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Incredible Women of the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League

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This book chronicles the history of the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League and the stories of the first women to play professional baseball in a league of their own. "In 1941, the world was at war, and with American men fighting overseas, the much needed pastime of professional baseball was in danger of extinction—until women stepped up to the plate." In this he This book chronicles the history of the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League and the stories of the first women to play professional baseball in a league of their own. "In 1941, the world was at war, and with American men fighting overseas, the much needed pastime of professional baseball was in danger of extinction—until women stepped up to the plate." In this heartwarming illustrated history, the League's story is told by the ones who know it best: the players. Author Anika Orrock collects a variety of funny, charming, wince-worthy, and powerful vignettes told by the players themselves about their time playing the American pastime. • Features stories of grit and perseverance against all odds, told by the players themselves • Filled with player statistics, historical beats, headlines, and more; and fully illustrated in Anika's vibrant style • A visually engaging, readable women-led history book Written in an approachable manner and beautifully illustrated, The Incredible Women of the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League is a one-of-a-kind story told through the women's own voices and their own perspectives. This book ultimately proves that the incredible women of the AAGPBL truly were in a league of their own. • A unique celebration of a specific moment in women's and sports history • A great read for experienced and new sports fans alike, readers young and old, baseball fans, and anyone looking for an inspiring gift for an aspiring professional sports player • Perfect on the shelf with books like Women in Science: 50 Fearless Pioneers Who Changed the World by Rachel Ignotofsky, Strong is the New Pretty by Kate T. Parker, and Rad American Women A-Z: Rebels, Trailblazers, and Visionaries who Shaped Our History . . . and Our Future! by Kate Schatz


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This book chronicles the history of the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League and the stories of the first women to play professional baseball in a league of their own. "In 1941, the world was at war, and with American men fighting overseas, the much needed pastime of professional baseball was in danger of extinction—until women stepped up to the plate." In this he This book chronicles the history of the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League and the stories of the first women to play professional baseball in a league of their own. "In 1941, the world was at war, and with American men fighting overseas, the much needed pastime of professional baseball was in danger of extinction—until women stepped up to the plate." In this heartwarming illustrated history, the League's story is told by the ones who know it best: the players. Author Anika Orrock collects a variety of funny, charming, wince-worthy, and powerful vignettes told by the players themselves about their time playing the American pastime. • Features stories of grit and perseverance against all odds, told by the players themselves • Filled with player statistics, historical beats, headlines, and more; and fully illustrated in Anika's vibrant style • A visually engaging, readable women-led history book Written in an approachable manner and beautifully illustrated, The Incredible Women of the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League is a one-of-a-kind story told through the women's own voices and their own perspectives. This book ultimately proves that the incredible women of the AAGPBL truly were in a league of their own. • A unique celebration of a specific moment in women's and sports history • A great read for experienced and new sports fans alike, readers young and old, baseball fans, and anyone looking for an inspiring gift for an aspiring professional sports player • Perfect on the shelf with books like Women in Science: 50 Fearless Pioneers Who Changed the World by Rachel Ignotofsky, Strong is the New Pretty by Kate T. Parker, and Rad American Women A-Z: Rebels, Trailblazers, and Visionaries who Shaped Our History . . . and Our Future! by Kate Schatz

30 review for Incredible Women of the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League

  1. 4 out of 5

    Dee Arr

    I had high hopes and was really looking forward to reading this book, but it didn’t reach the heights I had hoped it would. Author Anika Orrock’s two- to three-paragraph blurbs tie the book together, giving us a quick idea of whatever subject the next group of quotes will loosely address. I had hoped for more substance, and Ms. Orrock’s brief passages, while possessing a few pieces of knowledge, didn’t share enough to engage me. The best part of the book are the quotes from the players. We are tr I had high hopes and was really looking forward to reading this book, but it didn’t reach the heights I had hoped it would. Author Anika Orrock’s two- to three-paragraph blurbs tie the book together, giving us a quick idea of whatever subject the next group of quotes will loosely address. I had hoped for more substance, and Ms. Orrock’s brief passages, while possessing a few pieces of knowledge, didn’t share enough to engage me. The best part of the book are the quotes from the players. We are treated to firsthand personal accounts of what the league was like, and what it was like to be part of the league. If you are looking for more details about the league, there are a few books listed in the sources. I may check out one of them to find what I didn’t find with this book. To be fair, the title does say “The Incredible Women” and the quotes are the home runs of this book. Unfortunately, the rest of the book did not measure up, and essentially struck out. Three stars.

