Play ball, Dottie!
It's been over 60 years since the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League closed shop, but the memories live on, especially due to the movie. Earlier this month we lost another veteran of the league, Dottie Collins.
Pitching for six seasons in the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League, created in 1943 to provide home front entertainment while many major leaguers were off to war, Collins dazzled opposing batters.
She pitched underhand, sidearm and overhand; she threw curveballs, fastballs and changeups; and in the summer of 1948, she pitched until she was four months pregnant. She won more than 20 games in each of her first four seasons. She threw 17 shutouts and had a league-leading 293 strikeouts in 1945 for the Fort Wayne Daisies, when the women’s game resembled fast-pitch softball.
Did you read that? She pitched until she was FOUR MONTHS PREGNANT! Considering some of the beer bellies on some pitchers (ahem, Babe) I'm not that shocked. But still, woo-grrl! Dottie was the reason why most of us, including myself, even know about the league. She organized the association which lead to the display at the HoF and then the movie.
Thank you Dottie. Thanks for playing, for showing the world that us grrls have game (any coincidence that the daughter generation of AAGPBL won Title IX?), and for helping to preserve your history.
And if there's some sugar mama reading this, I would LOVE to attend this year's reunion...a cruise to the Bahamas! Can you imagine a cruise with all these "lil old ladies" who back in the day dove, slid, and ran in skirts, yet didn't allow them to impede their play? Hell ya, I want first on the shuffleboard.