"THE GIRLS OF SUMMER"
INTRODUCTION PAGE 4 of 4


After the demise of the AAGBL, women who wanted to play professional ball had no choice but to play softball. There have been very few exceptions since.

 
 
Toni Stone, Connie Morgan, and Mamie "Peanuts" Johnson played on otherwise all-male teams in the Negro Leagues in the 1950s. A few plucky women showed up from year to year at tryouts for minor league teams, but were never offered contracts.

In 1994, exactly forty years after the AAGBL folded, the Colorado Silver Bullets opened the first of their four seasons. Again, there was no league, just a team of women who once again went barnstorming across the country, playing men's college, amateur, and semi-pro teams.

In 1998, Ila Borders, a pitcher for the Duluth Dukes, an independent minor league team, became the first woman to win a men's pro game, nailing down a 3-1 victory over the Sioux Falls Canaries. But she couldn't break the gender barrier that has kept major league baseball diamonds the exclusive playgrounds for the boys of summer, and she retired from baseball in 2000.

To find out more about women in baseball in the last century, select one of the individual stories -- from the first female umpire (1904) to the center fielder for the Silver Bullets (1995). Just click on a name in the scorecard on the right.

END

 

 


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