  2. 5 out of 5

    C. S.

    "You have to understand that we'd rather play ball than eat.." - Lavonne "Pepper" Paire "World War II was the really big one for my generation... Times changed, women had to leave the home and the kitchen. Now the men are coming back, you women get back in the kitchen! I'm sorry, you've opened the door of opportunity and we're not in the kitchen, we're out in the world being productive and doing other things and having other opportunities." - Delores "Dolly" Brumfeld Oh. My. Godddddd. This book ha "You have to understand that we'd rather play ball than eat.." - Lavonne "Pepper" Paire "World War II was the really big one for my generation... Times changed, women had to leave the home and the kitchen. Now the men are coming back, you women get back in the kitchen! I'm sorry, you've opened the door of opportunity and we're not in the kitchen, we're out in the world being productive and doing other things and having other opportunities." - Delores "Dolly" Brumfeld Oh. My. Godddddd. This book has EVERYTHING. Through a really unique, engaging and seamless interplay of visual queues and actual quotes from payers, coaches, newscasters, and press reports, this book tells SUCH A STORY, dipping in and out of individual players lives and struggles to the evolving attitude toward women playing baseball on a level that, at its peak, drew A MILLION SPECTATORS. Neither does the book shy away from the negatives. From facing sexism in the form of impractical but ~*feminine*~ uniforms, to patronizing over-policing of players' private lives, to the struggles of players to balance their spouse's wants and feelings. There's even this eye-popping quote from Paire later in life: "I stopped talking about our league for a long time, because whenever...someone would ask me how I knew so much about the game, and I'd say, 'Well, I played girls' professional baseball years ago.' And they'd say, "You mean softball?' I'd say, 'No, I mean baseball.' And they'd do a double take and say, 'You man softball.' And I'd say again, 'No, I mean baseball.' And after I'd say it about the fourth or fifth time, they'd say, 'You mean... baseball? Like men's baseball? Like with a hard ball?' And from the look in their eyes, I could see that they still didn't believe me. You can look 'em right in the eye and say'baseball,' and they'll look you right back and say 'softball.' Well, you get tired of doing that, and I can't carry my scrapbooks around on my back." And sexism isn't where it stops. Orrock opens a truly haunting section on the struggles of African American women to be part of this new movement with the paragraph, "For the first time, a generation of young girls had grown up watching women play professional baseball, and by the early 1950s, many other women who had also grown up playing baseball were finally aware that the All-American Girls Baseball League existed and that a career in baseball was possible. Unfortunately, many of those women would never have the opportunity to play." Follows is the story of Mamie "Peanut" Johnson, an African American woman who showed up to an AAGBBL tryout and was turned away, after having "groen up playing baseball with the boys, just like every other All-American." But because all of these warts are shown as what they are, part of the history, the story just resonates that much more deeply. I didn't think I was in a place where what basically amounts to a baseball picture book would bring tears to my eyes, but here we are. This book was one hell of a ride, and I'm totally buying myself a physical copy even though I rarely do so for myself anymore. And if I, a total sportsball neophyte and committed non-interestarian feel this way about the book? A must-read for anyone who is even remotely inclined to pay attention to sports. :I just know that I loved the game, I always loved it all my life...And the All-American League was beautiful." - Jean Faut

  3. 5 out of 5

    Kristine

    Incredible Women of the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League by Anika Orrock is a free NetGalley ebook that I read in mid-December. The writing and illustrations both done by Orrock in a very chin-up, motivated documentarian, yet alive and kicking voice. She pulls quotes from newspapers and periodicals of that time, plus insight from the women themselves on making money, living in boarding houses, rewriting the rules as games went on (using a smaller ball, greater distance between base Incredible Women of the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League by Anika Orrock is a free NetGalley ebook that I read in mid-December. The writing and illustrations both done by Orrock in a very chin-up, motivated documentarian, yet alive and kicking voice. She pulls quotes from newspapers and periodicals of that time, plus insight from the women themselves on making money, living in boarding houses, rewriting the rules as games went on (using a smaller ball, greater distance between bases), emphasis on femininity, no helmets, sliding bases in a skirt, really going to charm school and taught to apply makeup (i.e. wearing lipstick to avoid fines), the spread of teams over time into 1954, living and traveling with chaperones, summer training in Cuba, stereotypes back home in the off-season related to working and going to school, and a summary of impressive stats.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Jen (LOHF/Book Den)

