BELLES OF THE BALLPARK by Diana Star Helmer

BELLES OF THE BALLPARK

Age Range: 11 - 13
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KIRKUS REVIEW

 A spinoff of the war effort, the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League flourished in the 40's, lasted more than a decade, and, in a storybook ending, was nearly forgotten until two scholars in the mid-70's sparked renewed interest, a two films (both titled A League of Their Own), and a commemorative exhibit at the Baseball Hall of Fame. Using printed sources and reminiscences of surviving players, Helmer describes how the league's promoters overcame deeply rooted prejudice to recruit young women from the US and Canada and to persuade fans that this was serious baseball--a ``ladies' game,'' but neither a stunt nor a beauty pageant. The league paid its players well (at least initially) and developed a game that, later on, closely resembled standard men's hardball; still, lack of money, plus competition from softball leagues, eventually spelled the end. Helmer ends with an account of the pioneering work of Merrie Fidler and Sharon Roepke, whose lectures, interviews, and studies have helped to preserve this important chapter in baseball history and women's athletics. B&w photos; chronology; bibliography; index. (Nonfiction. 11-13)

Pub Date: Feb. 1st, 1993
ISBN: 1-56294-230-1
Page count: 96pp
Publisher: Millbrook
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15th, 1992