All American Girls Professional Baseball League

Curated by Orson Kingsley
Maxwell Library
March 14 - April 8, 2016




The 1941 Major League Baseball season was one for the ages. Joe DiMaggio of the New York Yankees strung together a 56 game hit streak; a record that has never been seriously challenged since. Ted Williams; of Boston Red Sox fame, finished the season with a .406 batting average. No one has hit over .400 since. Two months after the season ended Pearl Harbor was bonbed on December 7, 1941.

More than five hundred major league baseball players and over four thousand minor league players served in the military during the Second World War. Players would be drafted and voluntarily enlist to serve their country. One of the greatest pitchers in baseball history; Bob Feller, enlisted in the Navy the day after Pearl Harbor and would not return to the Major leLeagues until the summer of 1945. Boston's own Ted Williams missed three gull seasons after being drafted into the military in 1942. Other iconic players such as Joe DiMaggio, Warren Spahn, Hank Greenberg and Stan Musial all had their Hall of Fame careers put on hold while they fought for their country.

The notion of canceling Major League Baseball until the war was over was viewed as potentially harmful to the country's moral. The owner of the Chicago Cubs: Philip Wrigley, found the solution to baseball's dilemma. In 1943, he sponsored the creation of the first and only all-girls baseball league. These "All-American Girls" would help keep the national pride at a high level while keeping the spirit of baseball front and center.

The All American Girls Professional Baseball League was officially created in 1943 with four charter teams: the Kenosha (WI) Comets, Rockford (IL) Peaches, Racine (WI) Belles and the South Bend (IN) Blue Sox. Women from all over the coutry were eager to try out for admission to this new league. During the leagues existence; 1943 to 1954, over 600 women would play in the league. At it's height of popularity the league would attract over 900,000 spectators and grow the number of teams to eleven from the original four.