All-American Girls Professional Baseball League veteran and women’s baseball ambassador Maybelle Blair was honored on Saturday, September 30, 2023, with the Dorothy Seymour Mills Lifetime Achievement Award during the SABR/IWBC Women in Baseball Conference.
SABR’s Women in Baseball Committee established the Dorothy Seymour Mills Lifetime Achievement Award — “The Dorothy” — named in honor of Dorothy Seymour Mills and her lifetime of contributions to promoting women’s baseball.
Blair pitched for the Peoria Redwings of the AAGBPL in 1948. Her love of baseball and softball developed early when she convinced the girls in her fifth-grade class to create a softball team with her so she could play. She kept score for her brothers’ games and shagged fly balls for them.
After her year in the AAGBPL, Blair went on to play softball for the Chicago Cardinals and then the New Orleans Jacks. Beyond the diamond, Blair had a 37-year career with Northrup-Grumman, being one of only three female transportation executives. After the AAGPBL players association was created in 1982, she was a member of the board, helping the organization grow and representing them at many events including All-Star FanFests and other MLB events.
In 2014 Blair was one of the founding members of the International Women’s Baseball Center, served on the Board, and continues today as an emeritus board member. Blair is a long-time supporter of Baseball for All, and makes regular appearances at tournaments across the country, including the Baseball for All Nationals and MLB’s Traiblazer and GRIT series. She recently served as an inspiration and advisor for the Amazon Prime television series A League of Their Own. At 96 she continues to inspire and support every opportunity for girls and women to be able to be a part of baseball.
In addition to Blair, the other finalists for the 2023 award were Julie Croteau of the Colorado Silver Bullets; Lizzie Murphy and Maud Nelson, early 20th century women’s baseball pioneers; Ashley Stephenson, who appeared in six Women’s World Cups with Team Canada; and Toni Stone, one of three Black women to play in the Negro Leagues.
Click here for a list of previous award recipients.
Originally published: September 30, 2023. Last Updated: September 30, 2023.