The All-American Girls’ Professional Baseball League

1 May

During the Second World War, many of America’s Major League baseball players served in the military. The All-American Girls’ Professional Baseball League was formed in 1943 to entertain the people still at home. The league, which lasted until 1954, was also a source of income for families, as many women needed to find jobs while their husbands were away.

Many people know that the AAGPBL was featured in the 1992 movie A League of Their Own, starring Tom Hanks and Geena Davis, but did you know that it has also inspired several picture books? With baseball season (my favorite time of year) in full swing, I knew it was time to share these great books about The All-American Girls’ Professional Baseball League.

Mama Played BaseballMama Played Baseball (©2003) by David A. Adler

The story centers on a young girl named Amy whose father is away serving in World War II. Amy’s mother needs a job while her husband is away, so she practices day in and day out to prepare for baseball tryouts. When Amy’s mother makes the team, Amy and her grandparents sit in the stands and cheer her on. With rich illustrations that evoke the feeling of the era and a heartwarming surprise ending, this book is a winner for ages 5-9.

Players in PigtailsPlayers In Pigtails (©2003) by Shana Corey

This book is the fictional story of Katie Casey, the girl featured in the popular song, “Take Me Out to the Ball Game.” Katie struggles with knitting, baking, and other typical “girl” activities of the era, but she lives and breathes all things baseball. Katie represents many real girls in the 1940s who shared of love of America’s pastime. With colorful, kid-friendly illustrations – and plenty of girl power to boot – kids ages 4-8 will love this energetic tale.

Dirt on Their SkirtsDirt on Their Skirts (©2000) by Doreen Rappaport and Lyndall Callan

This story chronicles the 1946 championship game between the Racine Belles and the Rockford Peaches. While I wasn’t a huge fan of the watercolor illustrations, the fact-based story is both educational and entertaining for ages 6-9.

8 Responses to “The All-American Girls’ Professional Baseball League”

  1. bamauthor May 1, 2014 at 7:40 am #

    Pinned them on my books for girls…thanks for sharing!

  2. Alex Baugh May 7, 2014 at 4:58 am #

    These are definitely books I would like to see girls (and boys) reading, especially this time of the year. Thanks for sharing these great looking books.

  3. Rebecca Douglass May 7, 2014 at 8:54 am #

    Great collection of books! I was recently surprised to learn that in the years right after the war, when my Mom was in college, there were women’s basketball teams in small towns all over–at least all over Eastern Washington. Mom played on her college team, but there was no college league–they played against these town teams. Seems like it was a little later (the 50s and the Leave it to Beaver attitude?) that the idea of sports for women really vanished, or maybe it was community-based sports for adults all around that suffered.

  4. Julie Grasso May 8, 2014 at 1:29 am #

    These look fabulous, and I can just imagine Renee pinning these for reference lol. We don’t have much baseball down at the bottom of the pond, but these books look great in encouraging girls in yet another area they can be great at. Thanks for hosting the kid lit blog hop and we hope you are having a ball at home….

  5. Resh May 8, 2014 at 1:53 pm #

    awesome list as always KAtie!

    • stanleyandkatrina May 8, 2014 at 8:23 pm #

      Great list, Katie! Now I want to watch A League of Their Own, again. Thanks for sharing and hosting the Kid Lit Blog Hop.
      Cool Mom for
      The Stanley & Katrina Gang

  6. Renee @ Mother Daughter Book Reviews May 12, 2014 at 9:25 pm #

    Fabulous collection of books Katie and one of my favorite movies. I’ve been coaching my son’s little league team (my first time coaching) over the past month and a half. It has really re-ignited my love of the game. Loving it!! Thanks for sharing in the Kid Lit Blog Hop. Pinning!!

  7. ccarpinello May 18, 2014 at 12:20 pm #

    Love these! Go along perfectly with “A League of Their Own” for slightly older readers! Thanks for introducing these.

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