Edith Houghton
Photo courtesy Edith Houghton.


Born 1912

Philadelphia Bobbies, 1922-25
New York Bloomer Girls, 1925-31
Hollywood Girls, 1931
Philadelphia Phillies (scout), 1946-52

Edith Houghton was only ten years old when she joined the Philadelphia Bobbies, a factory team made up of women, all of whom bobbed their hair. "The Kid" was so small that she had to tighten her cap with a safety pin and use a pen knife to punch new holes in the belt of her uniform pants. But Philadelphia sports reporters consistently praised both her hitting and fielding--at one time or another she played every position on the field.

In 1925, the Bobbies toured Japan, playing men's college teams for $800 a game. As a team they were less than spectacular, but the Japanese press had only good things to say about Edith.

When they returned home, Edith left the Bobbies to play for a number of women¹s teams, including Margaret Nabel's New York Bloomer Girls. She played one season for the Hollywood Girls, making $35 a week playing men¹s minor league teams.

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In the mid-1930s, baseball opportunities for women disappeared with the demise of the Bloomer Girls teams, and Edith turned, reluctantly, to softball, playing for the Roverettes in Madison Square Garden. When World War II broke out, she enlisted in the Navy's women's auxiliary, the WAVES, and played on their baseball team as well.

After the war, Edith wrote to Bob Carpenter, owner of the Philadelphia Phillies, asking for a job as a scout. Carpenter looked through her scrapbook and decided to give her a chance, making her the first female scout in the major leagues. Edith scouted for the Phillies for six years before being called up by the Navy during the Korean War.

Edith Houghton eventually retired to Florida, where baseball -- at least watching spring training for the Phillies and the White Sox -- remains a big part of her life.


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