Women's Baseball

May 8, 2013
By Michaela Werner BRONZE, Grove, Oklahoma
Michaela Werner BRONZE, Grove, Oklahoma
1 article 0 photos 0 comments

Michaela Werner
May 1, 2013
Mrs. Fracek
Creative Communications
Women’s Baseball
America was in the middle of World War II. Baseball was at risk because citizens saw paid athletes swatting balls while their loved ones were dying in a war. Criticism went up; both war and baseball demanded the young and the strong. Could baseball survive when all of its players were needed in combat?
Baseball was a bigger challenge. The president of the professional league wanted it to end because he thought that interest was gone and the league would lose money, but President Roosevelt convinced him otherwise. Roosevelt fought unemployment during the Depression by creating jobs. Now the war brought new jobs. Working men left to serve just when factories needed them for war production. Many of the workers who replaced them were women. During the war, women were building tanks, airplanes, trucks, and ships.
Women’s baseball would be similar to the baseball game played in the 1800s. The girls were to wear skirts to look like ladies, were to play games for soldiers at training camps, and were to visit military hospitals. Because of travel restrictions, the cities had to be close to each. So, four cities were chosen: South Bend, Indiana; Kenosha and Racine, Wisconsin; and Rockford, Illinois.
Wrigley's recruiters tried to find women in high schools, village churches, and organized sports. These players first tried out from May 17 to May 26, 1943. Finally, on May 26 the teams were announced and the season began the next summer after spring training.
In 1945 when the war finally ended, many changes started to happen. By 1948 the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League had reached its high point. New teams in Chicago (Colleens) and Springfield (Sallies) were formed but each failed by the end of 1948. Recruiting declined and so did attendance. As a result of post-war layoffs, unemployment rose and women could not find jobs in the winter. The league tried to expand but, expansion failed. Many teams went into debt, and from 1949 to 1951 the league dwindled to nothing.
"Women's Baseball In World War Ii." Historyking. N.p., 22 Nov. 2004. Web. 02 May 2013.
"Prelude to Women's Baseball, WWII." All American Girls Baseball League -. N.p., n.d. Web. 02 May 2013.

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