We Were the All-American Girls

Interviews with Players of the AAGPBL, 1943–1954


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SKU: 9780786469833 Categories: , , ,

About the Book

Here are 42 interviews with women who competed in the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League. Each interview features data about the player, a short summary of her athletic career, and the player’s recollections. A brief history covers the many changes as the league evolved from underhand pitching with a 12-inch circumference ball in 1943 to overhand pitching, adopted in 1948, through the circuit’s final year, 1954, when a regulation baseball was introduced. The interviews range from 1995 to 2012 and reveal details of particular games, highlights of individual careers, the camaraderie of teammates, opponents and fans, and the impact the League made on their lives. Several players recall how the 1992 movie A League of Their Own brought the historic All-American League back to life almost 40 years after the final game was played.

About the Author(s)

Jim Sargent, a longtime professor of American history, retired as dean of the Social Science Division at Virginia Western Community College in 2010. Before that, he taught on the college and university level for more than 30 years. He lives in Roanoke, Virginia.

Bibliographic Details

Jim Sargent
Format: softcover (7 x 10)
Pages: 316
Bibliographic Info: 50 photos, notes, index
Copyright Date: 2013
pISBN: 978-0-7864-6983-3
eISBN: 978-1-4766-0180-9
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Table of Contents

Foreword by Merrie Fidler 1

Preface 3

Introduction by David Hillman 5

A Brief History of the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League 8

Part I: The Early Years, 1943–1945

Annastasia “Stash” Batikis 25

Dottie (Wiltse) Collins 31

Audrey (Haine) Daniels 38

Betsy Jochum 44

Vivian Kellogg 52

Sophie Kurys 58

Elizabeth “Lib” Mahon 66

Marge (Callaghan) Maxwell 74

Grace Piskula 81

Rose (Folder) Powell 85

Mary Pratt 91

Ellen (Ahrndt) Proefrock 97

Lucella (MacLean) Ross 102

Joyce (Hill) Westerman 108

Part II: The Postwar Years, 1946–1949

Isabel “Lefty” Alvarez 116

Mary “Wimp” Baumgartner 123

Erma Bergmann 129

Wilma Briggs 134

Shirley Burkovich 145

Marge (Villa) Cryan 150

Terry Donahue 156

Lillian “Lil” Faralla 163

Jean Faut 168

Betty Francis 175

Frances “Fran” Janssen 180

Glenna Sue Kidd 187

Betty (Petryna/Allen) Mullins 197

June Peppas 203

Maxine (Kline) Randall 209

Eilaine Roth 214

Doris Sams 218

Lou (Erickson) Sauer 227

Pat Scott 232

Inez Voyce 239

Delores “Dolly” (Brumfield) White 244

Part III: The Last Years, 1950–1954

Mary Lou (Studnicka) Caden 252

Jean (Geissinger) Harding 259

Katie Horstman 263

Joan (Berger) Knebl 271

Mary Moore 277

Mary (Froning) O’Meara 283

Janet “Pee Wee” (Wiley) Sears 288

Epilogue: From the 1954 Season to the Newsletter, the Reunions, A League of Their Own, and Beyond 297

Index 299

Book Reviews & Awards

“The interviews…are informative, providing a wonderful new resource for scholars and casual researchers alike. Even those who have studied the league extensively will find new information contained in the memories and stories of the former players…unique details and anecdotes. The women’s stories, presented in their actual words, offer all readers special insight to their thoughts, feelings, and experiences”—Nine; “fascinating reading for anyone interested in baseball’s history. The best part of the book however is the forty-two interviews with former AAGPBL players. Together, the interviews provide a fantastic history of the league, but each one is a stand-alone piece”—Canadian Baseball Network; “sports history fans who enjoy reading about the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League are in for a treat”—baseball-almanac.com.