In 1948, league attendance peaked at over 900,000 spectators. [22][23], Although the AAGPBL was the first recorded professional women's baseball league, women had played baseball since the nineteenth century. Differences (Men's and Women's Baseball) Fun Facts; Bibliography; Phillip K. Wrigley. These magazine articles attracted new fans and new players to the AAGPBL. [4], Lois Siegel documented the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League in her film Baseball Girls, which was produced by the National Film Board of Canada. His objectives for the league at that point were as follows: Wrigley organized the AAGPBL on the highest social standards of his day in order to make it acceptable to all levels of the social strata. The most successful team, the Rockford Peaches, won a league-best four championships. The All-American Girls Professional Baseball League (AAGPBL) was a professional women's baseball league founded by Philip K. Wrigley which existed from 1943 to 1954. [4], The 1992 film A League of Their Own, although fictionalized, covers the founding and play of this league. Women were selected for their skilled play, but the player also needed to fit what was seen by marketers as a wholesome feminine ideal. The uniforms included satin shorts, knee-high baseball socks, and a baseball cap. Philip Wrigley, the league's founder, believed in the value of advertising, which may have attributed to the league's extensive exposure and marketing focus. Due to gas rations, travel restrictions were put in place forcing the individual teams to be close to each other. This section needs additional citations for verification. Click here for more about Phillip K. Wrigley . CHICAGO, June 28—Helen Blanche Atwater Wrigley, widow of Philip K. Wrigley, died last night in Lakeland Hospital, Elkhorn, Wis. She was 75 years old. The accessories (cap, belt, stirrups) were bold darker shades of the team color. A circular team logo was sewn on the front of each dress, and baseball caps featured elastic bands in the back so that they were one-size-fits-all. Meyerhoff's promotional efforts focused on the value of national exposure in popular periodicals. Wrigley had considerable financial resources, a life-long interest in sport, including an interest in promoting women’s involvement as baseball spectators, and a desire to support the war effort. The teams generally played in Midwestern cities. With the entry of the United States into World War II, several major league baseball executives started a new professional league with women players in order to maintain baseball in the public eye while the majority of able men were away. Like the male major-league, the 'girls' league was also informally segregated, thus no African Americans were recruited or hired. "Establishing the Public Image: Publicity and Promotion, 1943 - 1944." The league remained under Wrigley's advertising influence until 1951, when individual team directors took over the publicity. The AAGPBL is the forerunner of women's professional league sports in the United States. Along with daily newspaper reports, the primary advertising strategy was radio broadcasts. Fidler, Merrie A. [4] The first league game was played on May 30, 1943. [16] The Rockford Peaches won the most league championships with four (1945, 1948, 1949, 1950). The league was featured in both national periodicals such as Time, Life, Seventeen, Newsweek, and American Magazine, as well as in local city newspapers. As a part of the league's 'Rules of Conduct', the 'girls' were not permitted to have short hair, they could not smoke or drink in public places, and they were required to wear lipstick at all times. During that time, he brought baseball the infamous “college of coaches,” founded the revolutionary All-American Girls Baseball League, maintained Wrigley Field as one of the great stadiums in all of sports, and — to the despair of Cubs’ fans — presided over the bleakest decades in the team’s history. [29][30] Shepard designed all visual elements of the league, including game scorecards and promotional materials. Fines for not following the league's rules of conduct were five dollars for the first offense, ten for the second, and suspension for the third. Biography. In the 1951 season, the league president Fred Leo asked all team presidents to provide publicity on games and training events. [32] The team patches were modeled after each respective city's seal.[33]. Wrigley was aware of the popularity of men’s and women’s softball competition in metropolitan centers throughout the U.S. and Canada and specifically in Chicago and Los Angeles where he owned baseball fields. There were many promotional events with players, children's benefits, civic groups, and holiday celebrations. The result was the creation of the six-team National Girls Baseball League, which began in 1944, composed entirely of Chicago-area teams. As new teams were added, they were given a new distinctive team color (gray for Milwaukee, pink for Minneapolis). Road uniforms were introduced to the league starting with the 1948 season. The National Girls baseball League was founded by Emery Parichy, Charles Bidwill, owner of the Chicago Cardinals football team and politician Ed Kolski. Immodest and Sensational: 150 Years of Canadian Women in Sport, M. Ann Hall, p.57, James Lorimer & Company Ltd., Toronto, 2008, Minutes of AAGPBL origin meeting; personal recollection of participant Sharon Roepke, All-American Girls Professional Baseball League, All-American Girls Professional Baseball League All-Star Team, All-American Girls Professional Baseball League Player of the Year Award, All-American Girls Professional Baseball League batting records, All-American Girls Professional Baseball League fielding records, All-American Girls Professional Baseball League pitching records, List of All-American Girls Professional Baseball League players, List of All-American Girls Professional Baseball League managers, Ted Williams Museum and Hitters Hall of Fame, Major women's sport leagues in North America, "All-American Girls Professional Baseball League Player Marg Callaghan Sliding into Home Plate as Umpire Norris Ward Watches", "Female players hit a home run for wartime baseball — but were seen, rarely heard", "10 Fun Facts About The All-American Girls Professional Baseball League", "Women's baseball trailblazers reflect on the league, 75 years after its founding",, "Softball National News - National Girls Baseball League", "Their Turn at Bat: The Story of the National Girls Baseball League", "National Girls Baseball League's 'Kotch' Kowell dead at 91", "GIRLS BASEBALL LEAGUE FOUNDER EMERY A. PARICHY", "Rules of Play All-American Girls Professional Baseball League", "National Baseball Hall of Fame - Dressed to the Nines - Timeline", "The Hidden Queer History Behind "A League of Their Own, "Bats, Balls and Books: Baseball and Higher Education for Women at Three Eastern Women's Colleges, 1866–1891,", "Otis Shepard, Baseball's Greatest Graphic Artist", "Possibly the Greatest Example of Uni-Watching Ever", "On top are the logos used in #ALeagueofTheirOwn and on the bottom are the real logos. [16], The uniform was a one-piece short-skirted flared tunic with a team patch in the center of the chest. Wrigley had considerable financial resources, a life-long interest in sport, including an interest in promoting women’s involvement as baseball spectators, and a desire to support the war effort. "Decentralization of Publicity and Promotion, 1951-1954." Many people in the 1950s thought that women were not supposed to play baseball, so most female athletes competed on other fields of endeavor. Finally, in 1980, former pitcher June Peppas launched a newsletter project to get in touch with friends, teammates, and opponents that resulted in the league's first reunion in Chicago, Illinois in 1982. [4], In the first season, the league played a game that was a hybrid of baseball and softball. The ball was 12 inches in circumference, the size of a regulation softball (regulation baseballs are 9 to 9​1⁄4 inches). Wrigley was also aware that between 1940 and the fall of 1942, millions of women were employed to fill the shoes of men drafted for military duty. For a time, the two leagues were involved in a strong rivalry for players, before meeting and calling a poaching truce in 1946. In an effort to make each player as physically attractive as possible, each received a beauty kit and instructions on how to use it. The founders included Philip K. Wrigley, Branch Rickey, and Paul V. Harper.