    I miss baseball so hard right now, and this book filled some of that void for me. The Incredible Women of the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League was different than I expected. It's mostly a book of quotes from the players, the coaches, and the press. I loved the quotes from the players! It began with little snippets that every girl can relate to! Boys not wanting a girl on their team until - of course - they started losing (Lois Youngen) or being told girls don't need baseball gloves I miss baseball so hard right now, and this book filled some of that void for me. The Incredible Women of the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League was different than I expected. It's mostly a book of quotes from the players, the coaches, and the press. I loved the quotes from the players! It began with little snippets that every girl can relate to! Boys not wanting a girl on their team until - of course - they started losing (Lois Youngen) or being told girls don't need baseball gloves (Norma “Hitch” Whitney). Then it moved on to the memories of these incredible women playing baseball. At first these memories were absolutely precious, but the insights regarding their uniforms and femininity and the makeup requirements were hard to hear! I think the quotes did a good job of showing what things were really like for these women. I loved getting insights into how tough and amazing these women were! I just wish I could have gotten more information about each of them. There were a few profiles of the baseball players, but the narrative was mostly about the league as a whole. I would have loved some background on the women and some specific stories about the women to give more substance to the quotes in the book. Overall, though, this was a wonderful book to curl up with for an evening. I love this sport, and it's amazing to think of all of the things these women accomplished both on the field and after.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Susie Finkbeiner

    Some books are just special. This is one of them. I read it for research, but would have enjoyed it nevertheless as a book simply for enjoyment.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Dr. Fink Dawkins

    A copy for every girl on their birth, please. I’m humbled and inspired by the tenacity of the women of the AAGPBL. Not only did they play ball, they played ball under the extraordinary weight of 1940s/50s sexism. It’s a stark reminder of how we’re not too far historically from an era where you could be fired from your job for having a haircut above the shoulder, for not wearing lipstick or for something as banal as wearing shorts instead of skirts in public. These women had to slide into bases w A copy for every girl on their birth, please. I’m humbled and inspired by the tenacity of the women of the AAGPBL. Not only did they play ball, they played ball under the extraordinary weight of 1940s/50s sexism. It’s a stark reminder of how we’re not too far historically from an era where you could be fired from your job for having a haircut above the shoulder, for not wearing lipstick or for something as banal as wearing shorts instead of skirts in public. These women had to slide into bases with bare legs! Their uniforms were uncomfortable, they were given lessons in etiquette and required to ply themselves with makeup on the field. After all of the social conditioning and restrictions the best players STILL threatened men’s baseball. I fucking love women. Now, where is my book about baseball and lesbians?!

  7. 4 out of 5

    Kimberly Tierney

    This is a comprehensive history of the women's professional baseball league. The format of the book is an interesting delivery of the history of the game and the league. Having all of the quotes from the former players, coaches, and even some family members is a great method to talk about the history of the league. To hear from the players themselves is fantastic as a resource. I like that Orrock put in the effort to talk to the players and coaches to include their words in the book as we are ge This is a comprehensive history of the women's professional baseball league. The format of the book is an interesting delivery of the history of the game and the league. Having all of the quotes from the former players, coaches, and even some family members is a great method to talk about the history of the league. To hear from the players themselves is fantastic as a resource. I like that Orrock put in the effort to talk to the players and coaches to include their words in the book as we are getting closer to no longer having those people to talk to in order to hear the stories from themselves. I appreciate the fact that Orrock progressed past the prime time of the league's playing action. That she included what all of the girls did after the war, and also how the war changed their options for jobs and education. Anyone interested in women's history or sports history would absolutely love this book.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Kev Willoughby

