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Lavonne 'Pepper' Paire Lavonne 'Pepper' Paire
Catcher, Right-handed; All-American Girls Professional League - 1943-1954

A model of endurance, Pepper Paire was a star catcher for ten seasons from 1944-1953. She helped three different professional girls baseball teams win pennants in her tenure behind home plate - Fort Wayne, Grand Rapids and Racine. An excellent pitch caller and outstanding fielder, Paire led the AAGPBL in 1950 with a stunning .979 fielding percentage.

Pepper Paire - Legend has it: 'that she once broke a finger, made a splint out of popsicle sticks so the injury wasn't visible, and still managed to throw out would-be base stealers.' She was also a consultant for the well-known movie: A League of Their Own - baseballhistorian.com



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All-American Girls Baseball - 1940s Women All-American Girls Baseball - 1940s Women
On Course for Baseball History - the First Professional Womens Baseball League

Started in 1943

Players Bios:

* Charlotte Armstrong, Pitcher South Bend Blue Sox, RH - Posted a sterling 21-15 WL record with a stingy 1.51 earned run average as a rookie in 1944. Followed that up by working 355 innings in '45 including pitching complete game shutout wins in extra innings totaling 32 innings - both ends of a doubleheader... finishing the season at 18-22 for the Blue Sox who disappointed its fans with a poor 49-60 record. Pitch just two seasons in the AAGPBL before joining another pro women's league. Later rejoined her original softball team and becoming a six time All-Star. Born in Phoenix Arizona on 6/17/1924.

* Theresa Kobuszewski, Pitcher Kenosha Comets, RH - a well-regarded softball player prior to debuting into the AAGBL as a 26-year-old underhand pitcher in 1946 - she finished with a 3-9 WL record, 2.71 earned run average in 123 innings, spanning 21 games... Koby rang up an 11-15 record, 2.42 ERA in '47, striking out 47 batters in 208 innings while playing with both Kenosha and Fort Wayne. Two season AAGPBL stats: 14-24 WL, 2.53 ERA, 103Ks, 108 Walks, 5 WP, 9 HB, 331 innings, 51 games... batting average .242 in 124 at-bats. Born: Wyandotte, Michigan.

* Betty Carveth, Pitcher Rockford Peaches & Fort Wayne Daises, RH although it wouldn't been surprising if she was a movie star, the facts are that the 5-ft, 4-inch, 125-pounder was a 'pretty good-looking ballplayer' in her days.' She started with Rockford in 1945 was traded to Fort Wayne in mid-season, and married the following year, And left the Girls League to raise a family... Carveth Chalked up a 4-11 WL record, in 21 games.

* Bernice Metesch, Utility Player South Bend Blue Sox & Rockford Peaches, RH - another of the good-looking female players in the AAGBL. The long curly-hared, 5-ft, 6-inch, 132-pounder played just one year in the Girls League before returning to her hometown of Joliet, Illinois, and there pitched for an all men's team and was featured in a movie short.

* Barbara Liebrich, Second Baseman Chicago Sallies, Right-handed - used primarily as a utility infielder, she batted .250 in 3 games during 1948-49... nicknamed Bobbie Liebrich... unable to make the team in '50 she became a chaperone for the Springfield and then for the Kalamazoo Lassies in '52-'54.

* Marie Kazierczak, Outfielder Milwaukee Chicks, RH - the 5-ft, 5-inch, 160-pounder played one season in the All-American Girls Professional League - 1944... a native of Milwaukee, she played for all three of the Wisconsin teams in her one year - Milwaukee, Kenosha and Racine... Nicknamed Sheets...

* Eileen O'Brien, Infielder/Outfielder Muskegon Lassies, Right-handed - a native of Chicago, she played softball prior to joining the AAGBL at age 26 in 1948... and after playing just 5 games, became a traveling chaperone for the women players... later worked 43 years as a teacher and librarian in the Chicago Public Schools Systems... baseballhistorian.com - All-American Girls Professional Baseball League History



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Homeland News of 1942-45 - War Rages On Homeland News of 1942-45 - War Rages On
Women Players - doing their best for the War Effort

Hundreds of male major league players were drafted or enlisted into the military during World War II, while the women players of the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League helped in every way they could.

The following words from a pamphlet issued during World War II:

Conserve Materials to win the war - Nothing Counts But Victory:

By John Miller... Edited by Albert Perry... Copyright by Consolidated Book Publishers, Inc. Chicago... Printed in the U.S.A.

'On every front troops of the United Nations are fighting the well-armed enemy with less than adequate weapons. They must be supplied. It will mean giving up much, it will mean learning to do without. But better privations than 'Too little and too late.'

Rubber, Aluminum, Cotton

Basically, to the civilian, rubber means tires. Not so to the army. The fastest modern tanks travel on rubber. Rubber seals airplane gas tanks against enemy bullets. Rubber hose fights fires in bombed cities. Signal Corps men crawl into battlefields, trailing behind them long lines of copper telephone wire sheathed with rubber. Without these wires, the generals do not know what is happening.

Submarine mines, connected to the shore by rubber-insulated cables, guard our harbors. Parachute harnesses are padded with rubber to protect the jumper against the devastating jerk when the chute opens. rubber floats pontoons, rubber live jackets protect sailors when they are victims of the treacherous torpedo.

Aluminum - and Your Lights

For every 700 cars we are not making, we are saving enough aluminum to build one fighter plane. Modern airplanes can soar to 30,000 feet because they are made of aluminum, one of the lightest known metals.

