Never underestimate the power of women. From Seneca Falls, N.Y. – the 1st Women’s Rights Convention in 1848, to Amelia Earhart in 1928 – 1st woman to cross the Atlantic in an airplane, to the 1st professional female baseball players in 1943; we have been breaking down barriers for centuries.
The inspiring and uplifting film “A League of Their Own” tells a fictionalized account of the real-life All-American Girls Professional Baseball League and reminds us of women’s accomplishments and brings back warm memories of the heyday of the 1st professional baseball league for female players, The All-American Girls Professional Baseball League of the 1940’s.
Watching the film I learned a history lesson I never knew before. These incredible women defied the odds and for a time did what they loved most, playing the game of baseball.
World War II created a shortage of male players in the league so the women stepped up and became stars in their own right; entertaining fans across the country.
The All-American Girls Professional Baseball League (AAGPBL) was founded by Philip K. Wrigley and existed from 1943 to 1954; over 600 women played in the league.
In 1948, league attendance peaked at over 900,000 spectators in attendance. The Rockford Peaches won a league-best four championships while playing in the AAGPBL. The 1992 motion picture “A League of Their Own” tells a fictionalized account of the Rockford Peaches.Maybelle Blair, a 90-year-old pitcher, said the movie provides a surprisingly accurate depiction of what life was like for the female ballplayers of the 1940s.Blair wasn’t a Peach but she was a hard-throwing right-hander for the Peoria Red Wings in 1948.
“Nolan Ryan had nothing on me,” she said. “Absolutely nothing.”
Maybelle Blair (born January 16, 1927) is a former All-American Girls Professional Baseball League player. Listed at 5′ 6″, 150 lb., she batted and threw right-handed.Blair said the movie captures the essence of her playing days, right down to the uniforms.“It was so outstanding because after we quit playing ball, nobody knew anything about the league,” the Palm Springs resident said. “After the league folded, we were supposed to go home and put on our aprons and wash the dishes.
“We couldn’t do anything. And then when the movie came out, it brought back women to be able to do what we wanted to do — and that was play ball and enjoy our lives.”