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All-American Girls Professional Baseball League (AAGPBL), American sports organization that, between 1943 and its dissolution in 1954, grew from a stopgap wartime entertainment to a professional showcase for women baseball players.
From the time of its inception in 1943 until the time of its demise in 1954, the AAGPBL included some 545 women, who were recruited from the United States, Canada, and Cuba.
Stoolball, a game played by Sussex milkmaids centuries before baseball hit the U. Even during the 19th century, women played baseball at the Seven Sisters colleges, said Ring. It was turned into a man’s game for ideological reasons,” she said. It was around this time, she said, that women started to be encouraged to play softball, even though men had previously been playing the sport.
“There’s this strident ideology that baseball is for men, and softball is presented as a less competitive, less strenuous, less challenging version,” she said. As anyone who has seen 1992’s A League of Their Own knows, women even played baseball on a professional level in the U. The All-American Girls Professional Baseball League began in 1943 to fill the baseball void as Major League players went off to war. women during World War II, baseball later ceased to be a professional option.
It’s a decade when women are sent back into the home.”With the women’s liberation movement and Title IX, sports reemerged in the 1970s for women, but baseball did not.
“Baseball never turned a corner and opened the doors to women,” said Ring.
The league, nonetheless, produced a number of excellent baseball players including first baseman Dorothy Kamenshek, second baseman Sophie Kurys, and pitcher Jean Faut.
Televised major league baseball and lackadaisical promotion of AAGPBL games, however, led to the league’s demise in 1954.
Yet we actively keep women from participating in baseball, instead encouraging young girls who like the sport to pursue softball instead.Despite promoting women’s baseball as a legitimate professional sport, Wrigley and Arthur Meyerhoff, the league’s later owner, were not champions of feminism.Team names such as the Milwaukee Chicks, the Fort Wayne Daisies, and the Rockford Peaches reveal their biases.While it is widely believed that Abner Doubleday invented baseball in mid-19th-century America, that myth has been debunked. It was a time when Theodore Roosevelt was glorified for leading the Rough Riders in the Spanish-American War.The sport likely had its origins in England, said Ring, and actually with women. at the turn of the 20th century, in the same period when the U. His 1899 speech “The Strenuous Life,” encouraged manly strength as a form of patriotism—an attitude embraced by many at the time.“Baseball was getting associated with the national identity when the U. was just emerging out on the global scene as a power. You couldn’t have your national game tied to your national identity be effeminate,” said Ring.
Major League Baseball is increasingly closer to having its first female professional ballplayer, thanks to Melissa Mayeux.