Bauxite, the ore from which aluminum is made, is procurable. But electricity is used to separate the rest of the ore. Electricity is cheap to the user. It is just as easy to let a light burn as not. Next time, remember first-rate fighter planes use up aluminum. Turn the lights off when you leave the room.

Cotton

More than half the weight of smokeless powder is made of cotton. In the last war, we used almost two and one-half million pounds of cotton in munitions. Right now there is a cotton surplus. But there is no surplus of the machines that make cotton into tent materials, gas-masks bags, guncotton. Even this common plant is vital. Cotton, too, is fighting in the front lines.

===============================================

The women players of the AAGPBL made every attempt to help conserve materials during the War. Many took special care of their clothes and the clothes of their families. That went for socks, underwear, and neckties, too. And, after every mending was tried, they sold the rags to a junkman, who sent them where they were most needed.

Not only did they sew their old clothes but many worked in ammunitions factories, worked in airplane manufactories, helped in air raid watch, and also helped the Red Cross.

===============================================

Women Players

* Anita Foss, Second Base - her beloved husband was killed during the war... joined the women and played just one season and then left to 'turn her life in another direction.'

* Virginia Bell, Pitcher/Outfielder - played one season in the AAGBL and later did her part in the war effort by proudly served in the WACS military division in Japan. After which, she worked as a mechanical engineer at Boeing Aircraft.

* Betty Emry Shortstop/Pitcher - posted a solid 7 wins and 4 loss record as a rookie... played two years in the AAGBL. She worked in the Briggs Aircraft plant... Born in Manistique, Michigan.

* Gertrude Dunn South Bend Blue Sox Shortstop - a resounding athlete, she played shortstop for four seasons in the womens baseball league - AAGPBL 1951-1954. Was also a member of the US La Crosse Touring Team and US Field Hockey Team.

* Philomena Gianfrancisco, Grand Rapids Chicks Outfielder - Born in Chicago... she toured Cuba as A good will ambassador in 1942 and played 4 years in AAGPBL. Later, she married and managed U.S. boxing great Tony Zale.

* Margaret Wigiser, Rockford Peaches Outfielder - played three seasons in the All-American Girls Baseball League - 1944-1946. Born in Brooklyn NY, she later helped start a program to fund female athletics in high school at the New York City Board of Education.

* Edna Frank, Minneapolis Catcher - played one year in the League - 1944. And then, enlisted in the US Navy.




Women's Baseball History  1940s Women's Baseball History 1940s
Popular Players of the First Womens Professional League AAGPBL

On Course for Baseball History - the First Womens Professional League

Players Bios:

Compiled by baseballhistorian.com - AAGPBL Archives

* Doris Sams, Outfielder and Pitcher Muskegon Lassies - a gifted athlete, she was one of the leading players of the AAGPBL. Nicknamed Sammye... joined the league at age 19 in 1946, - pitched a perfect game on August 18, 1947 - used as an outfielder because of her batting abilities. Was a six time All-Star. Sams and was selected Player of the Year in 1947 and in 1949... Born in Knoxville, TN

* Dorothy Harrell, Shortstop Rockford Peaches, RH - joined the AAGBL at age 20 in 1944... her winning desire helped the Peaches win four Championships. Her 306 career RBIs ranks 13th best in league history... A top-of-the line fielding shortstop, and a slap hitter, she batted a career-high .271 in '50... called Snooky or married name of Snookie Doyle career stats: stole 229 lifetime bases, 206 times and struck out just 95 times in 2,922 games, .228 Batting Average.

* Kay Heim, Catcher Kenosha Comets, Right-handed - a native of Edmonton, Alberta, Canada... she fulfilled a dream by playing with the world's best women professionals ballplayers. Noted for her strong, accurate throwing arm, she played two years, 1943-1944, before marrying... Compiled a sterling .950 fielding percentage.

* Martha Rommelaere, Outfielder Kenosha Comets, Right-handed - another womens star from Edmonton, Canada... in 1949 she was awarded Canada's Alberta Most Valuable Player before playing one season for the Kenosha Comets - 1950.

* Edna Frank, Catcher Minneapolis Millerettes, RH - born in St. Louis on 6/15/1924 she joined the AAGPBL as a rookie 20-year-old in 1944... after playing 16 games she was traded to Racine in mid-year, and chose not to report, and joined the US Navy instead. She later married and raised 8 wonderful children.

* Virginia Bell, Pitcher and Outfielder Springfield Sallies, Right-handed - played one season in the All-American Girls Professional League, 1948... later proudly served 2 years in the US Military with the WACS in Japan... nicknamed Ginger Bell.



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Memphis Opens New Park (Year 2000)
April 4, 2000 Baseballhistorian.com - Internet News Services - Minor League News - Memphis Redbirds

The Memphis Redbirds opened their new stadium with an exhibition game against their parent club, the St. Louis Cardinals. Mark Little lined two doubles and two RBIs as the Triple A Memphis Redbirds beat the Cardinals 10-6 in new AutoZone Park. Stubby Clapp joined in the slugfest with three hits and 2 RBIs for the wiining Memphis team.

An overflow crowd of 15,000 fans enjoyed the new stadium and Redbirds' victory. A lot of fans stated they enjoyed their views from the stands, the hot dogs were tasty and were happy to see the Red Birds beat the major league Cardinals.

Single game tickets for the Memphis Redbirds are now on sale. For Tickets call (901) 761-6000 or write for schedule - Memphis Redbirds Baseball, 8 South Third St, Memphis TN 38103



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