This thorough and accessible history, written for all ages, recaptures the AAGPBL’s 11 amazing seasons. From its inspiring beginnings in World War II, thanks to the innovative thinking of Chicago Cubs owner P.K. Wrigley, the “Girls League” gave Midwestern towns a league of their own.
Share classic memories from former players, coaches, fans, major leaguer Casey Candaele (son of a Girls League batting champion) and his brother Kelly, who wrote the story that became the classic movie A League of Their Own. A member of the all-girls Wisconsin baseball youth league, supported by the AAGPBL, tells about her opportunity to play and what a thrill it was, decades before Little League allowed females on the field. Discover how two women rescued the league’s history from near obscurity in the 1980s through painstaking research and persistance, that led to a permanent exhibit at the National Baseball Hall of Fame.
The early chapters of the book take readers through how the teams were formed, the "education" and training of the girls on how to be both ballplayers AND ladies, and how their involvement helped the United States in its war efforts. Also covered is the on-the-field action - how the style of play evolved over the years, the top players, the championship series. Readers also get a look inside the life of the young female ballplayers, including their travel arrangements, how they lived, and even their 1947 trip for spring training to Cuba!
Other features, unique to Belles of the Ballpark, elevate it beyond a standard history.
If you liked the movie, you’ll love this epic true story.
Foreword: "You Throw Like My Mother!"
An Interview with Major Leaguer Casey Candaele
1. Taking the Field
2. Ground Rules
3. Ladies’ Day
4. Homestands, Homefront
5. Wins and Losses
6. On the Road
7. Play Ball!
9. Force Out
10. Extra Innings
11. Girls League Timeline and Host Cities
12. A New Era of AAGPBL history
13. Living History: Letters from AAGPBL Players
14. Playing with the Big Boys
15. Ted Spencer: All for One, One for Hall
16. Merrie Fidler: Student Research Pioneer
17. Sharon Roepke: From the Hot Stove League to the Hall of Fame
18. Carrying the Flame: A New Generation of AAGPBL Supporters