Washington Womens Baseball Association

History of Women's Baseball in Washington

 

AAGPBL

Silver Bullets

Washington

 
 
  All American Girls Professional Baseball League  
     
   
  Jeanie Des Combes Lesko  
 

In 1943, American sports history was enhanced by a venture that became both successful and popular in the Midwest. The All American Girls Professional Baseball League, (AAGPBL), a professional women’s baseball league, was conceived, financed, and organized by Phillip K. Wrigley, the chewing gum magnate and owner of the Chicago Cubs, and a group of colleagues in Chicago. These women baseball players were feminine pioneers with superb skills who added a total new dimension to the great American game of baseball.

World War II not only separated the American family from its men; it also devastated the baseball world – a traditionally male sport. Baseball was the major sports activity of the age, and embodied the true competitive spirit of America. The AAGPBL – with its revolutionary one-piece short-skirted uniforms – filled the void in several smaller Midwest cities. The skilled, active, young women played an exciting game in cities such as Racine and Kenosha, Wisconsin; Rockford, Illinois; Grand Rapids, Michigan; and South Bend, Indiana. The league was a unique, inspirational adventure. It was well received in the host cities and expansion took place quickly to other cities in Illinois, Indiana, and Michigan.

The AAGPBL was the third major league in professional baseball; however, its tenure was relatively short. The war ended, the men returned, television invaded the American home and automobiles again became an American commodity. The fans who had been held to restrictions and rationing during the war years returned to their pre-war pleasures, and the game attendance diminished. With the decline in gate receipts, the hopes and dreams of many American women athletes faded, leaving behind an unequaled legacy in the annals of women in sports and in America’s favorite game – Baseball!

 

 
     
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Washington Women's Baseball
A Non-Profit Association