Giving Back to the Game

Carr_90.jpgBy 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.

02-03-10-Carr_Metrolis.jpgMetrolis 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.

3 Comments

I’m not sure many women will see this article, but I am sure many, many will agree with it if they had. I played softball all through jr high through college. My hero’s at that time were the guys I watched played baseball every Summer in San Francisco (Go Giaints!). Now, I’m not complaining, getting to watch and talk with Willie Mays, Bobby Bond and Willie McCovey are still some of my treasured memories. But, when I found out there was once a Women’s Profession Baseball League, it was like a door had open and a new world exposed. Reading about these women, who played the game just as hard AND in skirts (try sliding in a pair of those, I DARE you!), was beyond motivating and inspiring. Seeing old movie reels of their earlier games and some of the talent that was being brought to light, beyond words for girls like me who never knew when they were growing up that at one time in history, there were women who really loved the game, played it just as hard and with alot of heart and inspired the country during wartime. I’m proud they are now included in the Hall of Fame, they deserve to be. Just wish they had something like that now for young girls who play hard and love the game just as much as their brothers, but sadly, know there’s not much after college for them to go. THAT is hard, knowing you can not proceed with something you are so good at, but will not have a chance to even pursue. Thanks Sam for such a great article and reminding us of some women who definitely deserve the title of, “hero”.

Thank you for sharing that! As a young female baseball fan I can relate and I’m sure plenty of other young girls relate too! That’s too bad that she past away (may she rest in peace) but she lived such a fulfilling life not to mention inspirational!

I LOVE being informed more on the AAGPBL because women made such an impact on the game as well! More so than they are given credit for. Reading up on them, there were a plethora of talented ball players who had no where to go after the war was over which was definitely sad. However they certainly made us females proud! One of my favorite baseball movies is A League of Their Own. I love it :)

Thank you again!

http://mimi.mlblogs.com

Glad to see these ladies getting the recognition they deserve. I have a young daughter who is a good little baseball player, and I always talk to her about the old girls league.
Mike
http://burrilltalksbaseball.mlblogs.com

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