Eleanor Callow was more than just the greatest power hitter in All-American Girls Professional Baseball League (AAGPBL) history. On top of being the all-time leader in home runs and triples, Callow was perhaps the league’s best all-around position player. A speedy outfielder with a strong throwing arm, Callow ranks in the Top 10 in career batting average and was one of only two AAGPBL players to post a 20–20 season.1 More than a decade before the term was coined, Eleanor Callow was an elite five-tool player.2
She may also have been the best clutch hitter the league ever saw. Among the five sluggers with at least 400 career RBIs, nobody drove in runs at a faster rate than Callow.3 As the run-producing engine of the Rockford Peaches, Callow helped the team win three consecutive league championships from 1948 to 1950. Not surprisingly, she was one of the most popular players in Peaches franchise history.
Callow was named to an all-star team in seven of her eight professional seasons.4 But she was at her best in the postseason, hitting at a .322 clip and setting playoff records for most career RBIs, doubles, and triples. Callow would have put up even better career numbers had the league not ceased operations shortly after her 27th birthday.
A natural athlete, Callow was also an outstanding ice-hockey player and an accomplished amateur golfer and bowler.
Eleanor Margaret Knudsen (later Callow, and subsequently Litterick) was born on August 8, 1927, in Winnipeg, Manitoba.5 Eleanor was the youngest of 10 children born to Danish immigrants, Knud and Johanna (née Jessen) Knudsen. The Knudsens came to Canada in May 1904 on the steamship SS Lake Manitoba with an infant and toddler in tow, settling in the booming city of Winnipeg.6 Knud Knudsen (pronounced “Kah-nude Kah-nude-sen”) had been a farmer in Denmark,7 although he went on to own and operate a tailor shop in Winnipeg until his retirement in 1951.8 The family of five boys and five girls, raised on the modest earnings of a tailor, was far from wealthy.9
Eleanor excelled as a softball pitcher at General Wolfe High School before making the leap to the highly competitive Greater Winnipeg Girls’ Senior Fastball League (formerly the Greater Winnipeg Girls’ Senior Softball League) in 1943 at the tender age of 15.10 Eleanor played infield on a dynamic young St. Vital Tigerettes squad that featured four future AAGPBL players, including Dorothy “Dottie” Ferguson (later Key), Audrey Haine (later Daniels), and Yolande “Yo-Yo” Teillet (later Schick).11 St. Vital surprised onlookers by winning the league championship, and Eleanor sealed the title with a two-run homer in Game Seven of the championship series.12 “Although the baby of the league, Eleanor Knudsen played good infield ball,” wrote the Winnipeg Tribune in summarizing her rookie year.13
Not only could Eleanor hit from both sides of the plate,14 but her ambidextrous abilities extended beyond the diamond. She was also a skilled artist who could accurately sketch popular cartoon characters with either hand.15
It appears that Eleanor may have left school not long after turning 16, because her occupation in the 1944 telephone directory is listed as a clerk at Macleod’s Limited, a chain of retail stores that operated in Western Canada.16
Eleanor spent the 1944 season patrolling the St. Vital outfield. But when the team’s regular catcher, Teillet, left for the AAGPBL in 1945, Eleanor took over as the Tigerettes’ new backstop.17
On April 7, 1945, with the end of World War II in Europe approaching, Knud and Johanna Knudsen announced Eleanor’s engagement to Frank Leonard Callow, a private in the Canadian military.18 Eleanor and Frank were married on June 17, 1945, at Ansgar Lutheran Church in Winnipeg.19
Four days after her wedding, the 17-year-old bride “interrupted her honeymoon,” strapped on the catcher’s gear, and led St. Vital to a lopsided victory over the league-leading St. Boniface Athletics.20 Callow slammed a pair of home runs and drove in five runs to the delight of the 1,500 fans in attendance. The crowd “gave the newly wedded Eleanor a big hand as she crashed out her first home run with one on. They went wild when she duplicated this feat a few innings later,” reported the Winnipeg Tribune.21
The Greater Winnipeg Girls’ Senior Fastball League was proving to be the perfect training ground for the AAGPBL. On top of the stiff competition, players became accustomed to performing in front of large crowds at Osborne Stadium.22 The Winnipeg circuit’s best-of-seven finals easily outdrew the AAGPBL championship series in 1945, with over 4,500 fans witnessing St. Boniface’s Game Seven victory over St. Vital.23
Callow finished fifth in the batting race with a .382 average.24 Evelyn Wawryshyn (later Moroz, and subsequently Litwin), an infielder for the Canadian Ukrainian Athletic Club (CUAC), hit .390 and was signed to an AAGPBL contract.25 Wawryshyn turned out to be an above-average hitter with the Kenosha Comets in 1946,26 so Callow would have been good enough to turn pro at the same time. Given Callow’s prominence in the league, it is likely that she too was scouted in the summer of 1945.
Callow remained in Winnipeg in 1946, catching and playing the corner-infield positions for St. Vital.27 In late June, Johnny Gottselig came to Winnipeg on a scouting trip for the AAGPBL. “Gottselig, who stated that the glamour league is on the lookout for a number of young rookies, preferably not married, likes the playing of the Tigerettes catcher Eleanor Callow,” wrote the Winnipeg Free Press.28
Callow went on to win the batting title, duplicating her .382 average from the previous year and finishing a whopping 59 percentage points ahead of the runner-up.29
St. Vital gained a measure of revenge on St. Boniface by defeating them four games to one in the 1946 championship series.30 The victory earned the Tigerettes the right to represent Manitoba in the Western Canada championship in Edmonton, Alberta, which began on September 2.31
The Tigerettes, along with 15 team administrators and fans, traveled more than 800 miles for the tournament.32 Frank Callow was not one of those fans. According to Eleanor’s subsequent petition for divorce, Frank “deserted” her on or about September 1.33
St. Vital performed well in the four-team tournament before getting swept in the best-of-three finals by the Saskatoon Ramblers. Former AAGPBL pitcher Muriel Coben tossed a four-hitter for Saskatoon in the clinching game, with Callow recording three of the four St. Vital hits.34
Less than two weeks later, a report surfaced that the AAGPBL was attempting to sign Callow even though she had rejected previous offers.35 On October 8 – less than six weeks after separating from her husband – Eleanor “Squirt” Callow announced that she had signed her first professional contract with the AAGPBL.36
On the evening of April 18, 1947, Callow boarded a train at Winnipeg’s iconic Union Station for an epic journey.37 Accompanying her were five AAGPBL veterans, all of whom were former Greater Winnipeg Girls’ Senior Fastball League players.38 They rode the rails for over 2,200 miles before flying the final 230 miles from Miami to Havana, the spring-training site for all eight AAGPBL teams.39
Callow made an immediate splash in Cuba. “One that impresses us especially was Eleanor Callow, a catcher who swings from the port side,” noted the Kenosha Evening News. “On Tuesday at the University Stadium she was belting them far and wide in batting practice. [Rockford pitcher] Millie Deegan, who watched her work at close hand, says the gal is going to be terrific.”40
The workouts culminated with a round-robin tournament that attracted close to 55,000 enthusiastic Cuban baseball fans.41 Esther Williams, the former competitive swimmer who had become a major Hollywood star, presented the Racine Belles with a trophy for winning the event.
