A Brief History of Women’s Baseball
A Brief History of Women’s Baseball
Jun 18, 2024 10:23 AM

Everyone knows that baseball is a huge sport played by men but what about the women’s equivalent? Is there even such a thing? The truth is women’s baseball was around in the 1860’s but went through much tougher and sadder times than the men’s game.

In 1866 Vassar College organized the first two women’s baseball teams. Over the next few years other colleges followed suit. Then in a similar way that women’s basketball later faced problems women’s baseball was mostly gone by the mid 1870’s. It faced a backlash not only from the press and the general public but also from the girls’ mothers.

Two teams competed in 1875 and were the first women to actually be paid for playing the sport. Unfortunately early teams were considered a novelty and anytime they tried to be taken seriously they were shut out. In the 1890’s things improved and teams started to become more prevalent. Because of the style of uniform these players were known as bloomer girls.

The beginning of women’s professional baseball

Ironically there were more opportunities for women to play baseball in the 1940’s and 50’s than there are now. In 1943 The All American Girls Professional Baseball League was formed. The league lasted 12 years and was very popular for a few reasons including a momentous event that happened two years earlier.

In 1941 Pearl Harbor was attacked and America was drawn into the Second World War. Star players across all the teams enlisted or were conscripted to go and serve their country. The men’s league continued to compete but with a much lesser array of talent. Interest dwindled and so did the crowds.

The Lipstick League

Philip K Wrigley was the owner of the Chicago Cubs and their home was Wrigley Field. A big ballpark that needed to be filled. The Cubs General Manager at the time worked with Wrigley to devise options to raise revenues. They looked at softball and even light opera according to some sources. However it was the women’s league that became a reality.

Over 500 women would play in the league over the next dozen years. For the initial tryouts in Chicago nearly 300 women travelled from Canada and all over the states. Clearly there was a demand there to play. Four mid-west teams formed the initial All American Girls Baseball League (the word Professional was added later). The South Bend Blue Sox, The Racine Belles, Kenosha Comets and the Rockford Peaches.

Femininity was a big part of this league. They didn’t want women to act like their male counterparts and the league became known as the Lipstick League. The players were sent to charm school by Wrigley where they had to learn the right way to apply makeup and get out of a car in a feminine manner. They were encouraged to wear skirts at the hotel and slacks were frowned up.

This isn’t to say the league was a novelty. Far from it. The girls wore skirts but they were talented professional ball players. The popularity of the league grew and at its peak in 1948 it had a million paying fans. Like men’s baseball the women’s sport was segregated and only white players could compete in the AAGPBL.

The rise and fall and rise of women’s baseball

Sadly the sport didn’t survive long. In the 1950’s crowds dwindled and revenues dropped. More people were starting to get televisions in their homes and travelling to a stadium was not the only way to watch a game. The league collapsed and there were very few opportunities for women to play baseball. The Bloomer Girls had gone and the Lipstick League disappeared. Players packed up and returned home.

It would take decades for women’s baseball to rise again. Many sports witness league collapses and teams disappearing. Basketball is no stranger to this but women’s baseball seems particularly hard done by.

In 1984 Bob Hope attempted to bring women’s baseball back with a minor league team but was shot down by the Florida State League. He tried again in 1994 this time backed by Coors Beer. They established the Colorado Silver Bullets who would travel the states and play minor league and men’s college teams for the next few years.

2004 saw the first US Women’s National Team formed by US Baseball and there are signs for optimism with women’s baseball continuing to grow albeit slowly. Many young players end up switching to softball instead.

Betting on women’s sports

If you are a fan of women’s sports you may also like to have a flutter sometimes. Not surprisingly you cannot really gamble on women’s baseball. Online kaszino allow for a multitude of different ways to gamble though and include sports betting. You should check the regulations in your state or region to make sure online sports betting is allowed as there are different laws in place for each state. Women’s basketball is a popular way to bet women’s soccer is getting bigger too.

Before choosing a casino to play in, read the reviews to see recommendations and choose which games you want to play. Many land-based casinos will let you place sports bets on site and basketball season is very popular in Las Vegas. Search out your favorite games in Wazdan kaszinójátékok such as poker, blackjack and roulette and find the best odds for your sports bets. Online casinos are a great way for sports fans to stay entertained.

Future of women’s baseball

It is to be hoped that women’s baseball will continue to grow. The Peaches were immortalized in the Tom Hanks and Madonna movie; A League of Their Own. A story of the Lipstick League and the struggles those players faced and also their achievements. It is sad to see that 80 years on since the league was formed there isn’t now a professional established league like the NBL. If a girl or woman wants to play baseball it seems that they are encouraged to switch to softball instead.

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