During World War II, the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League (AAGPBL) was founded with great enthusiasm by Philip K. Wrigley, proprietor of the Chicago Cubs. This professional women's baseball league provided a platform for female athletes to showcase their athletic ability and talent like never before!
The league began with four teams, the Racine Belles, Kenosha Comets, Rockford Peaches, and South Bend Blue Sox. It eventually grew to a total of 10 teams before disbanding in 1954 after a decline in interest from the public.
The AAGPBL provided a unique opportunity for women to pursue a career in a traditionally male-dominated sport. Players were recruited from across the United States, Canada, and Mexico and trained in a variety of skills, including fielding, pitching, and batting. The league also had a dress code designed to make them 'look feminine.'
Today, a handful of AAGPBL players remain alive from a rich baseball legacy and can be celebrated for their amazing accomplishments. These brave women are a testament to the power of a dream and a reminder that anything is possible with hard work and determination.
AAGPBL Players Still Alive Today in 2023
One AAGPBL survivor is 97-year-old Jean Faut, a former pitcher for the Racine Belles. During her AAGPBL career, she was a four-time All-Star and a two-time champion in both singles and doubles categories. She was also a respected coach after retiring from AAGPBL and was inducted into the AAGPBL Hall of Fame in 1988. Faut’s unique style of pitching made her a household name in a short time.
Another AAGPBL player still alive today is Ange Armato, who signed a contract to play with the Rockford Peaches in 1949 but was injured and never appeared. She later played the 1953 season with the Kalamazoo Lassies. Ange's baseball career peaked in 1988 when the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League was recognized by the Baseball Hall of Fame, a highlight which she later commemorated a part in the movie "A League of Their Own." Ange retired from professional baseball and went on to a career in advertising, becoming a production manager before eventually retiring. In her free time, she enjoyed travel, golf, bowling, and watching sports.
Maybelle Blair is a shining example of a pioneering female athlete who left a lasting legacy in the world of professional baseball. After her successful stint with the Chicago Cardinals softball team, she was signed to join the Peoria Redwings of the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League as a pitcher in 1948. Here, she quickly caught attention for her skills at second base and a good bat, even though a leg injury hindered her performance. Despite the challenge, Blair never gave up and additionally served as a team captain for a short period with the New Orleans Jacks in 1951. Today, she is a great advocate for women's baseball, working closely with Justine Siegal to promote the game. She is a trailblazer, a champion of the cause, and a reminder to us all that women have a place in professional sports. Maybelle Blair's career may have been short-lived, but her impact on the game will never be forgotten.
AAGPBL Gear from Teambrown Apparel
At Teambrown Apparel, we're proud to offer a selection of officially licensed AAGPBL products, so you can show your support for AAGPBL players from past and present. Whether you’re a fan of a particular AAGPBL player or want to celebrate the league as a whole, we’ve got an item that’s sure to suit your style. Show your AAGPBL pride and share a piece of history with the world today.
Reach out to Teambrown Apparel today and get your official AAGPBL gear! Let's keep AAGPBL alive and kicking for another generation.