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The All-American Girls Professional Baseball League By: Ashley Ravo.

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1 The All-American Girls Professional Baseball League By: Ashley Ravo

2 Why was the league started? During the year 1942, many men had been going to fight in World War II. Many baseball players had felt it was their duty as Americans to fight for our country, so there were many men that left their teams to fight in the war. A lot of minor league teams had disbanded because of the lack of players, and people feared that this would happen in the major leagues. Philip Wrigley, owner of the Chicago Cubs at the time, decided something needed to be done to help save baseball fields from collapsing. With the help of Ken Sells, the assistant manager of the Cubs, the idea of creating a girls’ baseball league had been born.

3 How did the league get started? Wrigley provided the financial support needed to start the league. Ken Sells was named president of the league. The league allowed 10 players on the field, the same base running rules as the MLB, and a smaller size field then MLB players used but it was also larger than a softball field. Jim Hamilton was put in charge of recruiting members to play in the league. Several cities had tryouts, but only 280 women made the cut to go to the final tryouts. Final tryouts reduced the amount of players to 60 before the first season started.

4 How were the teams formed? Teams had 15 players, a manager, a business manager, and a woman chaperone. Managers were mostly former major league players Players earned $45 to $85 a week. When teams were put together, league officials tried to balance the talent of each team to make the league more competitive. Trades were made mid-season sometimes in order to maintain the balance of teams and keep the competitive aspect of the league. The 1940s icon “Rosie the Riveter” was an inspiration to women and made them feel comfortable taking a man’s position while they were at war. This icon was part of the reason why women felt they could try out for the league.

5 Uniforms Uniforms were short skirted dresses that had the team symbol embroidered on the chest. Satin shorts were worn under the dresses. Knee socks and a hat were also worn. The uniforms were designed by Mrs. Wrigley, Wrigley’s Art Designer, Otis Shepard, and Ann Harnett.

6 Charm School Before women joined the league, they were given a pamphlet that explained their beauty routines they had to complete every day. The league wanted to model the “All-American Girl” so they made sure the ladies took good care of themselves and looked nice when they were in public or playing in a game. Charm School also included teaching the girls proper behavior in public.

7 Chaperones Each team in the league was assigned a female chaperone. Players had to have the places they stayed and ate at during the season approved by the team chaperone. Players could go to chaperones with personal problems they wanted to talk about.

8 1943: First Year of League Play Only four teams played in 1943. A total of 108 games were played. 176,612 people came to the games in the first year of play. Gasoline and other staple items were rationed during the war forcing people to spend time close to home. Women were inspired by the players taking what is usually a “man’s job.” the league encouraged women to get jobs that supported the war. The league also promoted patriotism during the war.

9 1944: Expanding the League The 1944 season brought two new teams into the league: the Milwaukee Chicks and the Minneapolis Millerettes. These teams lasted for only one season because Wrigley didn’t have the skilled businessmen in these cities that he needed to support and promote the teams. In the beginning of the 1944 season, Wrigley realized that the MLB teams would not have to disband because of the war, so he sold the league to Arthur Meyerhoff.

10 1945: The Addition of Two New Teams In 1945, the Fort Wayne Daisies and the Grand Rapid Chicks were added to the league and remained in the league until it officially disbanded. Junior leagues were organized by the AAGPL for girls over 14 looking to play baseball. Attendance had increased from Meyerhoff’s strong advertising. 1945 Grand Rapid Chicks

11 1946-1954 Two more teams were added to the league in 1946: the Muskegon Lassies and the Peoria Redwings. In 1948, the league added two more teams to the league. The league had ten teams, the most it ever had, in 1948 and again in 1950. After the 1950 season, the league dropped two teams, and then two more teams in 1953. The league officially disbanded in 1954.

12 Why did the league disband in 1954? World War II ended in 1945, so men had been returning home and the famous MLB players that had left the league to fight were returning home bringing baseball fans back to the major league parks. Television was beginning to become popular and MLB games were aired on TV. AAGPBL games were not aired on TV, making competition between the leagues almost impossible.

13 “A League of Their Own” The AAGPBL was the idea portrayed in the movie “A League of Their Own.” The movie was written by Kelly Candaele. His mother and aunt played in the league, but they did not pitch or catch like the main characters in the movie did. All of the characters in the movie were fictional, but the movie did give an accurate idea of what the league was like. In the movie, the characters did “flashy” things when they were on the field. In real life players never did these stunts.

14 How did the league have an economic affect on society? During the depression and World War II, women were only responsible for taking care of their homes and children rather then having a job. The league offered its players social mobility and good incomes that improved their life chances and provided and opportunity to get a better education. The AAGPBL did not have to play in the Major League parks to help them financially, but they did help make money for the towns where the games were held.

15 How did the league change society’s view on women? Before World War II, women had a certain role at home that included cleaning, cooking, and taking care of the children; a typical housewife. When the league started, it was realized that women can do more than just their duties at home. The league inspired the women’s professional golf league to start which still exists today. Women now have jobs other than their jobs at home that back before WWII they would leave for a man to have.

16 Thank you for listening!


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