All-American Girls Professional Baseball League Player Marg Callaghan Sliding into Home Plate as Umpire Norris Ward Watches


Many minor baseball league teams had disbanded by late 1942, because of young men of military age being drafted to serve in World War II. The All-American Girls Baseball League was founded as a nonprofit association in 1943 by a group of powerful financial figures in professional baseball, concerned that baseball parks across the United States might collapse. They included the owner of Wrigley Field in Chicago, businessman Phillip K. Wrigley; Brooklyn Dodgers president and general manager Branch Rickey; and Paul V. Harper, a Chicago attorney who was a trustee of the University of Chicago and a Chicago Cubs attorney. The league enjoyed its peak popularity in 1945, the last year of the war, and its players traveled to locations around the nation for exhibition games and spring training. More than 600 women athletes had the chance to play professional baseball at an unprecedented level before the league dissolved in 1954. An accompanying caption to this 1948 photograph reads: “Single Slide-only one slider. Hook slide into home plate during Ft. Wayne inter-team practice game on Opalocka diamond: Marg Callaghan, 26, from Vancouver (5th year in league 4th coming up with Ft. Wayne) as second baseman, slides in on close play—umpire Norris Ward whose 4th year in league is coming up, watches play closely. Vivian Kellog, catcher from Jackson, Mich., reaches for ball coming in fast."

Last updated: October 22, 2014