|c. 1940s Women's Baseball Uniform
1940s women's baseball uniform. Unknown team, the "Mollys".
Similar to uniform worn by members of the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League, which was formed in 1943. The uniforms worn by the ballplayers of the AAGPBL consisted of a belted, short-sleeved tunic dress with a slight flare of the skirt. Rules stated that skirts were to be worn no more than six inches above the knee, but the regulation was most often ignored in order to facilitate running and fielding. A team logo was sewn on the front of each dress.
See AAGPBL memorabilia below.
|AAGPBL Display at National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, NY.|
|Four Members of the Rockford Peaches, 1943|
|Uniform used in movie "A League of Their Own"|
| All American Girls Professional Baseball League (AAGPBL)
Made famous again by the movie "A League of Their Own", this league was conceived in 1943 by Chicago Cubs owner and chewing gum magnate Phillip Wrigley because it was widely believed that the Major and Minor leagues would be suspended during World War 2. When President Roosevelt gave the order to continue baseball for the "morale" of the nation Wrigley decided that it was time to fold the AAGPBL, however the attendance continued to grow and the league continued to operate until 1954.
For the first 5 years (unlike the movie) the AAGPBL was a fastpitch underhand softball league. In 1948 the league changed to allow overhand pitching. The AAGPBL gradually reduced the size of the softball from 12 inches in 1943-44, 11 1/2 inches in 1945, 11 inches in 1946-47, 10 3/8 inches 1948-49 (overhand), 10 inches in 1950 and finally to 9 1/4 inches (regulation baseball) from 1951-54.
Official Website of AAGPBL - http://www.aagpbl.org/league/history.cfm
National Girls Baseball League (NGBL)
This womens professional league was formed in 1944 and fielded teams until 1953. The League name was changed from National Girls Softball League to National Girls Baseball League in 1946.
The main differences between the NGBL and the AAGPBL were the NGBL had all of it's teams in Illinois in the greater Chicago area including Chicago, Des Plaines, Rockola & Forest Park while the AAGPBL had teams in Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Wisconsin and Minnesota. Also the AAGPBL began to allow overhand pitching in 1948 whereas the pitching in the NGBL remained underhand through 1953.
To keep the AAGPBL from raiding all the best players the NGBL often paid higher salaries than the AAGPBL thus starting a salary war between the leagues. Both leagues paid the equivelent of mens minor league baseball, with some stars in the early 1950's making an incredible $1000 per month in the NGBL . Many AAGPBL stars defected to the NGBL because of the excellent salaries and in some cases not being on the road as much was also important. Sophie Kurys, arguably the all time greatest player in AAGPBL, finished her career in the NGBL playing the 1951-53 seasons.
The AAGPBL and the NGBL competed against each other to see who could associate itself with the biggest stars. The AAGPBL recruited baseball hall of famer Max Carey to be the league president. The NGBL countered with legendary football hall of famer Red Grange as league president. The AAGPBL had former big leaguers Jimmie Foxx (Tom Hanks charactor), Dave Bancroft, Marty McManus, Bill Wambsganss and Carson Bigbee as managers, the NGBL had former big leaguers Woody English, Buck Weaver (1919 Black Sox) and Guy Bush as managers.
Ironically, Charlie Bidwell (the millionaire owner of the NFL Chicago Cardinals) who originally helped finance the birth of the AAGPBL also bankrolled the NGBL and was the team owner and 3rd base coach of the Chicago Bluebirds.
With so much focus on the AAGPBL since the movie "A League of Their Own", the NGBL really has not received it's due attention as the other premier womens "baseball" league.