Baseball is one of the easiest sports that anyone can learn. It has simple rules that players of all ages can follow, making it a top choice for many beginners. More than this, this sport is also known as “America’s Favorite Pastime,” confirming that baseball is a widely-played sport in the country.
Women in Baseball
With a long history and rich cultural significance, the sports spurred the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League in 1843. The United States was entering the World War II era, and to retain the sport’s relevance amid chaos, women were encouraged to play the sport professionally.
From the inaugural game of the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League to the appearance of many women baseball players in today’s Major Basketball League, let’s get to know some of the most iconic faces in the history of female baseball.
Whether you’re an avid spectator, a casual fan, or just love wagering on MLB win totals, moneylines, and prop bets, the following names are must-remember!
1. Toni Stone
Born on July 17, 1921, Toni Stone shattered stereotypes and became the first woman to join the American major-level professional baseball team as a regular player. He participated in the all-Negro Indianapolis Clowns. She spent her childhood in Saint Paul, Minnesota. Stone enjoyed playing football with some young boys in the neighborhood and later earned the nickname “tomboy.”
It was also reported that in 1953, Stone hit a single off a fastball pitch delivered by iconic player Satchel Paige. However, this claim was unverified up to date. The second baseman also played for the Kansas City Monarchs in 1954.
2. Dottie Schroeder
Dorothy Schroeder was one of the most iconic shortstops in the history of women’s baseball. She has played for South Bend Blue Sox, Kenosha Comets, Fort Wayne Daisies, and Kalamazoo Lassies. Schroeder was awarded the three-time All-Star Team from 1952 to 1954. She also won the AAGPBL Championship in 1943 and 1954.
She was the only girl to play in All-American Girls Professional Baseball League for its twelve full seasons. She played in 1299 games in he entire career. She was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum in 1988.
3. Sophie Kurys
Sophie Kurys played for the Racine Belles in 1943 to 1951 and the Battle Creek Belles in 1952. Kurys was hailed as one of the most iconic second bases in the history of the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League. She earned her nickname Flint Flash or Tina Cobb for her speed in stealing bases.
In 1946, she earned the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League Player of the Year Award. She was also an all-time leader for runs in a single game, a season and career, and an all-time leader in stolen bases. Additionally, she was a four-time All-Star team and a two-time League and Playoff champion team. Kurys was inducted into the National Women’s Baseball Hall of Fame Induction in 2013.
4. Dorothy Kamenshek
Born in Cincinnati, Ohio, Kamenshek started young in playing baseball. At age 17, Kamenshek was scouted by the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League When the league kicked off in 1943, she joined the Rockford Peaches as an outfielder. Later, she played first base. She is the other half of the league’s best double-play combination, along with shortstop Snooky Harrell.
Kamenshek played for the league for ten seasons and was hailed the two-time batting champion from 1946 to 1947. She was also named the Seven-time All-Star Team in 1943 and from 1946 to 1951. She was inducted into the National Women’s Baseball Hall of Fame Induction in 2010.
5. Julie Croteau
Julie Croteau played for the Colorado Silver Bullets and the Maui Stingrays in 1994. She was well known as the first female baseball player to participate in men’s NCAA baseball. Moreover, she was also the first woman to coach the men’s NCAA Division I baseball.
Croteau also accepted the role as the third base coach for the United States women’s national baseball team, which won the 2004 Women’s Baseball World Cup. Two years later, she was promoted to manager of the women’s national team, which won the 2006 Women’s World Cup. In history, Croteau was the only female coach to bring and lead the women’s baseball team to the title in any international competition.
6. Jean Faut
Jean Faut played professional women’s football from 1946 to 1953. She was a starting pitcher in the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League. Faut played for South Bend Blue Sox in her entire career. While playing for this team, she earned the two-time Player of the Year Award in 1951 and 1953.
She also appeared in six playoffs and was hailed the Triple Crown Pitching winner twice. In addition, she secured two perfect games in 1951 and 1953. She also recorded two no-hitters in 1948 and 1949.
7. Ila Borders
Ila Borders made her Northern League debut with St. Paul Saints on May 31, 1997. She was traded to the Duluth–Superior Dukes one month into the regular season. She was then sent to Madison Black Worf, and there she posted the best numbers of her career. She earned a 1–0 record (1.67 ERA, 15 games, 32.3 innings, ten walks, 33 hits, eight strikeouts).
She then moved to Western Baseball League and played for the Zion Pioneerzz. With her exemplary contributions to the sports, Borders was elected to the Baseball Reliquary’s Shrine of the Eternals in 2003.
8. Connie Wisniewski
Wisniewski was an outfielder and starting pitcher in the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League. She played in the league from 1944 through 1952. In 1944, Wisniewski played for Milwaukee Chicks and then moved to Grand Rapids Chicks from 1945 to 1949 and from 1951 to 1952.
Some of her notable awards are the following: Player of the Year Award (1945), four-time All-Star Team as a pitcher (1946), four-time All-Star Team as an outfielder (1948-’49, 1951), two Championship Teams (1944, 1947), and Eight playoff appearances (1944-’49, 1951-’52) among many others.
9. Eri Yoshida
Yoshida is a Japanese women’s baseball player who became the first woman drafted by a Japanese men’s professional baseball team at age 16. At age 14, she learned how to throw a knuckleball as she started mimicking the movements of baseball star Tim Wakefield.
As a high schooler, Yoshida was drafted by the Kobe 9 Cruise before the inaugural season of the Kansai Independent Baseball League. With 11,592 fans at the Osaka Dome, Yoshida made her debut, striking out one as she faced two batters.
Yoshida was the first female to play baseball professionally on two continents as she signed a contract with California’s Chico Outlaws of the Golden Baseball League.
10. Doris Sams
Also known as Sammye. Doris Jane Sams was a successful female pitcher who played in the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League from 1946 to 1953. She took part in Muskegon Lassies success from 1946 to 1950 and then moved to Kalamazoo Lassies from 1950 to 1953.
Some of the Sams’ most notable accomplishments were the following: two-time Player of the Year Award (1947, 1949), five-time All-Star Team (1947, 1949-’52), perfect game (1947), no-hitter (1948), and four playoff appearances (1947-’49, 1953), among her long list of recognitions. In 2012, Sams was inducted into the National Women’s Baseball Hall of Fame.
Baseball was initially a men-dominated sport, but with more women showing interest in throwing, ball-carrying, catching, defending, and punting, the sport has evolved into an inclusive game for everyone. The female baseball icons we have mentioned here continue to inspire more women to break stereotypes and prove female power in sports.