-A Whole New Ball Game
This book traces the history of the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League (AAGPBL), from its inception in 1943 by Chicago Cubs owner Philip K. Wrigley to its eventual dissolution in 1954. Professional women’s baseball was imagined as a way to maintain interest in the sport during World War II, when many of the male players joined the war effort. Throughout her work, Macy notes that while women playing baseball was a departure from traditional gender norms, the AAGPBL was not necessarily a radical or inclusive organization. Wrigley maintained close control of the players’ appearance and behavior, as seen in the one-piece-dress uniform, designed to maintain “feminine” appeal. The league was also informally segregated, with African American women never proceeding beyond tryouts. While the league survived the end of WWII, the teams were unable to sustain the sport past 1954. Macy identifies the cause of this decline in the lack of a captive audience due to the war ending, the rise of televisions allowing home viewership of MLB games, and a return to a more family-centered home life for women.
A Whole New Ball Game: The story of the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League
New York: Henry Holt and Company, 1993.