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Smither, James (Interviewer)

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Zipay, Sue

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Sue Zipay was born in Medford, Massachusetts, in 1934 and grew up in Hingham. In grade school, Zipay recalled the wartime rationing, blackouts, and public celebrations at the end of the Second World War. In high school, she played for a Catholic Youth Organization basketball team, and a softball team as a shortstop, before graduating in 1952. After undergoing a tryout for AAGPBL Rockford Peaches chaperone Dottie Green, Zipay was contracted to play for the team during the 1953 season and attended spring training in South Bend, Indiana. Zipay did not have a set position with the Peaches, so she could be placed into any empty field position while also coaching first and third bases while not on the field. The team was forbidden to wear pants, smoke, swear, or have long hair while in public as to still give off a feminine appearance while not on the field. After acquiring a winter job, Zipay returned to the Rockford Peaches for the 1954 season and eventually learned that the League was being disbanded at the end of the season. Some of her colleagues went on to play for a new traveling team while Zipay got married and started a family. After having three children, she recognized that she could not return to any baseball programs and remained committed to serving her family while also taking up tennis in her spare time. Still interested in athletics, Zipay became a ranked tennis player in New England and attended Vic Braden School in California for a degree in teaching. She then moved to Florida and opened a tennis club, joined the Women's Baseball League Association, and helped organize plans for the construction of a women's baseball museum. Reflecting upon her time with the League, Zipay believed she gained a greater sense of confidence and camaraderie while playing for the Rockford Peaches.

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Veterans History Project collection, RHC-27