Posters like these helped to encourage women to work- and slowly change the negative attitude towards women working
Women began to enter the workforce in greater numbers, especially in heavy industries
Women soon were working in many different fields Pilots
As more and more men joined the war, women were needed to fill every kind of job From driving taxicabs To driving milk trucks
By 1942, the draft had forced many minor league baseball teams to fold Soon, major league baseball was affected by the numbers of men being drafted
In 1943, Philip K Wrigley was able to get enough backers to start the All American Girls’ Baseball League
Women from highly skilled softball teams from Canada and the US were recruited
Not only did the players have to be highly skilled, their femininity was of utmost importance The players were required to attend charm school and etiquette classes
The players’ uniforms were designed to be ultra-feminine and modeled after figure skaters’ outfits
The league’s popularity peaked in 1948 Ten teams attracted 910,000 paying fans.
Many of the more popular players attracted large followings Dottie Schroeder was the only player to play in the league in all of its seasons
Mary “Bonnie” Baker was featured in Life Magazine
However, the league’s popularity began to decline in the following years Teams began to disband in 1950 Part of the reason for this was the advent of televised Major League Baseball games
The league was finally disbanded in 1954 Organized baseball formally banned women from signing professional contracts with men’s teams in 1952, and the prohibition is still in effect.
The All-American Girls Professional Baseball League gave over 600 women athletes the opportunity to play professional baseball and to play it at a level never before attained. The League operated from 1943 to 1954 and represents one of the most unique aspects of our nation's baseball history.
Created by: Margaret Shields and Pamela Jane Leman TAH, Spring 2009