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Women in Baseball in World War II

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Women in Baseball in World War 2

When the men went to fight the war women were left to do everything else. They became the backbone of industry and country’s cheerleaders. They became the work and entertainment aspects of the country. One entertainment started with Philip K. Wrigley, Chicago Cubs Owner, keeping the baseball spirit alive with All-American Girls Professional Baseball League in 1943. Interest in baseball was dying out due to the large population of young men charging into battle. Wrigley saw this as an opportunity for a whole new ballgame. Tryouts were held in Chicago and over 300 girls showed up. Eventually ten teams were put together. Some of these teams were Rockford, Illinois (Peaches); South Bend, Indiana (Blue Sox); Racine, Wisconsin (Belles); Grand Rapids, Michigan (Chicks); and Fort Wayne, Indiana (Daisies). Eventually, over 500 girls were participating in the Girls Baseball League.

A major struggle that these girls faced was simply the fact that they were girls. These girls were faced with the societal pressures just because they were girls and they were the “weaker sex”. The stereotype of woman be inequivalent to the abilities was a star player in the debate. Softball to the crowds was popular enough, but the ultimate goal was to save baseball. In the end the two were combined. All rules of softball were applied with one exception, which was that runners could lead off and steal. They weren’t enough in the eyes of the men. Things “just had to be changed”. They were also held to a certain standard of how they should look in public. No matter what the girls could not be in public without lipstick. Long hair is not a requirement, but was most definitely preferred. Hair was also to be neat under all circumstances. The uniform, slacks, and shorts were unacceptable in public unless when engaged in a game.

Despite the societal pressures the girls pushed on and enjoyed the game. “‘We would rather play ball than eat,’ insisted catcher Lavonne “Pepper” Paire. ‘We put our hearts and souls into the league. We thought it was our job to do our best, because we were the All-American



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