Meet 4 stars of Minnesota’s ‘League of Their Own’ team kicked out of state by hostile media – InForum

Minnesota was among the states encouraging women to step up in the 1940s, with its All-American Girls Professional Baseball League team producing notable female players who would otherwise have gone unnoticed.

The league, formed as male baseball players were drafted into the military for World War II efforts, provided more than 600 female players with a chance to shine and earn pay to play their game on the national stage.

The league has been immortalized in popular culture by the movie “A League of Their Own” and a new streaming show of the same name.

The Minneapolis Millerettes represented Minnesota in the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League in 1944.

The Minneapolis Millerettes represented Minnesota in the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League in 1944.

The Minneapolis Millerettes did not come onto the scene without controversy, however – rumors still swirl around the treatment of the players. The crowds the Millerettes drew were quite small compared to their rival teams across the country.

Pointing the finger at a hostile press, the Millerettes spent most of their time on the road, waiting for the chance to hear their fans support the home team, in favor of the crowds who welcomed the women on the diamond.

Eventually, lack of local support contributed to the team’s move in 1945 – just a year after its debut – to become the Fort Wayne Daisies. Despite the controversy, a few key players stood out while representing Minnesota.

The Minneapolis Millerettes were part of the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League in 1944.
The Minneapolis Millerettes were part of the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League in 1944. The following year they became the Fort Wayne Daisies. It is alleged that their stay in Minnesota was cut short due to hostile press.

The Minneapolis Millerettes represented Minnesota in the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League in 1944.

As the song says, the league had Canadians, Irish and Swedes. Helen Callaghan fits right into the first category, hailing from Vancouver, BC.

Helen Callaghan has stood out, not just on her own team, but across the league. The left-handed center fielder was a force at the plate, tying for third in league home runs and third in hits. She was also known for her wheels, contributing 112 interceptions, ranking seventh in the league.

With Helen Callaghan in center field, she had a special connection to the infield – her sister, Marge Callaghan was the third baseman.

It turned out that baseball ran in the family – his son, Casey Candaele, went on to play professional baseball. He is now the coach of the Toronto Blue Jays.

On July 29, 1944, dressed in her Minnesota uniform, Annabelle Lee strode to the mound and pitched the first perfect game the All-American Girls Baseball League had seen.

Although known for her short stature, the left-handed pitcher was considered a force at the mound and at home plate. The wheeled switch hitter was a dependable base hitter and runner.

The Minnesota Millerettes had a short run in Minnesota, playing for one season in 1944 before becoming the Fort Wayne Daisies.
The Minnesota Millerettes had a short run in Minnesota, playing for one season in 1944 before becoming the Fort Wayne Daisies.

Photo courtesy of All-American Girls Professional Baseball League Players Association.

She, like many other female players of her time, went on to mentor and encourage a younger generation of male players. His nephew, Bill Lee, then pitched for the Boston Red Sox and Montreal Expos. He credits his aunt for teaching and encouraging him throughout his baseball career.

Faye Dancer, also known as “Tiger” and “All The Way Faye”, was a dream player for league organizers. Recognized as incredibly talented and skilled, she also had a knack for adding entertaining elements of flair to her acting.

Faye Dancer was considered the inspiration for A League of Their Own's
Faye Dancer was considered the inspiration for “All the Way Mae” from A League of Their Own. However, she earned her title of “All the Way Faye” for her ability to give it her all on the court.

Photo courtesy of the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League Players Association.

The California native traveled to Minnesota in 1944 to play for the Millerettes. Given his ability to stun crowds, the lack of support from his home team meant the Minnesotans missed his on-field antics and superb outfield plays.

While Dancer was the inspiration for the character “All the Way Mae” from A League of Their Own, Dancer herself was given the name due to her total commitment to the field. According to the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League, Dancer would do anything to play — she would crash into fences to catch a fly ball and basically do anything she could to win.

Dancer began his professional baseball career in 1944 with Minnesota. She played six seasons in total.

Dorothy Collins was the queen of no-knocks.

The California native grew up around the game, with her father, who played semi-professional, raising her in baseball culture.

Debuting with Minnesota in 1944, Collins, also known as “Dottie,” went on to play with several league teams, ending her professional career with 117 wins and 76 losses, according to the All-American Girls Professional. Baseball League.

Midway through her baseball run, Collins sat out a season after the birth of her daughter. She eventually returned to play one more regular season with the All-American league before officially hanging up her cleats.

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