    Each page of this book was like walking through a museum. The classic illustrations were of a vintage quality, and the quotes from each of the AAGBL players take the reader back to the world of 1940s and 1950s Americana. Kudos to author and illustrator Anika Orrock, who does everything except take the reader to an actual game. She does an outstanding job of conveying to the reader the essence of her research efforts into the history of the women who played the sport during the era of the Greates Each page of this book was like walking through a museum. The classic illustrations were of a vintage quality, and the quotes from each of the AAGBL players take the reader back to the world of 1940s and 1950s Americana. Kudos to author and illustrator Anika Orrock, who does everything except take the reader to an actual game. She does an outstanding job of conveying to the reader the essence of her research efforts into the history of the women who played the sport during the era of the Greatest Generation. I loved the way the book is organized, chronologically, from the beginning to the end of the league, using the voices of the legends who played the game. The quality of the writing is just as good as the quality of the illustrations. A must-have book for any serious baseball fan.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Beth

    I love this book so much! So much more than just baseball, this book deals with sexism, racism, beauty standards, and more. The unique combination of visuals with quotes from a variety of different perspectives really bring this book to life. Approachable for readers of all ages. ARC provided by #NetGalley in exchange for review

  10. 4 out of 5

    Moira

    As a big fan of A League of Their Own, I was super excited to find this book. It’s written in an approachable manner that will appeal to all readers. The illustrations 😍 are outstanding especially the beauty guide. I will definitely be keeping an eye out for this book when it gets published. ARC provided by #NetGalley in exchange for an honest and thoughtful review.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Pamela

    This might be the perfect gift for a tweener or young teen to introduce them to the AAGBL particularly if they’ve never watched “A League of Their Own.” Most of the story is told using caricatures of the players interspersed with a few photographs. It almost seems to follow in the footsteps of the movie. The entire time I was reading the book, I couldn’t decide whether I found the book delightful or whether it was insulting to the players because they are reduced to being cartoon characters. Usin This might be the perfect gift for a tweener or young teen to introduce them to the AAGBL particularly if they’ve never watched “A League of Their Own.” Most of the story is told using caricatures of the players interspersed with a few photographs. It almost seems to follow in the footsteps of the movie. The entire time I was reading the book, I couldn’t decide whether I found the book delightful or whether it was insulting to the players because they are reduced to being cartoon characters. Using this format prevented the author from delving deeply into the history of the incredible women of the AAGBL. So we miss out knowing more about how it felt to have men they didn’t know running their lives, from the clothing they wore to being told how to comport themselves, to being yelled at by men in the stands, to women demeaning them for playing ball in short skirts, to having male coaches. It would have been incredible if the author had gone beyond the outline of the movie and given us fewer cartoon characters and more substance. My thanks to Chronicle Books and NetGalley for an eArc.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Erikka Durdle

    I loved this book so much. It brought me so much joy and opened up a whole new world of history and happiness for me. I am going to continue to read everything I can about the AAGPBL and if Anika writes anything else, I'll be reading it. Her illustrations are fun and entertaining and fill in the story between the words. Well done!

  13. 4 out of 5

    Cristie Underwood

    I have been fascinated by the women that played baseball during the war since watching their story portrayed in a A League of Their Own. The author of this book focuses on the way these women were treated during their time playing and after. The sexism was apparent in everything from their uniforms to their curfews and monitoring of their social lives. After the war, the women were expected to go back to their lives as they were before and many struggled with that. I really enjoyed this book and I have been fascinated by the women that played baseball during the war since watching their story portrayed in a A League of Their Own. The author of this book focuses on the way these women were treated during their time playing and after. The sexism was apparent in everything from their uniforms to their curfews and monitoring of their social lives. After the war, the women were expected to go back to their lives as they were before and many struggled with that. I really enjoyed this book and thought the author did a great job writing it.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Christopher John

