All-American Girls Professional Baseball League Interviews

Kurys, Sophie (Interview transcript and video), 2009

Sophie Kurys was born on May 14, 1925 in Flint, Michigan. Early on in childhood she played baseball with the neighborhood kids and then started out in city leagues playing organized baseball at thirteen until she turned seventeen when she tried out…
Alvarez, Isabel "Lefty" (Interview transcript and video), 2009

Isabel Alvarez was born in Havana, Cuba in 1933. She grew up in Havana and played baseball with the neighborhood kids and was also involved with other sports. In 1947, she pitched her first exhibition game in American baseball and was picked by the…
Arnold, Lou (Interview transcript and video), 2009

Lou Arnold was born in Pawtucket, Rhode Island in 1925. She grew up in Pawtucket and played softball with her brother and eventually joined an amateur league where she played for a few teams. After playing a game with a rival team in Newport she was…
Daniels, Bud (Interview transcript and video), 2010

Bud Daniels grew up in Winnipeg, Manitoba, just down the street from his future wife, Audrey Haine. Both were active in sports, and when Audrey played organized softball while they were teenagers, he would attend every game. They stayed in touch…
Faut, Jean (Interview transcript and video), 2010

Jean Faut was born in East Greenville, Pennsylvania, in 1925. As a teenager, she shagged flies and pitched batting practice for a men's semipro team, and was spotted by an AAGPBL scout and recruited into the league. She played from 1946 through…
LaCamera, Helen (Interview transcript and video), 2010

Helen La Camera was born in Quincy, Massachusetts in 1931. She grew up playing sports with neighborhood kids, and started playing organized softball in eighth grade. Her coach, Mary Pratt, had played in the AAGPBL, and arranged for her to try out…
Gascon, Eileen "Ginger" (Interview transcript and video), 2010

Ginger Gascon was born in Chicago in 1931 and grew up playing softball. She played on softball teams used by the AAGPL as farm clubs while she was in highschool, then joined the Springfield Sallies for the league's barnstorming tour in 1949. She…
Lesko, Jeneane (Interview transcript and video), 2010

Jeneane Lesko was born in Springfield, Ohio, in 1935. She grew up playing sports, practicing with men's baseball and basketball teams. She was playing for a softball team in Lima, Ohio, when she was recruited into the AAGPBL. She was a pitcher for…
McCoy, Joyce Barnes (Interview transcript and video), 2009

Joyce Barnes McCoy was born in on a farm south of Hutchinson, Kansas on October 18, 1925. She played softball with her siblings and then played various sports throughout grade and high schools. One day while still in high school she was reading a…
Denoble, Jerre (Interview transcript and video), 2010

Jerre Denoble was born in Oakland, California in 1923. She learned to play ball from her father, and while she was a teenager she started playing softball in an industrial league. A friend encouraged her to try out for the AAGPBL, and she joined the…
Holderness, Joan (Interview transcript and video), 2010

Joan Holderness was born in Kenosha, Wisconsin, in 1933. She learned to play baseball from her father, and after the Kenosha Comets came to town, she started going to their games and became their bat girl, and was recruited to join the team as an…
Froning, Mary (Interview transcript and video), 2010

Mary Froning O'Meara was born in Minster, Ohio, in 1934. She played on softball teams run by the local Catholic Youth Organization while in school, and was recruited into the AAGPBL in 1951. She played outfield for the South Bend Blue Sox from 1951…

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All-American Girls Professional Baseball League Interviews


Grand Valley State University. History Department


Smither, James
Boring, Frank


The All-American Girls Professional Baseball League was started by Philip Wrigley, owner of the Chicago Cubs, during World War II to fill the void left by the departure of most of the best male baseball players for military service. Players were recruited from across the country, and the league was successful enough to be able to continue on after the war. The league had teams based in Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana and Michigan, and operated between 1943 and 1954. The 1954 season ended with only the Fort Wayne, South Bend, Grand Rapids, Kalamazoo, and Rockford teams remaining. The League gave over 600 women athletes the opportunity to play professional baseball. Many of the players went on to successful careers, and the league itself provided an important precedent for later efforts to promote women's sports.





Sports for women
World War, 1939-1945--Personal narratives, American
All-American Girls Professional Baseball League--Personal narratives
Oral history
Baseball players--Minnesota
Baseball players--Indiana
Baseball players--Wisconsin
Baseball players--Michigan
Baseball players--Illinois
Baseball for women--United States


Grand Valley State University Libraries, Special Collections and University Archives, 1 Campus Drive, Allendale, MI, 49401


Veterans History Project (U.S.)






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