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Thursday, May 14, 2015

Girls in Baseball

Last week, on NPR's Only a Game, there was a repeat broadcast about girls in baseball, click here to listen.

The subject of girls in baseball was made popular by the 1992 film, A League of Their Own. The film fictionalized the girls' baseball leagues that sprung up during World War II due to the lack of male players, many of whom went off to serve in the military.

The League of the film's title was All-American Girls Professional Baseball League. After the film's release, many books were released on the League. Here are two titles in our collection:

Macy, Sue. A Whole New Ball Game: The Story of the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League. [J 796.357 MAC]

Rappaport, Doreen. Dirt on Their Skirts: The Story of the Young Women Who Won the World Championship. [JP RAP]

World War II was not the first time, though, that women played professionally in baseball. Back in 1931, Virne Beatrice "Jackie" Mitchell pitched in an exhibition game against the home run king, Babe Ruth. Jackie, all of 17 years-old, became the first professional female pitcher in baseball history. She struck out not only Babe Ruth, but also Lou Gehrig! You can read about her feat in Mighty Jackie: The Strike Out Queen by Marissa Moss [JP MOS].

In a case of sour grapes, Ruth is reported to have said, "I don't know what's going to happen if they begin to let women in baseball. Of course, they will never make good. Why? Because they are too delicate. It would kill them to play ball every day."

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