Belles of the Ballpark: Celebrating the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League

Not Rated Yet Author: Diana Star Helmer & Thomas S. Owens Email
6x9", 164pp, pbk. pub 5/4/15. A fun and informative history of the formation, heyday, and ultimate demise of the AAGPBL, made famous by the classic film, A LEAGUE OF THEIR OWN.
Paperback: $13.99
ISBN 978-1-938545-48-1
e-book: 4.99
978-1-938545-49-8
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This thorough and accessible history, written for all ages, recaptures the AAGPBL’s 11 amazing seasons. From its inspiring beginnings in World War II, thanks to the innovative thinking of Chicago Cubs owner P.K. Wrigley, the “Girls League” gave Midwestern towns a league of their own.  

Share classic memories from former players, coaches, fans, major leaguer Casey Candaele (son of a Girls League batting champion) and his brother Kelly, who wrote the story that became the classic movie A League of Their Own. A member of the all-girls Wisconsin baseball youth league, supported by the AAGPBL, tells about her opportunity to play and what a thrill it was, decades before Little League allowed females on the field. Discover how two women rescued the league’s history from near obscurity in the 1980s through painstaking research and persistance, that led to a permanent exhibit at the National Baseball Hall of Fame.

The early chapters of the book take readers through how the teams were formed, the "education" and training of the girls on how to be both ballplayers AND ladies, and how their involvement helped the United States in its war efforts.  Also covered is the on-the-field action - how the style of play evolved over the years, the top players, the championship series.  Readers also get a look inside the life of the young female ballplayers, including their travel arrangements, how they lived, and even their 1947 trip for spring training to Cuba!

Other features, unique to Belles of the Ballpark, elevate it beyond a standard history.

  • More than 30 vintage photographs covering everything from bus rides to slides into home.
  • A timeline is provided of all the key AAGPBL events that occurred, along with an all-time roster of host cities.  
  • A chapter is devoted to the many major leaguers who participated in the league, including several Hall of Famers. (No, Jimmy Dugan was not one of them!)
  • A large collection of letters exchanged between the authors and Girls League alumni is included.
  • The story of how the league was rediscovered after being forgotten for years, and of the crusaders who made it happen.
  • Profiles of today's leading boosters for the league, along with information about the groups and associations they run on behalf of the AAGPBL 

If you liked the movie, you’ll love this epic true story.

 

Foreword: "You Throw Like My Mother!"

An Interview with Major Leaguer Casey Candaele

1. Taking the Field

2. Ground Rules

3. Ladies’ Day

4. Homestands, Homefront

5. Wins and Losses

6. On the Road

7. Play Ball!

8. Minors

9. Force Out

10. Extra Innings

11. Girls League Timeline and Host Cities

12. A New Era of AAGPBL history

13. Living History: Letters from AAGPBL Players

14. Playing with the Big Boys

15. Ted Spencer: All for One, One for Hall

16. Merrie Fidler: Student Research Pioneer

17. Sharon Roepke: From the Hot Stove League to the Hall of Fame

18. Carrying the Flame: A New Generation of AAGPBL Supporters

19. Resources

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