As was the case with the AAGPBL, Callow did not go into spring training tied to a team, but she was assigned to the Peoria Redwings at the conclusion of the preseason. After taking the short flight back to Miami on May 2,42 the Redwings and the Fort Wayne Daisies barnstormed their way north for the start of the regular season.43
With two more experienced catchers on the Peoria roster, Callow spent the first 12 games of the regular season on the bench.44 She finally made her professional debut on June 5 in a pinch-hitting appearance against the Daisies.45 Callow eventually got more playing time as a right fielder, and she recorded the first two hits of her AAGPBL career on June 11 in Grand Rapids.46
In her rookie season, most of which she spent as a teenager, Callow hit .245 in 143 at-bats – an especially promising start considering the league batting average was a feeble .197.
In late November Callow took care of some unfinished business in Winnipeg, filing a court petition for a divorce.47 In January 1948 a judge issued a decree absolute, and six months later the dissolution of her marriage was official.48
The AAGPBL reached its peak during the 1948 season when it expanded from eight to 10 teams, drawing nearly a million fans to its games. The league also transitioned from sidearm to overhand pitching that season, which added a bit more offense.49
Callow attended spring training in Miami and was assigned to the expansion Chicago Colleens.50 The team broke camp on April 28 and barnstormed their way back to the Windy City, playing a series of exhibition games against the Grand Rapids Chicks along the way.51
Callow opened the regular season as one of the Colleens’ starting outfielders.52 Chicago’s third game of the season, a May 14 home game against the Kenosha Comets, was broadcast on WBKB – the first time that women’s baseball had been televised.53 Callow drove in three of Chicago’s four runs in the game against Jean “Cy” Cione, a tough, side-arming lefty.54
When the Colleens stumbled to a 1–13 start, the league responded by bolstering their roster with eight experienced players, including the popular Rita Briggs from the Rockford Peaches.55 The unheralded Callow was sent to Rockford as compensation for losing Briggs, and Peaches fans were not pleased – at least initially.56 Little did they know that Callow would become a potent cleanup hitter, helping Rockford win the next three playoff championships.
After spending her first two weeks with Rockford as a pinch-hitter and backup catcher, she was shifted to the outfield. Callow soon became the team’s starting left fielder, a role she retained for the rest of her career.
Callow had a breakout season, leading the Peaches with six home runs and coming in second in batting average (.251) and RBIs (52). She also set a league record by slamming 15 triples.57 It was the first of four consecutive seasons in which she led the league in three-baggers.
Rockford steamrolled the opposition in the 1948 playoffs, going 10–1 in its three postseason series. Callow knocked in 10 runs, and in three consecutive playoff games she recorded the game-winning RBI.58 No other Peaches hitter had more than four RBIs.
With offense still at a premium, the AAGPBL introduced a livelier ball and moved the mound back another five feet in the middle of the 1949 season.59 Callow, who swung one of the heaviest bats in the league, was getting along just fine before the changes. Two weeks earlier, the 5-foot-7 slugger launched a monster home run in front of a large crowd at the Peach Orchard.60 Dick Day, sports editor of the Rockford Register-Republic, was still raving about the homer two days later.61
In the playoffs, Callow hit .310 and the Peaches won seven of eight games to repeat as champions, needing only two series wins after a first-round bye. Game Four of Rockford’s opening-round series against the South Bend Blue Sox was vintage Callow. Early in the game, she made a “perfect peg” from the outfield to nail a runner at the plate and keep the game scoreless. Callow drove in the game’s only run with two outs in the bottom of the ninth, giving Rockford a thrilling walk-off victory and the series sweep.62
On December 10, 1949, tragedy struck the Knudsen family when Eleanor’s mother died after a lengthy illness.63 After the funeral, a grieving Eleanor returned to Rockford and spent the Christmas holidays with a local family, likely her hosts during the previous season(s).64
Eleanor began living in the offseason with her sister Nora and brother-in-law Harry Brown in Winnipeg.65 When the Browns moved to Saskatoon in 1951, she followed.66
Callow became actively involved in the Rockford community, as shown by her participation in an Awards Night at the Booker T. Washington Center in April 1950. She joined the evening’s headliner, legendary Olympian Jesse Owens, in handing out athletic awards to local boys and girls.67
Callow reached new heights during the 1950 season. In a July 1 game against the Racine Belles, speedster Sophie Kurys hit a ball over Callow’s head in left field; Callow retrieved the ball and threw out Kurys at the plate, preventing an inside-the-park homer.68 The play had a significant impact on the home-run race, as both Kurys and Callow ended the season with a league-leading seven round-trippers.69
On July 17 Callow became the first woman to hit a ball over the fence at the Peach Orchard.70 It was also the first time Rockford fans had seen an AAGPBL player break into a home-run trot.71
The Peaches won their third consecutive championship in 1950 (again in a two-round playoff structure), this time by the skin of their teeth. Helen Nicol Fox, who tossed a shutout in Game Seven of the championship series, was Rockford’s playoff hero.72
In the winter of 1951 Callow played in the Winnipeg Senior Girls’ Hockey League. Her team made it all the way to the provincial finals before falling to the powerful Winnipeg Canadienettes.73
Callow must have been one of the best players in the league, because the Canadienettes added her to their roster for the Western Canada championship against the Moose Jaw (Saskatchewan) Wildcats.74 One thousand fans braved a Moose Jaw blizzard to watch Game One of the series, which was decided in overtime. Callow, playing forward on the Canadienettes’ second line, notched a goal and an assist in a losing cause.75 A few days later in Winnipeg, the Wildcats registered another one-goal victory to sweep the best-of-three series.76 Moose Jaw went on to easily defeat the Ontario champions and claim the national title.77
Callow had a career year in 1951, leading the AAGPBL in RBIs (84) and triples (10). She tied for the league lead in homers (4), finished fourth in the batting race with a .326 average, and stole a career-high 40 bases.
After winning the first two games of the best-of-five championship series against South Bend, Rockford seemed headed for its fourth consecutive title. But a flu bug went through the Peaches’ locker room,78 and the Blue Sox roared back to win the final three games, ending the Rockford dynasty.
