"Play ball!" yelled the umpires as the teams of the AAGPBL took the field in the tense, war-torn days of 1943. Like all professional baseball players, these athletes scrambled to their positions, tossed balls across diamonds, and filled the air with chatter. But there was something different about them--they all wore skirts, went to charm school, and continually had to answer one question: "What is a woman doing playing baseball?"
What were they doing? Having a great time, playing top-notch ball, and showing that a woman's place was at home only when she was at bat, behind the plate, or scoring a run. For twelve seasons, from 1943 to 1954, some of America's best female athletes earned their livings by playing baseball. This is their story in their own words, a tale of no-hitters and chaperones, stolen bases and practical jokes, home runs and run-ins with fans.
Life in the league, however, was not all fun. Born out of a wartime "manpower" shortage, the AAGPBL ended with the growth of television and the ideal of the suburban home. Here, too, is the story of America's changing attitudes toward men and women and the roles we expect each to play. Author Sue Macy spent eleven years tracking down the women of the AAGPBL, interviewing them, and looking at their scrapbooks. Along the way she found that their odyssey did not end with the collapse of the league.
The same courage and spunk the players displayed on the field led them to get back in touch with each other in the 1980s, to remind the world of what they had achieved, and to take their rightful places in the National Baseball Hall of Fame. Balancing the voices of the women of the league with a lively, insightful overview of the changing patterns of American life, A Whole New Ball Game is a sports story full of telling insights about who we expect to be at home and how women can get back to first base.
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