A League of Their Own

The 1992 film comedy, A League of Their Own, revitalized interest in and helped memorialize a neglected chapter of sports history: The All-American Girls Professional Baseball League (AAGPBL). With America’s men joining up to fight in World War II, Chicago Cubs owner Philip K. Wrigley, the chewing-gum mogul, thought that women playing baseball might help keep interest in the sport alive until the war was over and the men returned home.

As depicted in the film, in 1943, the league’s first year, there were four teams: the Rockford Peaches, the Racine Belles, the Kenosha Comets, and the South Bend Blue Sox.

When it became evident that the major leagues would not be seriously affected by the war, Wrigley sold the league to Chicago advertising executive Arthur Meyerhoff. But after the men returned home, instead of fading into oblivion the AAGPBL prospered due to the women’s extraordinary ballplaying abilities.

By 1948, the league had grown to 10 teams, which attracted 910,000 paid fans. The league lasted 12 seasons, until 1954, killed off in part by television, especially televised professional baseball. During its existence, the AAGPBL never would have attracted as many fans as it did without the high level of pure athleticism demonstrated by the players.

The Racine Belles won the first championship

In the movie, after being traded from the Peaches to the Belles, Kit (Lori Petty) famously runs over Dottie, knocking the ball from Dottie’s hand to win the first AAGPBL championship. The Belles did win in 1943. But it wasn’t the Peaches they beat.

2021 South Africa, Gauteng – (Boksburg and Pretoria)

60 girls joined the draft on Saturday 15 June 2021 and was selected into 4 teams:

Peach Sluggers

All-Star Comets

Blue Sox Bombers

Blazing Belles

4 x Coaches was selected to do the drafting and was appointed to each team:

Peach Sluggers – Coach Tracy

All Star Comets – Coach John

Blue Sox Bombers – Coach Gert

Blazing Belles – Coach Riaan (me ;-))

1st games were played on 16 June 2021 at Boksburg Cardinals field:

All-Star Comets v Blue Sox Bombers – Blue Sox won

Blazing Belles v Peach Sluggers – Blazing Belles won 13-9

If you’re interested to join contact me riaan@usasports.co.za