleanor Dapkus, Sophie Kurys, Dorothy Wind, Gloria Marks, Dorothy Maguire, Margaret Danhauser.
Front, L-R: Irene Hickson, Edythe Perlick, Clara "Claire" Schillace, Anne Jane Thompson, Madeline English

A League of Their Own is a 1992 American comedy-drama film that tells a fictionalized story about the real-life All-American Girls Professional Baseball League (AAGPBL). The film was Directed by Penny Marshall, it stars Tom Hanks, Geena Davis, Rosie O'Donnell, and Madonna. The film shows you what it was like during that time with the girls league.
This is the "A League of Their Own" trailer to give an insight of the AAGPBL.
A League of Their Own
1943 Rockford Peaches
Photograph Lineup
Back, L-R: Clara Cook, Dorothy "Kammie" Kamenshek, Gladys "Terry" Davis, Eileen Burmeister, Josephine Skokan, Ethel McCreary, Rella Swamp, Lillian Jackson, Betty Fritz, Marie Timm (Chaperone).
Front, L-R: Eddie Stumpf (Manager), Millie Warwick, Pauline Oravets, Dorothy Sawyer, Helen Nelson, Lorraine Wuethrich, Marjorie Peters, Olive Little. (Berith Melin & Betty Moczynski absent from photo.)
1943 South Bend Blue Sox
Photograph Lineup
Back, L-R: Bert Niehoff (Manager), Muriel Coben, Ellen Tronnier, Johanna "Jo" Hageman, Geraldine Shafranas, Betty McFadden, Rose Virginia Way (Chaperone).
Middle L-R: Lois Florreich, Betsy Jochum, Josephine "Jo" D'Angelo, Margaret Berger, Dorothy Schroeder, Mary Holda.
Front, L-R: Doris Barr, Mary Baker, Lucella MacLean, Marge Stefani.
Examples of some of the injuries from sliding
This is what would happen when they slide. They have no protection on there legs for when they slide on the ground.
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