STAR OF "ROCKFORD PEACHES," DOTTIE KAMENSHEK DIES AT 84
When WWII broke out and the men overseas, professional baseball was put on hold. That is, until The All-American Girls Professional Baseball League was formed. It's said that fans first showed up to see the skirts, but when the girls proved they could really play, the fans came in droves to see a good game.
Dorothy "Dottie" Kamenshek was a star player with the Rockford Peaches, setting many records during her years of play:
"Spurred by the personal philosophy that 'anything less than my best is failure,' she was known to jump three or four feet in the air and to even do the splits to snag the ball at first base as a player for the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League.
"The left-handed first baseman and lead-off hitter for the Rockford (Ill.) Peaches was one of the brightest stars of the league, which was founded in 1943 during World War II.
"'She was the greatest ballplayer in our league,' said Pepper Paire Davis, a catcher and 10-year veteran in the league who remained friends with Kamenshek. 'She was one of the few ballplayers in our league who hit .300, which is like hitting .400 in the majors.'
"Davis, who served as a technical advisor on "A League of Their Own," the 1992 movie about the league, said the character played by Geena Davis 'was symbolically named Dottie as the best ballplayer in the league, and that was after Dottie Kamenshek.'"
While our men were overseas fighting for our freedoms, gals like Dottie were taking Americans' minds off the pressures of life here at home by entertaining them with a good baseball game, if only for a few hours each afternoon. Go Peaches!!
Dorothy "Dottie" Kamenshek--RIP