By 1952 the once dominant Rockford pitching staff had been depleted by the retirement of key hurlers.79 With Nicol Fox pitching in only home games that season,80 manager Bill Allington found his team short of pitching on the road. In mid-July he took advantage of Callow’s strong arm and versatility by bringing her in to pitch a scoreless eighth inning in Battle Creek.81 A few days later, she got the start in Fort Wayne against the best-hitting team in the league. Callow took a 5–4 lead into the eighth inning before she ran out of gas, surrendering a game-winning homer to Dorothy “Dottie” Schroeder.82
Callow led the Peaches with eight home runs in the regular season, most of which were game-winners.83 Perhaps her biggest homer of the year came on August 21 against the Daisies when her three-run blast in the 13th inning gave Rose Gacioch her 20th and final win of the season.84
The Peaches and Blue Sox met again in the 1952 championship series. Rockford jumped out to a two-games-to-one lead in the best-of-five series, but for the second year in a row South Bend came charging back to claim the title.85 Callow hit two homers and stole eight bases in Rockford’s eight playoff contests.86
Despite injuring her back on July 1, Callow played in every game in the 1953 season until her back stiffened up on August 11, and the team medic ordered her to take a few days off.87
Callow had another phenomenal season, leading the Peaches in almost every offensive category and setting career highs with 35 extra-base hits and a league-leading 23 doubles. In late August, the Rockford fans voted her Queen of the Peaches, an honor that 21st-century teams would call the Fans’ Choice Award.88
Rockford squared off against the pennant-winning Grand Rapids Chicks in the first round of the 1953 playoffs. With the Peaches trailing 2–0 in the sixth inning of the winner-take-all Game Three, Callow launched a clutch three-run homer, one of the longest blasts at South Field that season.89 The Rockford lead was short lived though, as Grand Rapids scored two unearned runs in the bottom of the inning and won, 4–3. It was the last playoff contest ever played by the Peaches.
The league took its final step toward playing regulation baseball on July 1, 1954, hoping to boost offense and sagging attendance. The pitching distance was increased to 60 feet, the basepaths were lengthened to 85 feet, and the baseball was reduced to nine inches in circumference, the same as in men’s professional baseball.90
Just four days before the rule changes went into effect, Callow went 5-for-9 with a grand slam in a doubleheader split with Fort Wayne.91 Although she was already hitting over .300,92 the regulation baseball helped boost her power numbers significantly.93
In a July 16 game against South Bend, Callow fell backward over the outfield fence attempting to catch a ball that went for a home run.94 The hard-nosed outfielder injured her wrist on the play, missing just over a week of action.95
Callow put on an impressive hitting display for the remainder of 1954, and she finished with a career-high 20 home runs. Coupled with her 23 steals, she became one of only two AAGPBL players to record a 20–20 season.
Rockford finished in last place, posting the worst record in franchise history. For the first time since Callow joined the team, the Peaches missed the playoffs.
The AAGPBL had been in a slow decline since 1948, and by 1954 its per-game attendance may have been half of what it was at its peak.96 Reasons for the precipitous drop in attendance included the “return to normalcy following the war, the spread of television, advances in the travel industry (including personal travel), and the rise of the nuclear family.”97
Faced with a large operating deficit, the league voted on January 30, 1955, to cease operations.98 Five months after her 27th birthday, Eleanor Callow’s professional baseball career came to an abrupt halt.
Callow finished her abbreviated career as the AAGPBL’s all-time leader in home runs (55) and triples (60), and her 407 career RBIs ranks third despite having only 2,765 career at-bats.99 Although the league batting average was below .200 during her first three years, Callow still compiled an outstanding .273 career batting average. She also stole 217 bases and played stellar defense.
Callow was even better in the postseason, hitting .322 with 32 RBIs in 171 career at-bats. She holds the AAGPBL playoff records for most career RBIs, doubles (9), and triples (3).
During her eight-year career, the league (usually) named three outfielders to one or more All-Star teams at the end of every season. Callow was selected to the first All-Star team four times (1948, 1951-52, 1954), the second All-Star team once (1949), and in 1950 she was named to the third team.100
An annual midseason All-Star Game pitting the current first-place team against the league’s best remaining players was held between 1952 and 1954.101 Callow, who had three RBIs in the 1954 All-Star Game, was one of only nine players to appear in all three games.102
With her professional baseball career over, Callow returned to competitive fastball as the catcher of the Saskatoon Ramblers – the same team that had defeated her St. Vital squad in the finals of the 1946 Western Canada championship. As luck would have it, Winnipeg hosted the 1955 Western Canada tournament and Callow led the Ramblers to the title.103
Although Callow played with the Ramblers for only one season, she continued to participate in other competitive sports for the remainder of her life. Callow was an avid golfer at the Saskatoon Golf and Country Club,104 and in 1962 and 1964 she played in the qualifying round of the Canadian Open tournament.105 She also became an accomplished amateur bowler, participating in the Western Canada five-pin roll-offs in 1966.106
Callow held a variety of jobs in Saskatoon, including one driving a Red Cross mobile blood bank in the offseason of 1952-53.107 After her pro career ended, Callow worked as a salesclerk at Eaton’s department store, a position she held until approximately 1964.
According to a March 1962 article in the Rockford Morning Star, Callow had been diagnosed with cancer.108 Carl Glans, former business manager of the Peaches, urged her friends and fans in Rockford to help cheer her up with a card or letter.109
Callow moved to Melfort, Saskatchewan, late in 1964 before spending approximately two years in Regina.110 She was employed in Regina as a clerk at Macleod’s, the same chain of retail stores that she had worked for in Winnipeg as a teenager.111 Callow returned to Saskatoon early in 1968, working as a salesclerk at Macleod’s and living at the same address as the Browns.112
In the summer of 1971, Eleanor married James Glendenning Litterick, an electrician with the Canadian National Railway.113 The couple relocated to the Winnipeg suburb of Transcona. According to the 1974 federal voters list, James continued to work as an electrician and Eleanor was a housewife.
Eleanor golfed competitively after her return to Winnipeg, and in July 1974 she took part in the Manitoba Senior Ladies Championship.114
Eleanor Litterick died on October 28, 1974, at the age of 47.115 Her modest obituary, which requested donations to the Canadian Cancer Society, made only a passing reference to her illustrious AAGPBL career. “For a time, she also played professional baseball in Rockford, Ill.,” it noted.116
By the time of Eleanor’s death – and for the next two decades − few sports fans were even aware of the existence of the AAGPBL. That changed in 1992 with the release of A League of Their Own, a hit Hollywood movie based on the league and its pioneering women ballplayers.
“If it had not been for that movie, we would all be dead and buried and nobody would have known about us,” said Terry Donahue, who played in the league for four seasons and was Callow’s teammate on the 1947 Peoria Redwings. “I worked at my job for 38 years, and I never told anyone about playing professional baseball. They probably wouldn’t have believed me. People found it hard to believe that girls played baseball when the movie came out.”117 Donahue’s experience was not out of the ordinary for former AAGPBL players.
After the movie’s release, there was a flood of media coverage and suddenly AAGPBL veterans were sought out for interviews, shedding light on their achievements. Since Eleanor died in 1974, no media interviews of her could be found.
She also never had an opportunity to reconnect with former teammates at AAGPBL reunions, which began in 1982.118
Recognition of Callow’s accomplishments on the diamond has come slowly.119 She was one of 12 Manitoba women to play in the AAGPBL, and in 1998 they were inducted as a group into the Manitoba Baseball Hall of Fame.120 That same year the 68 AAGPBL players from Canada collectively entered the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame.121 In 2016 the Manitoba Softball Hall of Fame became the first organization to induct Callow as an individual, 42 years after her death.
Surprisingly, little information about Eleanor Callow was available when I began the research for this biography. Basic facts like her maiden name, married name(s), and the date and place she died were not widely known. To make the initial research even more difficult, her birthdate on Ancestry.com was off by 11 years. Special thanks to Bonnie Dahl and Ken Dahl at the City of Saskatoon Archives for going above and beyond to help me solve these mysteries.
The author wishes to thank the following individuals for assisting with his research: Bonnie Dahl and Ken Dahl at the City of Saskatoon Archives, Pascale Hutton at the Archives of Manitoba, Andrea Keyes at the Peoria Public Library, Lorne Lee at the Regina Public Library, Jean H. Lythgoe at the Rockford Public Library, Harriet Minuk at the Winnipeg Public Library, Jeff O’Brien at the City of Saskatoon Archives, Carol Sheldon from the AAGPBL Players Association, and Rick Walker at the Manitoba Genealogical Society.
Thanks also to Eleanor Callow’s nieces, Carole Pettypiece and Joanne Knudsen, for answering my questions via phone and email, and Cassidy Lent of the Giamatti Research Center at the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown for providing a copy of Callow’s Hall of Fame file.
This biography was reviewed by Rory Costello and Howard Rosenberg and fact-checked by Steve Ferenchick.
In addition to the sources cited in the Notes, the author consulted AAGPBL.org, The All-American Girls Professional Baseball League Record Book, Ancestry.com, and the Henderson telephone directories for Winnipeg, Saskatoon, and Regina.
1 Callow hit a career-high 20 homers and stole 23 bases in 1954. Her career high for stolen bases was 40 in 1951. Joanne Weaver of the Fort Wayne Daisies was the other AAGPBL player to record a 20–20 season. She slammed 29 home runs, stole 79 bases, and hit .429, earning the 1954 Player of the Year Award.
2 Branch Rickey coined the term five-tool player in his 1965 book The American Diamond. He defined the five tools as hitting for average, hitting for power, baserunning skills/speed, throwing, and fielding.
3 Callow had 407 RBIs in 2,765 career at-bats. The four other women who drove in at least 400 runs in their career were Dorothy “Dottie” Schroeder (431 RBIs in 4,129 at-bats), Inez “Lefty” Voyce (422 RBIs in 3,047 at-bats), Elizabeth “Lib” Mahon (400 RBIs in 2,903 at-bats), and Lavonne “Pepper” Paire (later Davis, 400 RBIs in 3,164 at-bats).
4 At various points in its 12-year history (1943-54), the AAGPBL named All-Star team(s) in the middle and/or the end of the season. No All-Star teams were named in 1944 or 1945. Details on Callow’s All-Star selections are described near the end of this biography.
5 As of May 2022, Ancestry.com incorrectly showed Eleanor Margaret Knudsen’s birth year as 1916. According to the Manitoba Vital Statistics Branch, Johanna Knudsen gave birth to a daughter, Eleanora Kirstine Knudsen, on April 4, 1916. Eleanora was only five months old when she died on September 15, 1916. The Knudsens later used a variation of Eleanora when they named their daughters Nora (born in 1918) and Eleanor (born in 1927). The All-American Girls Professional Baseball League website and Eleanor’s file at the Baseball Hall of Fame both list her birthdate as August 8, 1927.
6 The Knudsen family at the time of the voyage to Canada included two sons, Christian (1 year, 11 months old) and Ejnar (three months old). A flood of immigration boosted Winnipeg’s population from 20,000 in 1886 to 150,000 in 1911. Erica Gagnon, “Settling the West: Immigration to the Prairies from 1867 to 1914,” Canadian Museum of Immigration at Pier 21, https://pier21.ca/research/immigration-history/settling-west-immigration-to-prairies, accessed May 9, 2022.
7 Knud Knudsen’s occupation in Denmark is shown on the passenger list of the SS Lake Manitoba. Prior to 1945, immigration to Canada for those who were not either British subjects or United States citizens was restricted to “agriculturalists with sufficient means to farm in Canada.” Knud and other family members were proud of their heritage; they were not shy about correcting Winnipegers on the proper pronunciation of the family name. Halena Jauca, “From Denmark to Canada in 1955: A Story of Immigration,” The Seed: UBC Canadian Studies Undergraduate Journal, Volume 13: 4; Joanne Knudsen (niece of Eleanor Callow and daughter of Ejnar Knudsen), telephone interview with author, May 20, 2022.
8 “Knud Knudsen,” Winnipeg Free Press, April 1, 1964: 19.
9 For instance, to improve the household’s finances, Eleanor’s two eldest brothers, Christian and Ejnar, were taken out of school as teenagers and sent to work on a farm near Beausejour, Manitoba. Joanne Knudsen (niece of Eleanor Callow and daughter of Ejnar Knudsen), telephone interview with author, May 20, 2022; Carole Pettypiece (niece of Eleanor Callow and daughter of Ejnar Knudsen), telephone interview with author, May 5, 2022.
10 Winnipeg newspapers began referring to the league as the Greater Winnipeg Girls’ Senior Fastball League in 1945. Previously it had been called the Greater Winnipeg Girls’ Senior Softball League. Based on the ages of the players, a more accurate name would have been the Greater Winnipeg Womens’ Senior Fastball League. “Pro League for Eleanor Callow,” Winnipeg Free Press, October 9, 1946: 18.
11 St. Vital was established as a rural municipality before it became part of the Metropolitan Corporation of Greater Winnipeg in 1960, later becoming a ward and neighborhood in the city of Winnipeg. Eleanor went on to play next to Ferguson in the Rockford Peaches outfield from 1948 until 1954. Haine compiled a record of 72–70 as an AAGPBL pitcher between 1944 and 1951. Teillet was a catcher and outfielder in the AAGPBL from 1945 to 1947. “Rally in Sixth Beats St. Vital,” Winnipeg Tribune, August 27, 1943: 12; “St. Vital Takes Series, Win 3-2,” Winnipeg Free Press, August 30, 1943: 14.
12 “St. Vital Girls Win Softball Championship,” Winnipeg Tribune, September 27, 1943: 14.
13 Grace Todd, “Women in Sport,” Winnipeg Tribune, October 2, 1943: 17.
14 Callow’s profile on the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League website lists her as a switch-hitter, although the author found no evidence in newspaper reports that she ever batted from the right side in an AAGPBL (or Greater Winnipeg Girls’ Senior Fastball League) game. Her file from the Baseball Hall of Fame lists her as both a left-handed hitter and a switch hitter. The AAGPBL website and her Baseball Hall of Fame file indicate that she only threw from the right side.
15 Joanne Knudsen (niece of Eleanor Callow and daughter of Ejnar Knudsen), telephone interview with author, May 20, 2022; Carole Pettypiece (niece of Eleanor Callow and daughter of Ejnar Knudsen), telephone interview with author, May 5, 2022.
16 Macleod’s Limited was a retail chain of farm supply, hardware and building supply stores in Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta. “Macleod’s Limited,” Archives of Manitoba, http://pam.minisisinc.com/scripts/mwimain.dll/144/PAM_AUTHORITY/AUTH_DESC_DET_REP/SISN 2990?sessionsearch, accessed May 10, 2022.
17 “Pro League for Eleanor Callow.”
18 “Engagement Notices,” Winnipeg Free Press, April 7, 1945: 10.
19 Divorce petition filed with the King’s Bench for the Province of Manitoba by Eleanor Margaret Callow on November 28, 1947, courtesy the Archives of Manitoba.
20 “Eleanor Callow Too Much for A’s,” Winnipeg Tribune, June 22, 1945: 19.
21 “Eleanor Callow Too Much for A’s.”
22 Osborne Stadium was the home of the Winnipeg Blue Bombers of the Canadian Football League and the future home of Winnipeg’s entry in the Manitoba-Dakota (Mandak) League. According to author Barry Swanton, the Mandak League was a haven for former Negro League ballplayers from 1950 to 1957. “The First Time Satchel Paige Pitched in Winnipeg,” Winnipeg Free Press, August 4, 2015, https://www.winnipegfreepress.com/our-communities/column/The-day-Satchel-Paige-pitched-in-Winnipeg-320674652.html, accessed May 10, 2022; Jeff Hamilton, “Thrill of a Lifetime,” Winnipeg Free Press, October 21, 2015: 28.
23 In the 1945 championship series between St. Vital and St. Boniface, attendance at two of the seven games was greater than 4,000 fans. Four games in the series drew at least 3,300 fans, and six games had attendance of at least 2,500 fans. Game Three, which was played in threatening weather, still drew 1,700 fans. Game stories for all seven contests are available in the Winnipeg Free Press and Winnipeg Tribune between August 21, 1945, and August 31, 1945.
24 An article providing details on the Greater Winnipeg Girls’ Senior Fastball League batting race was found in the August 9, 1945, edition of the Winnipeg Tribune on Newspapers.com in April 2022. As of May 10, 2022, that article had been removed from that website. Both NewspaperArchive.com and the Winnipeg Public Library are missing the August 9, 1945, edition of the Winnipeg Tribune and the author was unable to track down the article title or page number.
25 Wawryshyn was single when she signed her first AAGPBL contract. She played in the league from 1946 until 1951 when she left the league and got married. She was named to the first All-Star team in 1950 and the second All-Star team in 1949 and 1951. “Evelyn Litwin Moroz,” All-American Girls Professional Baseball League, https://www.aagpbl.org/profiles/evelyn-wawryshyn-litwin-moroz-evie/197, accessed May 10, 2022; “Writers Place Shollenberger, Petras on Second Selections,” Kenosha Evening News, October 26, 1949: 16; “Shollenberger Rates All-League Team,” Kenosha Evening News, September 21, 1950: 34; “Jean Faut of Blue Sox Named Girls’ Loop ‘Most Valuable’,” South Bend Tribune, November 15, 1951: 30.
26 Wawryshyn hit .217 in 1946 for the Kenosha Comets. The league batting average that season was only .203.
27 “Callow Wins Batting Title,” Winnipeg Tribune, August 12, 1946: 14.
28 Gottselig, a former star player in the National Hockey League, had managed the Racine Belles in 1943 and 1944. Roughly two weeks after he scouted Callow in Winnipeg, he was recalled by the league to take over the managerial duties for the expansion Peoria Redwings. The floundering Redwings had been managed by former major-leaguer Bill Rodgers; Thelma “Tiby” Eisen managed the team for several games until Gottselig took over. Callow was managed by Gottselig in Peoria in 1947. “Johnny Likes ’Em,” Winnipeg Free Press, June 26, 1946: 17; “Peaches Back Home Thursday; Morris Wins 12th Game of Year,” Rockford Register-Republic, July 10, 1946: 16; “Back in League,” Racine Journal-Times, July 12, 1946: 14.
29 “Callow Wins Batting Title.”
30 Johnny Buss, “St. Vital Annexes Girls’ Senior Fastball Title,” Winnipeg Tribune, August 30, 1946: 12.
31 Jimmy Coo, “St. Vital Girls Play Today,” Winnipeg Free Press, September 2, 1946: 12.
32 Coo, “St. Vital Girls Play Today.”
33 Divorce petition filed with the King’s Bench for the Province of Manitoba by Eleanor Margaret Callow on November 28, 1947, courtesy the Archives of Manitoba.
34 “Ramblers Beat Winnipeg 2-0 for Title,” Edmonton Bulletin, September 10, 1946: 7.
35 Jimmy Coo, “Cherchez La Femme,” Winnipeg Free Press, September 19, 1946: 17.
36 Callow got the nickname “Squirt” before she turned pro, although it stuck with her for the duration of her AAGPBL career. The term “squirt” was commonly used to refer to a small or young person, so it is possible that she picked up the nickname not long after joining the St. Vital Tigerettes as a 15-year-old in 1943. “Pro League for Eleanor Callow.”
37 Union Station in Winnipeg and Grand Central Station in New York were both designed by architects Warren and Wetmore. Peter Morrell, “Winnipeg – City of Iconic Buildings,” Huffington Post, June 5, 2014, https://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/peter-morrell/the-museum-for-human-righ_b_4787627.html, accessed May 11, 2022.
38 The five players traveling with Callow were Ferguson, Wawryshyn, Haine, Teillet, and Doris “Dodie” Barr. They were accompanied by AAGPBL scout Joe Mathewson. “Girl Stars Head South,” Winnipeg Free Press, April 21, 1947: 14.
39 “Off to Havana,” Winnipeg Tribune, April 22, 1947: 26.
40 “Training Camp Notes from Girls Loop at Havana, Cuba,” Kenosha Evening News, April 29, 1947: 8.
41 W.C. Madden, The All-American Girls Professional Baseball League Record Book (Jefferson, North Carolina: McFarland & Company, 2000), 38.
42 According to the flight manifest on Ancestry.com, Callow and her new Peoria Redwings teammates flew back to Miami together on May 2.
43 The barnstorming tour included stops in Knoxville, Tennessee, and Gadsden, Alabama. Callow homered in the May 6 game in Gadsden. “Ft. Wayne and Peoria Playing Speedy Ball,” Bristol (Tennessee) Herald Courier, May 9, 1947: 13.
44 The two experienced catchers on Peoria’s Opening Day roster were Joyce Hill (later Westerman) and Saskatchewan native Terry Donahue. The author reviewed the box scores for the first 12 Peoria games in various newspapers to confirm that Callow did not appear in those games. “AAGL Team Rosters for 1947,” Racine Journal-Times, May 7, 1947: 16.
45 “Daisies Score Another Win Over Wings by 10-4,” Fort Wayne News Sentinel, June 6, 1947.
46 Callow recorded two singles, one of which was a bunt single. It is unclear if her first career hit was the bunt single. “Redwings Lose 5–3 to Grand Rapids,” Peoria Star, June 12, 1947: 23, 34.
47 Divorce petition filed with the King’s Bench for the Province of Manitoba by Eleanor Margaret Callow on November 28, 1947, courtesy the Archives of Manitoba.
48 She continued to play under the Callow name for the duration of her AAGPBL career. Court decree issued by the King’s Bench for the Province of Manitoba on July 29, 1948, courtesy the Archives of Manitoba.
49 The new pitching style was not the only major rule change adopted by the AAGPBL in 1948. The mound was also moved from 43 to 50 feet from home plate and the basepaths were increased from 70 to 72 feet. A slightly smaller ball was also used: 10⅜ inches in circumference instead of 11. “Rules of Play,” All-American Girls Professional Baseball League, https://www.aagpbl.org/history/rules-of-play, accessed May 17, 2022.
50 Canadian Press, “Girl Softballers Hitting for Camp,” Saskatoon Star-Phoenix, April 8, 1948: 16; “Allocation Not Rawlings’ Fret,” Grand Rapids Press, April 17, 1948: 26.
51 “Colleens to Arrive in City Today,” Daily Calumet (Chicago), May 7, 1948: 6.
52 “Peaches Triumph Over Colleens, Temperature,” Rockford Register-Republic, May 12, 1948: 2.
53 WBKB also televised Chicago Cubs baseball in 1948. Carolyn M. Trombe, Dottie Wiltse Collins: Strikeout Queen of the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League (Jefferson, North Carolina: McFarland & Company, 2005), 134; “Colleens Games to be Televised, Broadcast,” Chicago Tribune, May 5, 1948: 40; “Listeners’ Choice,” Chicago Tribune, May 14, 1948: 36.
54 The game was called because of rain with the score tied, 4–4, after 10 innings. “Comets – Colleens Play 4 to 4 Tie in 10,” Kenosha Evening News, May 15, 1948: 6.
55 The AAGPBL reserved the right to reassign players from one team to another whenever it was in the league’s best interests. “Peaches Lose Rita Briggs,” Rockford Morning Star, May 30, 1948: 37.
56 Rockford also received rookie infielder Barbara “Bobbie” Liebrich from the Kenosha Comets as compensation for losing Briggs. Liebrich finished with only four at-bats in her AAGPBL career. She became a team chaperone for five seasons. “Peaches Lose Rita Briggs”; “Peaches Need One More Win as Play-off Switches to Racine,” Rockford Register-Republic, September 14, 1948: 14.
57 Callow’s single-season record for three-baggers was broken when Betty Weaver Foss slammed 17 triples in 1952.
58 Callow recorded the game-winning RBI in the final game of the Peaches’ first-round sweep of the Kenosha Comets and the first two games of their second-round sweep of the Racine Belles. Both series were best-of-five affairs. “Rockford Blanks Comets to Take Series, 4–0,” Kenosha Evening News, September 13, 1948: 8; “Peaches Shut Out the Belles, 2 to 0,” Racine Journal-Times, September 13, 1948: 13; “Belles Bow to Peaches, 3-1; Play 3d Game Here Tonight,” Racine Journal-Times, September 14, 1948: 11.
59 On July 16, 1949, to boost offense, the league introduced a ball with a circumference of 10 inches and moved the mound from 50 to 55 feet from home plate. The ball had previously been 10⅜ inches in circumference. Men’s professional baseball used a 9-inch ball. “Sox vs. Chicks at Playland with New Ball,” South Bend Tribune, July 22, 1949: 29; “Girls’ Loop Starts New Ball Saturday,” South Bend Tribune, July 12, 1949: 16.
60 The Peach Orchard was the commonly used nickname for Rockford’s Beyer Stadium. Callow hit the long home run in a June 30 game against South Bend in front of 3,260 fans. The majestic blast was the first home run of the season at Beyer Stadium. The homer earned Callow $45 from the Peaches fan club ($25), management ($10), and another friend of the team ($10). The $45 prize was worth over $500 in 2022 (US) dollars. “Callow Hits 4-Base Blow,” Rockford Morning Star, July 1, 1949: 25.
61 Dick Day, “Taking Time Out with Dick Day,” Rockford Register-Republic, July 2, 1949: 10.
62 “Peaches Win, 1–0, Sweep 4-Game Set,” Rockford Morning Star, September 11, 1949: 51; “Faut Drops Fourth Tilt 1–0 in Ninth,” South Bend Tribune, September 11, 1949: 41.
63 “Mrs. K. T. Knudson (sic),” Winnipeg Tribune, December 12, 1949: 23; Dick Day, “Taking Time Out with Dick Day,” Rockford Register-Republic, December 27, 1949: 11.
64 Callow stayed with “the Elmer Burkes at 2222 Jackson Street.” Day, “Taking Time Out with Dick Day.”
65 Nora was almost nine years older than Eleanor. It is unclear exactly when Eleanor began to live at the same address as Nora and Harry Brown. Eleanor was listed in the Winnipeg phone directory for the first time in her AAGPBL career in 1951 (her mother died in December 1949). Her 1951 address was the same as the Browns’ address.
66 Nora and Harry Brown were listed in the Winnipeg telephone directory in 1951 and the Saskatoon directory in 1952. According to the 1951 Winnipeg directory, Callow was living at the same address as the Browns. A Rockford Morning Star article reported that Callow was living in Saskatoon in the 1952-53 offseason. Callow appeared in the Saskatoon telephone directory for the first time in 1955, the year after the AAGPBL ceased operations. “Deaths (Nora L. Brown),” Saskatoon Star-Phoenix, July 17, 1973: 8; Oliver L. Cremer, “The Sports Coop,” Rockford Morning Star, December 21, 1952: 49.
67 In an article in the Rockford Register-Republic, Callow was second on the list of celebrities who took part in the sports banquet, behind only Jesse Owens. Others in attendance included sports promoter Tommy Cancelose, WROK broadcaster Morey Owens (no relation to Jesse Owens), and former boxer Elwood McReynolds. As of 2022, Booker Washington Community Center in Rockford was Illinois’ oldest African American Community Center. “Jesse Owens Speaks at Booker Sports Banquet,” Rockford Register-Republic, April 25, 1950: 17; “Owens to Talk Here April 24,” Rockford Morning Star, April 16, 1950: 49; “AARC at Booker Washington Community Center,” Rockford Area Convention & Visitors Bureau website, https://www.gorockford.com/listings/aarc-at-booker-washington-community-center/666/, accessed May 12, 2022.
68 “Scheer Hurls, Peaches Beat Racine Belles,” Rockford Morning Star, July 2, 1950: 37.
69 Callow finished in a tie for the home-run crown in both 1950 and 1951. In 1951 her four homers tied her for the league lead with Betty Weaver Foss and Alice Pollitt (later Deschaine).
70 Callow also tripled off the scoreboard in the July 17, 1950, game. That blast was hit almost as far as the earlier home run that cleared the right-field fence.
71 International News Service, “Blue Sox Lose Doubleheader to Rockford,” South Bend Tribune, July 18, 1950: 12; “Peaches Win Moose Night Double Bill,” Rockford Morning Star, July 18, 1950: 13.
72 Callow went 3-for-5 with 2 doubles and 2 RBIs in Game Seven of the 1950 championship series, won 11–0 by Rockford over Fort Wayne.
73 Callow played on the Winnipeg Doodlebugs alongside another AAGPBL player, Doris “Dodie” Barr. Both Callow and Barr were added to the Winnipeg Canadienettes roster for the 1951 Western Canada championship. The Canadienettes had won the national championship in 1950. “Canadienettes Rule Puck Roost; Eliminate Doodlebugs Three Straight,” Winnipeg Free Press, March 1, 1951: 22; “Girls’ Hockey Test Friday,” Winnipeg Free Press, March 21, 1951: 24.
74 Canadian Press, “Wildcats Nip Winnipeg 5-4,” Winnipeg Free Press, March 19, 1951: 20.
75 “Canadienettes Are Beaten at Moose Jaw,” Winnipeg Tribune, March 19, 1951: 26; “Girls’ Hockey Test Friday.”
76 “Moose Jaw Gals Cop Hockey Title,” Winnipeg Tribune, March 24, 1951: 20.
77 Moose Jaw defeated the Port Arthur (Ontario) Bear Cats by a combined 12–1 score in their two-game total-goal series. “Wildcats Cop Title,” Regina Leader-Post, April 2, 1951: 15.
78 Dorothy “Dottie” Kamenshek played the final game of the series with a temperature of 101 Fahrenheit. Madden, 152; “Blue Sox Nine Evens Series with 6–3 Win,” South Bend Tribune, September 13, 1951: 31.
79 Rockford lost two of its top three hurlers when Lois “Flash” Florreich and Louise “Lou” Erickson (later Sauer) retired after the 1950 season.
80 Nicol Fox retired after the 1952 season. “Fans Get First Glimpse of 1952 Peaches Here Tonight,” Rockford Morning Star, May 11, 1952: 46.
81 “Peaches Head for Ft. Wayne,” Rockford Register-Republic, July 12, 1952: 9.
82 “Peaches Bang 12 Hits, Lose; Callow Drops First Start on Mound, 7–5,” Rockford Register Republic, July 15, 1952: 15.
83 Although the author found a newspaper account or box score for only seven of her eight home runs in 1952, Callow hit at least five game-winning homers that season: July 4 (first game of doubleheader, 10th inning), July 26 (9th inning), August 4 (second game of doubleheader, 8th inning), August 8 (10th inning), and August 21 (13th inning). Because of a discrepancy in the game stories, it is unclear if her homer on July 25 was a game-winner. Of the seven home runs found by the author, her homer on August 1 was the only one that was clearly not a game-winner. “Peaches Split, Slip to Fourth,” Rockford Register Republic, July 5, 1952: 13; “Peaches Win; Callow Stars,” Rockford Morning Star, July 27, 1952: 48; “Gacioch Wins 17th; Peaches Take Twin Bill,” Rockford Morning Star, August 5, 1952: 13; “Loop Playoffs Start Sept. 2,” Rockford Register Republic, August 9, 1952: 9; “Gacioch Gets 20th victory; Callow’s 3-Run Homer Wins in 13th,” Rockford Register Republic, August 22, 1952: 39.
84 “Gacioch Gets 20th victory; Callow’s 3-Run Homer Wins in 13th.”
85 The Peaches also held a two-games-to-none lead in the series before a successful protest erased Rockford’s victory in (the first) Game Two.
86 Callow scored the winning run with Rockford facing elimination in Game Two of its first-round series against Fort Wayne. She went 3-for-4 with an RBI and two stolen bases in the game. The Peaches went on to upset the Daisies in the best-of-three series. Callow stole six more bases in the championship series against South Bend. “Peaches Nip Daisies to Even Series,” Rockford Morning Star, September 5, 1952: 15.
87 “Jittery Peaches Open Road Card,” Rockford Register-Republic, August 12, 1953: 28.
88 “Crown Peaches Queen Tonight,” Rockford Register-Republic, August 26, 1953: 21; “Callow Queen of ’53 Peaches,” Rockford Morning Star, August 27, 1953: 18.
89 “Local Girls Semi-Finals Victors Over Rockford,” Grand Rapids Press, September 11, 1953: 40.
90 In a July 1, 1954, article, the South Bend Tribune reported that the mound was being moved back to 60 feet, 6 inches from home plate. Most sources list the distance at 60 feet. The same South Bend Tribune article also listed the previous ball as being 9¾ inches in circumference, although most sources list it at 10 inches. “Blue Sox Shift to Small Ball,” South Bend Tribune, July 1, 1954: 27; Ralph S. Hart, “As We See It,” Streator (Illinois) Daily Times-Press, June 22, 1954: 10; “Rules of Play,” All-American Girls Professional Baseball League, https://www.aagpbl.org/history/rules-of-play, accessed May 17, 2022.
91 “Peaches Split with Daisies; Callow’s Grand Slam Leads 12-8 Win,” Rockford Register-Republic, June 28, 1954: 19.
92 “Big Day Helps as Callow, Three Others Pace Peaches,” Rockford Register-Republic, June 29, 1954: 14.
93 The Peaches played 34 games with a 10-inch baseball and 58 games with a 9-inch ball in 1954, and Callow appeared in 86 of Rockford’s 92 games. She hit 4 home runs with the 10-inch baseball and 16 homers after the transition. Callow’s home-run pace with the 9-inch ball is the equivalent of hitting 42 round-trippers in a 154-game schedule. “Peaches Split Final 2 Games with Old Ball,” Rockford Register-Republic, July 1, 1954: 23; “Russo Rips New Ball, Hikes Average 53 Points to .320,” Rockford Register-Republic, July 6, 1954: 15.
94 “Peaches Open Home Stand Tonight; Take 7–6 Win but Two Key Players Hurt,” Rockford Register-Republic, July 17, 1954: 11.
95 “Russo Regains Batting Lead on Rampage of Home Runs,” Rockford Register-Republic, August 3, 1954: 15.
96 Reliable attendance figures for 1954 are not available. AAGPBL board meeting minutes from February 29, 1954, indicated that each team needed to draw 45,000 fans to break even that season. The league had a combined operating loss in 1954, but even if they drew fans at that rate, league attendance would have been only 225,000 or 957 fans per game (235 regular-season games were played). Average attendance in 1948 was approximately 1,444 per game (910,000 divided by 630 games). Fiddler, 137.
97 Leslie A. Heaphy and Mel Anthony May, Encyclopedia of Women and Baseball (Jefferson, North Carolina: McFarland & Company, 2006), 237.
98 The AAGPBL suffered an operating deficit of $22,500 in 1954, which is over $240,000 in 2022 dollars. “Girls’ Baseball League Suspends 1955 Operations,” South Bend Tribune, January 31, 1955: 17.
99 Some have referred to Eleanor Callow as the Babe Ruth of the AAGPBL. But given her speed, defensive abilities, and her penchant for triples, Tris Speaker would be a better comparison.
100 Second and third All-Star teams were not named every season. In 1948 the league also named two utility infielders and two utility outfielders to the first All-Star team, and Callow finished in a five-way tie for the second utility outfielder spot. The author could not find any newspaper reports on the end-of-season All-Star teams from 1952 to 1954. Callow (.303 BA, 8 HRs, 58 RBIs, 37 SBs) had the statistics to easily justify a spot on the second All-Star team in 1953. “Wagner Tops All-Star Team With 105 Out of 110 Votes,” Kenosha Evening News, September 30, 1948: 16; “Writers Place Shollenberger, Petras on Second Selections”; “Shollenberger Rates All-League Team”; “Jean Faut of Blue Sox Named Girls’ Loop ‘Most Valuable’”; Madden, 6.
101 The league also held a mid-season All-Star Game in 1943, which was the first night game played at Wrigley Field. Merrie A. Fiddler, The Origins and History of the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League (Jefferson, North Carolina: McFarland & Company, 2006), 139.
102 The nine players to appear in all three All-Star Games between 1952 and 1954 were Rita “Maude” Briggs, Eleanor “Squirt” Callow, Betty Weaver Foss, Rose Gacioch, Maxine Kline (later Randall), Ruth Richard, Dorothy “Dottie” Schroeder, Fern Shollenberger, and Joanne “Jo” Weaver. Jane “Jeep” Stoll would have played in all three games had she not been severely injured just before the 1954 game. “Blue Sox Bow to All-Stars in Ninth, 7-6,” South Bend Tribune, July 8, 1952: 16; “Homer in 11th Wins All-Star Game for Ft. Wayne,” South Bend Tribune, July 15, 1953: 37; “Daisies Whip All-Star Nine,” South Bend Tribune, July 10, 1954: 16; “Rumsey Only South Bend Player on Girls’ Star Team,” South Bend Tribune, July 7, 1954: 33.
103 “Saskatoon Girls Western Winners,” Saskatoon Star-Phoenix, September 12, 1955: 16.
104 “Women’s Section of SGCC Reports Successful Season,” Saskatoon Star-Phoenix, October 22, 1964: 8.
105 The 1962 Canadian Open was in Winnipeg, while the 1964 tournament was in Calgary. Saskatoon is a lengthy, yet reasonable drive from both cities. Callow may not have participated in the 1963 Canadian Open because it was held in Ottawa, which is over 1,800 miles from Saskatoon. “Ladies Open Draw,” Winnipeg Tribune, August 13, 1962: 46; “Ladies’ Golf Draw,” Calgary Albertan, August 3, 1964: 12.
106 Five-pin bowling is a Canadian version of ten-pin bowling. A smaller, lighter ball without any finger holes is used. Each pin is approximately 25 percent smaller than those in ten-pin bowling. “Regina Representatives,” Regina Leader-Post, April 4, 1966: 26.
107 Cremer, “The Sports Coop.”
108 Callow was battling breast cancer. Carole Pettypiece (niece of Eleanor Callow and daughter of Ejnar Knudsen), telephone interview with author, May 5, 2022.
109 Bill Walsh, “Two Former Peaches Ill with Cancer,” Rockford Morning Star, March 8, 1962: 5.
110 Callow appeared to move to Melfort, Saskatchewan, sometime between October 22, 1964, and December 1964. She spent Christmas 1964 with Nora and Harry Brown in Saskatoon. “Women’s Section of SGCC Reports Successful Season”; “Social and Personal,” Saskatoon Star-Phoenix, January 4, 1965: 9; Ned Powers, “Bowlers Keep Pins Flying,” Saskatoon Star-Phoenix, April 24, 1968: 29.
111 According to Lorne Lee, a Reference Assistant at the Regina Library, Callow’s occupation is listed in the Regina telephone directory as a clerk at Macleod’s during this period.
112 Eleanor’s occupation was taken from the 1970 and 1971 Saskatoon telephone directories. Her surname in the 1971 directory was Litterick. Powers, “Bowlers Keep Pins Flying.”
113 A wedding photo of James and Eleanor on Ancestry.com is dated July 17, 1971. The author was unable to locate an official marriage record.
114 “Ladies’ Team Spots on Line,” Winnipeg Free Press, July 5, 1974: 53.
115 Her sister Nora had died in July 1973 in a Saskatoon hospital at the age of 55. The obituary of both sisters requested donations to the Canadian Cancer Society. Eleanor had lived at the same address as Nora and Harry Brown for close to 20 years. “Deaths (Nora L. Brown).”
116 “Eleanor Margaret Litterick,” Winnipeg Free Press, October 30, 1974: 51.
117 Jim Sargent, We Were the All-American Girls: Interviews with Players of the AAGPBL, 1943-1954 (Jefferson, North Carolina: McFarland & Company, 2013), 161.
118 Fiddler, 8.
119 As of 2022, the National Women’s Baseball Hall of Fame, which did not include Callow, was no longer active. As of 2022, no female baseball players had been inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown (but one female executive was, Effa Manley). However, a permanent AAGPBL exhibit was added to its museum in 1988.
120 The other 11 Manitoba women to play in the AAGPBL were: Doris Barr, Dorothy Ferguson (later Key), Audrey Haine (later Daniels), Dorothy Hunter, Olive Little (née Bend), Ruth Middleton (later Gentry), Joan Schatz, Mary Shastal (later Kustra), Doris Shero (later Witiuk), Yolande Teillet (later Schick), and Evelyn Wawryshyn (later Moroz, and subsequently Litwin). “Inductee Spotlight: MB All American Girls,” Manitoba Baseball Hall of Fame, https://mbhof.ca/2021/08/03/inductee-spotlight-mb-all-american-girls/, accessed September 12, 2022.
121 The Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame began inducting former AAGPBL players individually in 2021. Helen Callaghan Candaele (later St. Aubin), mother of Casey Candaele, was the first of the group to be inducted on her own.
Eleanor Margaret Knudsen Callow
August 8, 1927 at Winnipeg, Manitoba (Canada)
October 28, 1974 at Winnipeg, Manitoba (Canada)
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