To the editors:
This letter is in response to the article written by Anne Moore which appeared on July 3 containing an interview with Terry Donahue from the All American Girls Professional Baseball League [Our Town]. More specifically, this letter is to address the remark printed in this piece that “There’s a women’s baseball league in Glenview now, but Donahue and her league friends have gone out to see the women play only once. They weren’t impressed and haven’t gone back.” Without saying more, printing this comment alone purposefully casts a disparaging light on our organization, which it does not deserve.
First, the American Women’s Baseball Association, Inc. (AWBA) was founded in 1988, not by P. K. Wrigley toting $100,000, but by Darlene Mehrer of Glenview, Illinois, with one set of catcher’s equipment and probably five baseballs. Notwithstanding this fact, we have since fought and struggled successfully to bring baseball to all women who want to play the game. The 65-plus members of AWBA are very proud of our accomplishments. After all, we have singlehandedly made them happen. As such, it is a surprise that a newspaper with such respectability and vast appeal as the Reader would display AWBA in a bad light.
The All Americans of the 1940s have been heroes to us. They have enjoyed the benefit of living an experience of which we have only dreamed: significant corporate financing, professional stadiums, professional managers/coaches, and salaries which allowed them to play baseball on a full-time basis. I personally would have expected a little more support of our present day women ballplayers both from the All Americans as well as the Reader.
AWBA is a well-established women’s baseball organization. We have appeared in Sports Illustrated twice, and were covered this season in Women’s Sports and Fitness (national magazine) and Chicago Sports Profiles (local magazine). Most recently we’ve appeared in the Washington Post, a segment on the Today show, and had our story released by the Associated Press on the national sports wire. AWBA is also a proud part of the same exhibit displaying the history of the All Americans at the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown.
Judi P. Kahn
American Women’s Baseball Association