    This is a brilliant work by a remarkably talented woman. Full disclosure, I'm a card carrying male. But my eyes and mind were opened by some of the most entertainingly unique illustrations and wonderfully anecdotal stories that completely altered my knowledge of, and appreciation for, the incredible women who served our country and culture from the baseball diamond. I can't recommend this book enough to everyone from young girls to old men. You won't find a more entertaining history lesson, or m This is a brilliant work by a remarkably talented woman. Full disclosure, I'm a card carrying male. But my eyes and mind were opened by some of the most entertainingly unique illustrations and wonderfully anecdotal stories that completely altered my knowledge of, and appreciation for, the incredible women who served our country and culture from the baseball diamond. I can't recommend this book enough to everyone from young girls to old men. You won't find a more entertaining history lesson, or more evocative illustrations, each one telling a delightful story of its own.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Catherine Mustread

    Author interviewed on "Baseball by the Book" podcast 031020

  16. 4 out of 5

    Mariah Welch

    3.5 out of 5. The first hand tidbits from players in the league are really great, and I love the cartoons that really make this a beautiful book to enjoy reading. It’s a quick read (seriously read this book in about 2 hours, including breaks and half watching a baseball game). It’s engaging and I think it will be enjoyable for young and old. However, I really wanted a deep dive into the subject, and this didn’t provide that. It breezes over so much history and ultimately leaves me wanting so muc 3.5 out of 5. The first hand tidbits from players in the league are really great, and I love the cartoons that really make this a beautiful book to enjoy reading. It’s a quick read (seriously read this book in about 2 hours, including breaks and half watching a baseball game). It’s engaging and I think it will be enjoyable for young and old. However, I really wanted a deep dive into the subject, and this didn’t provide that. It breezes over so much history and ultimately leaves me wanting so much more (which isn’t necessarily all bad.) I also would have liked a deeper look at WOC.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Lorene

    Life is all about opportunity, isn't it? In the 40s and 50s, 5% of women went to college. 600 women had the opportunity to make good money playing baseball in the All American Girls league. Half of them went on to college and became lawyers, doctors, coaches, etc. This is a really great read on the league. The illustrations are beautiful, too, and would make a great addition to anyone's library. I highly recommend.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Lea

    This is a delightful book, full of the best illustrations, quotes and bits of historical information in the AAGPBL. There’s a few profiles on specific ladies, some snippets from their etiquette guides, lots of quotes from newspapers at the time of the League. There’s comic stripes and charts drawn along side the gals and their quotes. It’s a really fun way to learn more about the AAGPBL and the gals who played in it.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Angel Hatfield

    This book grabbed my attention right from the beginning. I was in high school when A League of Their Own came out and happened to play softball, so I absolutely loved the movie. This book reminded me of that love. It also reminded me that I am really grateful to have been born in the era I was born in and not when these great women were born. I highly recommend! **I voluntarily read and reviewed this book

  20. 4 out of 5

    Ann

    I thoroughly enjoyed the history presented behind this league. After viewing, A League of Their Own , I learned that I had a cousin who played catcher for the South Bend Blue Sox. The sources listed at the end let me research more about the league and my relative.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Chad

    Enjoyable read

  22. 4 out of 5

    Sonia

    Seriously missing baseball right now, but this book made me feel more nostalgic about it than I had before. All baseball fans should read, but especially girls.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Jenny

    I loved this book so much. I cried, I laughed, it was wonderful.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Greg T. Hulbert

    A fun history of a largely forgotten entity. The stories told by those involved along with the fun illustrations portray a wonderful pastiche.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Jeff Scatena

    A great tribute to the AAGPBL. Well researched, with great quotes from the players themselves. And the illustrations are wonderful.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Josh

    Essential, and an absolute joy.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer

    A quick read with lots of great info!

  28. 4 out of 5

    Ginni

    A charming, deceptively simple book that packs a punch. Every page of Incredible Women of the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League is packed with memorable quotes, whimsical illustrations, and a heaping slice of a forgotten piece of history. Ostensibly about the women who took over baseball for a time when American men went off to war, it says more about a woman's place in society and what happens when she isn't content with it anymore. (I received this book for free through a Goodrea A charming, deceptively simple book that packs a punch. Every page of Incredible Women of the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League is packed with memorable quotes, whimsical illustrations, and a heaping slice of a forgotten piece of history. Ostensibly about the women who took over baseball for a time when American men went off to war, it says more about a woman's place in society and what happens when she isn't content with it anymore. (I received this book for free through a Goodreads giveaway.)

  29. 4 out of 5

    Chloe Donile

  30. 4 out of 5

    Alexa

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