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The South Bend Blue Sox (McFarland, 2012)

Immortalized in the film A League of Their Own, the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League debuted in 1943 as a way to fill ballpark seats in case Major League Baseball should suspend operations due to the drain of manpower during World War II. Any fan expecting to see a watered-down version of the national pastime was in for a surprise. The talented women who played on the diamonds of several Midwestern towns proved every bit as tough and competitive as their male counterparts, running with abandon, diving for catches, and sliding fearlessly, all the while wearing uniforms with short skirts. The book examines the history of the league as seen through the eyes of the players and management of the South Bend Blue Sox, one of only two teams (the Rockford Peaches was the other) to play the league’s full twelve seasons.

More than one hundred women represented South Bend’s ball club. These daring heroines included Dottie Schroeder, Betsy Jochum, Bonnie Baker, Lucella MacLean, Jean Faut, Elizabeth “Lib” Mahon, Marge Stefani, Inez Voyce, Betty Wagoner, Georgette “Jetty” Vincent, Janet “Pee Wee” Wiley, Sue Kidd, Wilma Briggs, and Betty Francis, to name a few. Although the goal of each player was to play the game she loved to the best of her ability, together they also paved the way to greater freedom of choice for the generations of women who followed.

Cost on Amazon: $39.95 paper, $9.99 kindle

Cost from author: $25 postpaid (5 copies left)