The Origins and History of the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League


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About the Book

This in-depth treatment of the organization and operation of the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League draws on primary documents from league owner Arthur Meyerhoff and others for a unique perspective inside the AAGPBL.
The study begins with a brief history of women’s softball, an important precursor to, and talent pool for, women’s professional baseball. Next the book investigates league administration and organization as well as publicity and promotion. Later chapters cover team administrative structures, managers, chaperones, player backgrounds, and league policies. Finally, discussion focuses on the activities of the AAGPBL Players’ Association from 1980 onward. Informed by many years of research and insights from former players, this exhaustive history contains 149 photographs.

About the Author(s)

Retired teacher and coach Merrie A. Fidler has published several articles regarding the history of women in sports. She lives in Trinidad, California.

Bibliographic Details

Merrie A. Fidler
Foreword by Jean Cione
Format: softcover (7 x 10)
Pages: 400
Bibliographic Info: 149 photos, tables, appendices, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2011 [2006]
pISBN: 978-0-7864-6089-2
eISBN: 978-1-4766-0428-2
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

List of Figures and Tables      vi

Acknowledgments      ix

Foreword by Jean Cione      1

Preface      5


1: The Establishment of Softball as a Sport for American Women, 1900–1940      15


2: The Trustee Administration, 1943–1944      29

3: Establishing the Public Image: Publicity and Promotion, 1943–1944      50

4: The Management Corporation, 1945–1950      69

5: Expansion of Public Exposure: Publicity and Promotion, 1945–1950      86

6: Independent Team Owners, 1951–1954      125

7: Decentralization of Publicity and Promotion, 1951–1954      136


8: Team Administrative Structure and Personnel      145

9: Team Managers      154

10: Chaperones      166


11: Player Recruitment and Sociological Characteristics      181

12: AAGBBL Player Policies and Regulations      195

13: AAGBBL All-Stars      208


14: The Newsletter and the First National Reunion      229

15: The Archives and the Baseball Hall of Fame      244

16: The Organization of the Players’ Association and A League of Their Own      269

17: The Players’ Association, 1990–2004      288


18: Summary and Conclusions      323


Appendix 1: AAGPBL Players’ Association Offices and Committee Positions Held, 1980–2004      333

Appendix 2: AAGBBL Highlights      338

Appendix 3: The League Song      342

Appendix 4: AAGBBL Champions      343

Appendix 5: AAGBBL Point Rating Chart      344

Chapter Notes      347

Bibliography      369

Index      375

Book Reviews & Awards

Finalist, Seymour Medal—Society for American Baseball Research
“this book is both a great narrative tale as well as an important reference book on the women’s league”—SABR Bibliography Committee Newsletter; “well worth picking up and reading”—Women in Baseball Committee Newsletter; “a tremendously thorough study of our league. If other books written about our league were combined, they still would never compare to the masterful finished product of [this] book. It is an amazing piece of work!”—Helen “Gig” Smith (Kenosha Comets 1947, Grand Rapids Chicks 1948); “at last, the story in full of the AAGPBL in one volume!…well-organized and thorough…a significant contribution to the game’s rich history”—Jean Hastings Ardell, author, Breaking into Baseball: Women and the National Pastime.