Results tagged ‘ South Bend Blue Sox ’

An All-American education

Voss_90.jpgBy Emily Voss

Last week, a class of eighth grade students from Fort Washington, Pa., got quite a surprise when they connected with the Baseball Hall of Fame for Dirt on Their Skirts, a videoconference lesson on women’s history as part of the Museum’s education program.

If this had been a normal videoconference, the students and I would have spent about an hour discussing 150 years of women who broke barriers to play the National Pastime.

04-08-10-Voss_VideoConference.jpgBut this videoconference was different.

We reviewed female players of the 19th century, such as Alta Weiss and the Vassar College Resolutes, who played the game long before they had the right to vote. Then, as the lesson brought us into the 20th century, the students were introduced to a very special guest: Dolly Brumfield White, a player from the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League.

At the age of 14, Dolly became one of the youngest players to ever join the AAGPBL when she was signed by the South Bend Blue Sox in 1947. Dolly played in the league from ’47 to 1953, not only with the Blue Sox but also with the Kenosha Comets and the Fort Wayne Daisies. She was primarily an infielder, and a tremendous threat at the plate, leading the Comets in hitting in 1951 and finishing second in the league after batting .332 for Fort Wayne in 1953.

Now living in Arkansas, Dolly was in town for the Hall of Fame’s Salute to Women in Baseball program which took place on March 27.

The students from Fort Washington, Pa., enjoyed a rare opportunity to find out about the experiences of women in baseball from someone with first-hand knowledge of the subject. Dolly is a great storyteller, and she entertained as well as informed the students with tales from her life in the AAGPBL. The students were able to ask questions of Dolly as well.

Although we can’t always promise that our education programs will include former baseball players, we draw upon our remarkable Hall of Fame resources, such as archived audio, video and still images to enhance the experiences of students who connect with us via videoconference.

The National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum currently offers 15 baseball-themed curriculum units to schools nationwide through videoconference programs. The current curriculum units include mathematics, American history, leadership, labor history, fine arts, character education, cultural diversity, communication arts, economics, civil rights, pop culture, geography, industrial technology, science and – of course – women’s history.

Learn more about our programs.

Emily Voss is a school programs associate at the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum.

Dirt in the Skirt

Carr_90.jpgBy Samantha Carr

Like most women my age who grew up playing softball and loving baseball, I have seen the movie A League of Their Own about a million times.

03-03-10-Carr_ParadeMagazine.jpgBut I have only seen the ending once.

I just can’t bring myself to watch Dottie Hinson drop the ball in the championship game. I figure maybe if I don’t watch it, they went back and changed the ending and Dottie holds on for the win.

Growing up, I wanted to be Dottie. I want to be covered in dirt, with bruises on my knees, playing the game I love. Dottie had it all – she was smart, beautiful, a hard worker and one heck of an athlete.

Of course, when I was younger, this was just a story. Only as I grew up did I realize that this league was real and there were women just like Dottie who lived out their dreams in the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League.

On Saturday, March 27, four women who played in the AAGPBL will be in Cooperstown to celebrate Women’s History Month at the Baseball Hall of Fame.

03-03-10-Carr_Action.jpgDuring a special interview program beginning at 1 p.m., fans have the chance to sit down with Gloria Elliott (Kalamazoo Lassies, Racine/Battle Creek Belles) Sarah Jane Ferguson (Rockford Peaches), Joanne McComb (Springfield Sallies) and Dolly Brumfield White (South Bend Blue Sox, Kenosha Comets, Fort Wayne Daisies). Tickets for the program are free. Members may reserve their tickets now, by calling (607)547-0397. Any remaining tickets will be available to the general public beginning Monday, March 22.

These amazing women will give first-hand accounts of their experiences playing the game they loved. They will relate memories of the good and bad parts of playing baseball – stories that years from now will only be found in books.

Other events will take place throughout the day to commemorate women in baseball, including artifact spotlight presentations, and a special 11 a.m. lecture on the history of women in baseball given by the Hall of Fame’s director of research, Tim Wiles.

Make sure you get your tickets today, and join in celebrating these special women who – just like me – miss the dirt.

Samantha Carr is the media relations coordinator at the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum.

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.

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