Women’s baseball history continued long after AAGPBL ended
But just because the AAGPBL dissolved in 1954, it doesn’t mean women’s professional baseball stopped altogether. In 1956 an All-Star team comprised of former elite AAGPBL players took to the road on a national tour to showcase their talents to the rest of the country. A recently digitized group interview of former AAGPBL members from 1994 – preserved in the Hall of Fame video archive – offers several nuggets of information, including this from former Kenosha Comet and Grand Rapids Chick player Magdalen Redman, about the change in terms of public perception of the women’s game.
“When we played in ‘56 and took an All-Star team across the country after the league had folded up, we’d go into a community where they knew we were coming and the kids would come out. When the gals would first come out and start getting their equipment out, it was all a big joke to them. Here’s a bunch of women who are gonna play ball. And then we’d start warming up and as soon as they could see what you could do, it was suddenly silent and their eyes were popping out. The first comment would be, “Holy cow, she throws like a man.” Second comment would be, ‘I’m gonna go get my dad. He’s gotta see this.’ Smartest little boy would say, ‘Can I be your batboy?’ Day after day, night after night, it was just that progression of, “This is gonna be a big joke,” built into these little kids already, and then changing their minds because they saw what you could do.”
Troy Farkas was the 2016 multimedia intern in the Frank and Peggy Steele Internship Program at the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum