Today’s post is going to highlight the inspirational story behind the All-Girls League shirt. The ‘All-American Girls Professional Baseball League (AAGPBL)’ was a professional women’s baseball league established in 1943. The league was founded by Phillip K. Wrigley and existed until 1954. At the time the league was started the United States had entered World War II, many baseball executives decided to do something to ensure that baseball still remained part of the conversation while all the men were away at war. Over 600 women participated in the league, and at one pointed attracted more than 900,000 viewers in attendance.
Tryouts were held in Chicago and the players were scouted from amateur softball games across the country and eventually only 60 were chosen for the league. Although at the time there were many criterias which players had to meet before they were recruited; not only did they need the skills, they also had to meet the marketer’s wholesome feminine ideal. The women’s league also had the same rules as the male league which was that no African American players were recruited. The AAGPBL played an important part in both female history and sports history. It gave over 600-women the opportunity to play baseball at a professional level, a level that never existed before the establishment of the league. It became a great influence on changing the perception of female roles in society during WWII, where women were pushed into the workforce and taking on more roles that were typically only reserved for men, who at the time were at war. The league has been one of the most unique and interesting elements in baseball history.
Words by Pippa Touchphong.