Giving Back to the Game
By Samantha Carr
With more than 17,000 men having played major league baseball, little boys have plenty of baseball role models to look up to.
For girls, it is not always so easy.
Norma Metrolis, 84, passed away Tuesday at her home in Melbourne Beach, Fla. For five of those 84 years, “Trolley”, as she was known, was a catcher in the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League.
Metrolis last visited the Hall of Fame with a group of family and friends in September, happily autographing her baseball cards and posing for photos with visitors in the Museum. During a visit to the Hall of Fame Library, Metrolis pored through photos and clippings of her baseball career, telling stories and sharing memories.
Metrolis serves as a role model for me – a former college softball player – and for all of us girls who grew up loving baseball and spending our weekends covered in dirt and learning how to be tough when a ball took a bad hop and got you in the chin.
Debuting in the AAGPBL at age 19, Metrolis played for the Muskegon Lassies, Racine Belles, South Bend Blue Sox, Peoria Red Wings and Fort Wayne Daisies during her professional days. She adjusted from catching a softball to catching a baseball and even traveled to Cuba with the league to promote the game.
And she did all of this in a skirt.
When the league folded, these women didn’t have a place to play, so they went back to normal life. Metrolis spent thirty years working for the U.S. Department of Agriculture as a fruit and vegetable inspector. After retirement, Metrolis kept giving back to the game. She spent her free time golfing (she is credited with six hole-in-ones) and working at the Rebel Spring Games, a college softball tournament in Kissimmee, Fla.
Her family is arranging a celebration of Metrolis’s life, and donations may be made to the Rebel Spring Games for a softball player scholarship fund for college women.
Even after she’s gone, Norma Metrolis is finding a way to make little girls’ baseball dreams come true.
Samantha Carr is the media relations coordinator at the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum.