Ruth Kramer Hartman

This article was written by Brian Engelhardt

Ruth Kramer Hartman played for the Fort Wayne Daisies of the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League during the 1946 and 1947 regular seasons, then with the Grand Rapids Chicks in the 1947 league playoffs. Before playing in the AAGPBL, Ruth was one of the top softball pitchers in her hometown of Reading, Pennsylvania. After baseball she returned to Reading and resumed her excellence on the softball mound, pitching for more than 10 years. At the same time, she started a girls’ softball program at Reading High School, where she coached with great success for 16 years.

In 2003 Baseballtown Charities, an organization in Reading associated with the Reading Phillies Double-A franchise that supported youth baseball and softball programs, created a “King of Baseballtown” award to be presented annually to a Reading area resident for lifetime accomplishment and contributions to baseball or softball. With the successes Hartman had achieved on both softball and baseball diamonds, it was only fitting that she was the first woman to receive the award, in January 2008. However, after being informed that she was named “King of Baseballtown,” she proclaimed, “I want to be Queen.”1 And so it was decreed: Baseballtown had its first “Queen.”

A long and fulfilling life ended tragically in November 2015 when Hartman died of injuries suffered in an auto accident.

The future Queen of Baseballtown was born in Leesport, a small town outside of Reading, on April 26, 1926. She was the oldest child of Annie (Kissling) Kramer and John F. Kramer Sr. Ruth would have two younger brothers, John Jr., who would go on to serve as sheriff of Berks County for 20 years, and Gary, born when Ruth was a senior in college. A mechanic by trade, John Kramer supported his family by working on cars. His specialty, according to Ruth, was Packards. Kramer’s list of clients included several prominent families in the area. Ruth related that often he would take her along on these maintenance calls: “He would bundle me up and put me in the sidecar of his motorcycle. When I got there, I’d play with dolls that they would have for me.” Meanwhile her father would tend to his customer’s Packard.

The fortunes of the Kramer family changed dramatically when John Kramer won the Irish Sweepstakes, a lottery run by the newly created Irish Free State. He stopped working as a mechanic and became a hotel keeper. His first venture was to rent Leinbach’s Hotel, an inn with a historic past in rural Bern Township, about 12 miles from Reading.

With the change in his daily routine, Ruth’s father also changed how he spent time with her. She recalled, “One day my Dad looked at me and said, ‘I have to do something with you. You have to be my little boy.’ (Ruth’s brother John, five years her junior, would have been a toddler at this time.) Ruth and her father began to play catch on a regular basis in the cow pastures surrounding the family home, and he taught her how to field groundballs. It was a challenging classroom for Ruth’s education on the diamond. As she put it: “Dad would hit balls to me and would say, ‘If you could field a ball in those cow pastures, you can play anywhere.’ He was right. There were cow pies all over the place and holes. It was a mess.”

Ruth’s development as a ballplayer was directly affected by her father’s business activities. He had a disagreement with his landlord — the owner of Leinbach’s Hotel — about physically moving the building to a site on a newly opened three-lane highway between Allentown and Reading. Kramer thought his landlord was missing a fine business opportunity, so in 1940 he terminated the lease and bought the Rising Sun, a hotel and barroom in Reading, from a local brewery. The Rising Sun was located near the busy Reading Railroad repair shops, and drew most of its clientele from there. It was also near a city playground, and 13-year-old Ruth was a regular at the site, playing baseball and softball “mostly with older kids,” as she recalled.

The Kramer family settled into the hotel portion of the building, upstairs from the bar. Ruth and her brother John each slept in one of the guest rooms. The hotel had 21 rooms, the minimum number required by the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board regulations for a hotel license. As a consequence, whenever the board conducted a surprise inspection to and verify that there were 21 rooms either in use by guests or vacant and available, Ruth and her brother had to quickly remove all their possessions from their rooms and hide them so the board’s agents would not see them.

With Ruth beginning to play with other girls in the city, her father sponsored a girls’ softball team, the Rising Sun Maids. Ruth was the pitcher. Her debut against outside competition was a rough experience. She described it with a smile: “My first game was a 26-0 loss to the Diamond Lils (a highly talented team from Leesport). They had Amy Dunkleberger (who also played in the AAGPBL) and her two sisters. [Also on the Lils was Fern Shollenberger, who played nine seasons in the AAGPBL.] They were good. They hit everything I threw. After it was done, I said, ‘I never want to pitch again. That’s it. I don’t want to play anymore.’”

The Maids’ coaches, Charles Brahm and John Hospidor, both experienced women’s softball coaches, persuaded Ruth and her teammates not to be too discouraged after the dreadful first game. Practicing on a coal-dirt field situated next to a railroad siding, the Maids worked and improved. At the same time, a young coach, Dominic Salamone, worked with Ruth individually. She recalled, “It wasn’t so much the increasing the speed on the ball — he did that — but what he really helped me with was getting the ball to move. He really helped me.”

The Maids enjoyed success, winning a number of tournaments. In 1944 World War II forced the team to change its name to Piker Maids (Rising Sun was associated with the Japanese empire), even though Ruth’s father continued to sponsor the team. A few years later, the sponsor became a political club in Reading. and the team became the Seventeenth Ward. Ruth’s pitching continued to excel with her 5-foot-1, 110-pound frame giving no indication of the power in her right arm.

Ruth’s father set up a daily exhibition of her pitching ability. In a vacant lot across the street from the hotel, he fastened a mattress to a tree and drew a circle to denote the strike zone. Each day Ruth went to the lot with her softball and from a spot approximately 40 feet away, she would try to hit the circle 50 times in a row.

Ruth described the challenges she faced in this daily activity: “I had one ball. I’d throw it and then have to go over and pick it up myself. It had to be 50 in a row hitting the target. If I hit 35 in a row and missed one, then I had to begin again until I hit 50. My Dad would come to the window, and if he thought it was too quiet outside, he’d yell, ‘Ruth, where are you at?’ Then he would lean on his elbows out the window and watch to make sure I was doing it right. Other people in the bar would look out and watch too, to let him know I was doing what I was supposed to. There always was someone looking out the window at the Rising Sun.”Every time Ruth and the elements would wear out a mattress, her father would create a greater challenge for Ruth, by making the target circle smaller on the new mattress. Ruth said her younger brother John would watch in eager anticipation of her missing the circle, announcing for one and all (and especially their father) that Ruth had to start again at square one.

Ruth faced another daily ritual with little enthusiasm. Every day she was required to go to her room, close the door, and practice her accordion for an hour, accompanied by the ticking of a metronome for the entire time. Sixty years later she declared she “still [could not] stand the sound of a metronome to this day.” Despite her aversion to practice, Ruth and John, who played the mandolin, were sufficiently accomplished to appear several times on a local radio show, playing accordion and mandolin duets.

After graduating from Reading High School in the fall of 1942, Ruth enrolled in East Stroudsburg State Teachers College (now East Stroudsburg University) to pursue a degree in teaching. The college had no intercollegiate softball team for women, so her only outlet for her softball talents was the women’s intramural program. A problem was that no woman on her team was able to catch her pitching. This was temporarily addressed by an arrangement under which the catcher on the men’s softball team was her catcher in intramural games. The young man was subject to several limitations — including that he could not bat, run the bases, or throw out runners. (With the tone in her voice roughly comparable to that of a gunslinger blowing smoke from the butt of a smoking pistol, Ruth said the latter restriction was not a problem since she struck everyone out, so there were never any baserunners anyway.)

This temporary arrangement was not popular within the intramural players, with Ruth, or with the catcher. Eventually Ruth was permitted to play with the men’s softball team. An adjustment was made so she pitched from a women’s mound, 40 feet from the plate, as opposed to the men’s distance of 46 feet.

In those games, Ruth said with pride, “I remember striking out a lot of big guys. It was dangerous playing men’s teams. The ball would come off the bat of the men with greater velocity than what the women would hit.” Once she suffered “a pretty severe leg injury” when she was hit by a line drive. She was proficient as a pitcher against the men, acquiring the nickname Rocky. “They said I threw like a rocket,” she explained.)

In the spring of 1946 Ruth was playing a game with the men in downtown Stroudsburg. AAGPBL President Max Carey (the former Pittsburgh Pirate great and member of the Baseball Hall of Fame) was in town that day, and happened upon the game. Impressed with what he saw, Carey asked Ruth if she wanted play in the AAGPBL. Ruth told him that she was perfectly happy playing for and traveling with the Crystalettes, a women’s team in Reading.

Carey told Ruth to think about it, and offered to talk to her about it later. Ruth expressed no interest in taking Carey’s phone number so he gave his business card with his number to one of her male teammates and said, “This is in case you change your mind.” When Ruth told her male teammates that she had no interest, she recalled, “The boys all looked at me and said, ‘You don’t want to play professional baseball? You’re out of your mind!’”

A few days later Ruth was summoned to the office of the dean of women’s office to take a phone call. It was her father. “He told me that I was going to Chicago and play baseball. I told him I didn’t want to go, and all he said was, ‘We’ll see when you get home.’” The semester was coming to a close, and Ruth was going to be returning home to Reading in any event.

Describing how her father “always had things to say criticizing what I had done,” Ruth also said she knew of the great pride he took in her accomplishments and how satisfying it was to her when she learned from others “that he was always bragging about me in the bar” and that “when he came to games when I was in college he would always be saying, ‘That’s my kid.’” By contrast, and to Ruth’s disappointment, her mother never saw her play.

Still, in describing the tension that would arise from her father’s frequent criticisms, Ruth said, “When my father came to games I could smell him almost. I didn’t need to see or hear him, but I suddenly knew he was there.”

When she arrived home, she said, she found that “[m]y Dad had not only packed my suitcase, but he bought me new clothes, including new saddle shoes, skirts, dresses, and nylon stockings. When he talked to Max Carey, Max explained what I would need to wear.” She was fully packed and ready to take the train to Chicago the next day.

A brief article in the May 29, 1946, Reading Eagle related how Ruth Kramer, “one of Reading’s outstanding feminine athletes,” had left the night before on a train for Chicago, to play professionally in the All American Girls Softball League[sic]. Briefly describing Ruth’s successes on the softball diamond, the article labeled her “a consistent winner in (girls’) competition.”2

What was not mentioned in the article was that Ruth cried all the way during the hour or so ride in the car with her father on the way to the train station in Harrisburg. She described herself as “giving a big performance” during that trip. On the train from Harrisburg to Chicago, although riding in a sleeper car for the first time in her life, she said, “I didn’t really get to appreciate it since I cried all night — all the way to Chicago.”

It is safe to assume that Ruth’s first day in the AAGPBL was unlike that of any other player. After her tearful night in the sleeper car, She was greeted in Chicago by Max Carey, who was to escort her on an express train to Racine, Wisconsin, where she would play for the Racine Belles that evening.

Before departing for Racine, Carey and Ruth went to the headquarters of the William Wrigley Jr. Company, where Carey had a meeting scheduled with company president Philip K. Wrigley, the founder of the AAGPBL. Carey introduced Ruth to Wrigley and other executives. Wrigley gave her a tour of the office, introducing her as the newest AAGPBL recruit.

Then she and Carey took a train to Racine, where she was scheduled to meet the team before a game that night against the visiting Fort Wayne Daisies. On arriving in Racine Ruth was given a makeup kit and a Racine Belles uniform. She was then told to hurry and get ready for the game because the other Belles were already at the field.

What first struck Ruth, after playing up to then in drab gray or white uniforms was the bright yellow Belles uniform. She said, “I never played in anything like that. It had a little pink hat and a little skirt and was cute, but the next thing I thought was, ‘Where are the leggings so you could slide?’” The makeup was yet another matter. “I was not used to wearing lipstick or makeup at all. So I put a little on just because I thought I had to,” she said.

Ruth’s real problems began when she arrived at the field. Belles manager Leo Murphy made it very apparent to Carey that he was not happy being presented with this new player whom he had never seen play. Murphy said his team (on its way to a first-place finish with a 74-38 record) really didn’t need her.

The situation only became worse when Ruth discovered she couldn’t get the regulation AAGPBL ball over the plate. The problem was her inability to adjust to the size of the ball, which was 11 inches in circumference, as opposed to the 12-inch ball she was accustomed to using in softball. She struggled so much that it appeared she would be heading home without a roster spot. “I was embarrassed,” she recalled. “I was used to being queen of the diamond back home. Also, I figured that my dad would say that I did it on purpose to come home.”

Observing Ruth’s ordeal with the new ball was Bill Wambsganss, manager of the visiting Fort Wayne Daisies. Despite her troubles with the ball, Wambsganss was impressed with Ruth’s talent. Wambsganss had considerable baseball experience — he had made the only unassisted triple play in World Series history and played for 13 years in the American League, mostly at second base.3

Wambsganss asked if he could work Ruth out for the Daisies. Permission was granted. In the impromptu workout he saw that she not only had speed, she handled groundballs well, was an accomplished bunter, and was talented at sliding. Ruth said she “learned that from the boys I played with at East Stroudsburg” and added that she was “maybe not much of a hitter, but I was a great bunter.”

With an eye to using Ruth at second base, Wambsganss arranged with Carey for Ruth’s contract to be transferred to the Daises. She remembered the rest of the evening as being somewhat awkward: After changing out of the Belles uniform, she sat in her street clothes to watch her new teammates. Feeling homesick, Ruth knew she “had to get over it quickly,” and she worked hard to earn a fair amount of action at second base. If not in the starting lineup, she was used as a pinch-runner in late-game situations because of her baserunning ability. As she put it, “I was pretty fast and I could slide.” In addition, she sufficiently conquered her problems with the 11-inch ball so that after a few weeks, Wambsganss had her pitch batting practice. However, in her two years with the Daisies, to her disappointment, she never pitched in a regulation game.

Another problem Ruth had to immediately address was that “[i]t didn’t go over so well with the other women on the team that I missed all the conditioning that went on in spring training.” In her first season, her performance on the field caused her teammates to warm up to her. However, when she missed spring training the next season because she had to complete college classes and final exams, she described how some of her teammates called her “the big college girl.” Along the same lines, her being signed and introduced to the AAGPBL by Carey caused some other players seeking to get under her skin to refer to her as “Carey’s little pumpkin pie.”

Upon arrival in Fort Wayne, Ruth moved into a boarding house with teammates Vivian Kellogg and Faye Dancer. Ruth described Dancer as not only her “favorite player on the team” but also her best friend. In Ruth’s words, “She drove me crazy.” A talented pitcher and outfielder, Dancer was a free spirit whose nickname on the Daisies, “All the Way Faye,” provided the inspiration for the character “All the Way Mae,” played by Madonna, in the 1992 movie A League of Their Own.4 Ruth’s roommates played pranks on “the rookie.” She regularly found dead mice on her doorknob, and once — reminiscent of the horse’s head scene in The Godfather – she found a bloody oxtail in her bed. Prankster Faye Dancer short-sheeted her bed every evening.

Canadian teammates Helen Callaghan St. Aubin and her sister Marge Callaghan Maxwell kept Ruth loose by regularly ribbing her. Ruth recalled: “They kept it up the whole time I was there in Fort Wayne. They were a tough pair.”

The 1946 Daisies finished the season in fifth place with a record of 52-60. Still, Ruth recalled a number of other talented teammates in addition to Dancer and Kellogg (a slick fielder). These included catcher Kathryn “Kate” Vonderau and pitcher Dottie Wiltse Collins. Collins, the niece of George “Hooks” Wiltse of the New York Giants teams of the early 1900s, won 22 games that season, one of four seasons in a row in which she won at least 20.

When Ruth returned for the 1947 season, she lived with Dottie and her husband, who resided in Fort Wayne year-round. She did not get short-sheeted that year at all. (A connection between Hooks Wiltse and Ruth’s hometown of Reading was that he managed the 1917 Reading Pretzels, and, for a brief time, the 1926 Reading Keys.)

The Daisies slipped to seventh place in 1947, with a record of 45-67. At the season’s outset, former umpire George Johnson managed the team, succeeding Wambsganss, who managed Muskegon that season. As the season progressed, Johnson was asked to go back to umpiring and was replaced by William “Daddy” Rohrer, a former Pacific Coast League star with a successful track record in coaching women’s softball teams in California. Several women coached by Rohrer played in the AAGBPL, including his daughter Kay, who played for Rockford in 1945.5

During Ruth’s two years in the league, games against the Kenosha Comets were special for her. Playing third base for the Comets was Fern Shollenberger, from Hamburg, Pennsylvania, a former rival of Ruth’s in Berks County league games. Ruth looked forward to their reunions, recalling how she enjoyed seeing Fern, calling her “the best player I played against in the league.” When both were finished playing in the AAGPBL and returned to Berks County, they were teammates on various teams in the Reading area.

Ruth recalled with a laugh the various features of the AAGPBL. “We had to be ladies first. We had those cute little hats you would put on the back of your head. We had to have long hair,” she said. She also recalled the dress code off the field: “We needed to wear dresses or skirts … no slacks. No shorts. And we wore saddle shoes.” The league demanded that its players be ladylike. Teams had chaperones to monitor player behavior. The AAGPL required its players to attend charm school, but the specifics varied from team to team. Ruth related: “We went to charm school one day a month with the Fort Wayne Daises. Other teams went once, and that was it.” Her memories of the various chaperones were that they were like “tough army sergeants.” A particularly fond memory for Ruth was that one time she spotted a girl in the stands in Fort Wayne holding up a sign that said, “Rocky We Love You.”

There are no available statistics on Ruth’s performance in 1946 and 1947.

Ruth did not return to the league in 1948, wanting to graduate with her class at East Stroudsburg in the spring. “It was important to me that I would walk with my class, and finish with them,” she said.

Immediately after graduation she accepted a teaching position and began what would be a 36-year teaching career in the Reading School District. Aside from teaching physical education, in the 1950s she coached volleyball, track, and swimming. She also coordinated programs for gymnastic exhibitions and dance. She said the gymnastic programs, plus a program called “Origins of Dance,” presented several times over the years, were always well received.

During Ruth’s senior year at Stroudsburg, her mother gave birth to Ruth’s youngest brother, Gary. The birth was not routine. In the days before ultrasound, the initial prognosis was that Ruth’s mother had a tumor. When the prognosis was changed to that of a pregnancy, Ruth’s mother was told that the baby would be stillborn. But she gave birth to a healthy boy, Gary, 21 years younger than his big sister. A year later, in 1949, Ruth married Kenneth Hoverter. In 1950 they had a daughter, Karen.

While Ruth was finished with the AAGPBL, she was still involved in the game, turning to softball. Because Ruth played professionally, she had to sit out a year before returning to amateur competition. When she did return, the softball career of Rocky Kramer Hoverter resumed at full throttle.

Ruth pitched for the Crystalettes, which was sponsored by the Crystal Restaurant, the most popular restaurant in downtown Reading. The team became the Breeze Inn Hurricanes when the Breeze Inn restaurant picked up the sponsorship. In 1958 she pitched for a team known simply as the Reading Girls, which won the Pennsylvania State Class AA Softball Championship. When Karen was old enough, she was a mascot for Ruth’s different teams.6

Ruth also served as a pick-up player (eligible for tournaments only) for the Pottstown Cardinalettes, as well as teams in Lancaster, Erie, and Lewistown. Earlier in her career, Ruth and another future Fort Wayne Daisy, Alice Hoover (who played with them in 1948), were pick-up players for a fire company team as far away as Lewistown, Pennsylvania. Between the Crystalettes and her various other teams, Ruth played in tournaments in California, Oregon, Washington, Florida, Ohio, and Canada. Expenses for these road trips were split: The team raised money to pay for gasoline, while the sponsoring restaurant furnished a meal money allowance.7

Ruth pitched into her mid-30s with the Crystalettes (the sponsorship of her team had gone back to the Crystal Restaurant), at which point, as she put it, “I saw the writing on the wall,” passing on her mantle as staff ace to rocket-armed Patty Whitman, who was 13 years younger than Ruth. Over the course of her softball career, Ruth pitched in more than 600 games, with more than 250 victories. In one tournament in 1954, she pitched three games in one day.8

In 1976 Ruth’s competitive juices on the diamond were rejuvenated when she was able to begin a girls’ softball program at Reading High School. The program was an immense success: Over the 18 seasons that Ruth helmed the Reading Red Knights, the team compiled an overall record of 217-73, won two Berks County championships and three district titles, and was twice state runner-up.9

After Ruth retired from teaching and coaching, she began to breed sheep, especially Corriedales, on her farm in Limekiln, just outside of Reading. Initially, Ruth was interested in raising donkeys, but her granddaughter, Kelly Glaser, then eight years old, was interested in breeding sheep for a 4-H project for school. Ruth acquired her sheep from a local doctor with a large herd of Corriedale sheep who had won a number of awards.10

Ruth and her second husband, Dan Hartman (she and Hoverter were divorced in the late 1950s), originally raised sheep and donkeys, but then concentrated on sheep. Many of them are named for Reading and Philadelphia Phillies players, including Ryan Howard and Shane Victorino. Breaking with the baseball tradition, Ruth said that Mutombo, named for the former Philadelphia 76ers great, was her greatest sheep of all time.

Ruth’s naming of her sheep for members of the Reading Phillies does not occur because she pulls names out of a hat. Over the years she has been a regular at Reading Phillies games, talking to the young players from her seat next to the home dugout. She has become a sort of den mother to a number of them. The favorites ended up with a sheep named after them.

Ruth earned a reputation as one of the nation’s top sheep breeders, winning a number of awards, including the National Corriedale Breeder of the Year award in 2006, as well as the grand champion title that year in the North American International Livestock Exposition for her sheep Brito (named for former Phillies pitcher Eude Brito). She received a silver plate from Australia, and secured in 2008 the title of Outstanding Shepherd of the Year for the Corriedale breed.

Ruth observed, “Now I have sheep. … They are like my children.” She said she has attended sheep shows in Maryland, Kentucky, Missouri, Massachusetts, New Jersey, and Colorado. These are in addition to several shows in Pennsylvania. A relationship that Ruth said she particularly valued was with former Phillies first baseman Ryan Howard. “We’re very close. He’s been here (to the farm) many times,” she said when he was still active. “When I go to see the Phillies play, he has me come down and sit in the family seats. He’s such a nice young man.” Ruth also described how, on a number of occasions in spring training, Howard would tell younger players heading for Reading to listen to Ruth, as “she knows her ball.”

Ruth was inducted into the Fort Wayne Athletic Hall of Fame and the Berks County Division of the Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame, and was among the first inductees into the Reading High School Sports Hall of Fame. She was in the first class of inductees into the Northeasters, an award for alumni for Northeast Junior High School in Reading.

Touched by her being honored as the first “Queen of Baseballtown,” Ruth described herself as “shocked,” stating, “I just couldn’t believe that I would be chosen. I played ball. I coached. I just never dreamed that I would be important enough to be (named) something like this. It’s way above me, I think.”

Ruth took part in the dedication of the Baseball Hall of Fame’s “Women in Baseball” exhibit with other AAGPBL Players on November 5, 1988. She participates in AAGPBL functions in southeast Pennsylvania — when permitted by her schedule with her sheep. Ruth never told anyone about playing in the AAGPBL, except college teammates and other women from Reading who played there. She said she was called on to relate her experiences in the AAGPBL to assist with script development of A League of Their Own. She attended other AAGPBL-related ceremonies at the Baseball Hall of Fame, including the unveiling of a statue of a woman ballplayer on Mother’s Day of 2006.

To sum up her time in the AAGPBL, Ruth had one word: “Fantastic!”11

Looking back on her life in 2012, Ruth Kramer Hartman said, “I always wanted to be the best — whether it was in baseball — I would push myself. When I was coaching, I was demanding of my players. And even now, with my sheep, I still always want to be the best.”

Ruth died on November 9, 2015, of injuries suffered in an automobile accident. An indication of her prominence in the Reading baseball community was that the day before her funeral, hundreds of friends and family came pay their respects in a visitation held at First Energy Stadium, home of the Reading Phillies, where Ruth spent so many happy evenings. In 2016 she was inducted into the Reading Baseball Hall of Fame.



This biography was originally published in 2012. This updated version (June 2020) was reviewed by Rory Costello and Len Levin and checked for accuracy by SABR’s fact-checking team.



Comments from Ruth Hartman are taken from interviews by the author on November 3, 2006; November 18, 2006; May 8, 2012; and May 15, 2012.

Besides the sources cited in the Notes, the following were also consulted:

Drago, Mike. “‘Queen’ Hartman Touched by Fanfare,” Reading Eagle, January 24, 2008: 14.

Engelhardt, Brian C. “Grand Dames of Berks County Softball,” Berks County Historical Review, Spring 2007.

Gibbs, Keleigh. “Queen of Baseballtown Remembered During Service at FirstEnergy Stadium,” Reading Eagle, November 16, 2015.

Lukas, Paul. “Sports Fanfare,” Reading Eagle, July 22, 1959: 48.

Lukas, Paul. “Sports Fanfare,” Reading Eagle, December 29, 2006.

“Chicks Shade Belles, 1-0 in Final Playoff Contest,” Journal Times, September 17, 1947.

“Exeter Breeder Knows What It Takes to Win.”

The above articles are in Ruth Kramer Hartman’s File in the National Baseball Hall of Fame.

Madden, W.C. The All American Girls Professional League Record Book (Jefferson, North Carolina: McFarland and Co., 2000).

“Ruth (Kramer) Hartman,” official site of the AAGPBL,

“Fort Wayne Daisies,” official site of the AAGPBL,



1 Mike Drago, “‘Queen’ Hartman Touched by Fanfare,” Reading Eagle, January 24, 2008: 14.

2 “Reading Girl Joins Pro Softball League,” Reading Eagle, May 29, 1946: 12.

3 Bill Nowlin, “Bill Wambsganss,” SABR BioProject,

4 Tim Wiles, “Faye Dancer,” SABR BioProject,

5 “William Rohrer,” Official site of the AAGPBL,

6 “Regionals Next Aim of Girls,” Reading Eagle, August 10, 1958: 25.

7 Bob Reigner, “Breeze Inn Gals, a Crowd of Vets, Keep Reading, Berks on Sports Map,” Reading Eagle, July 15, 1956: 22.

8 Interview with author.

9 “Queen of Baseballtown — Ruth Hartman (Kramer), Reading Phillies website,

10 Reading Eagle, “Exeter breeder knows what it takes to win,” December 29, 2006.

11 Speech by Ruth Hartman on July 19, 2012, in West Reading, Pennsylvania, attended by the author.

Full Name

Ruth Kramer Hartman


April 26, 1926 at Leesport, PA (US)


November 9, 2015 at Reading, PA (US)

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