Rothenberg: 30 years ago, the AAGPBL came to Cooperstown

From SABR member Matt Rothenberg at on November 12, 2018:

The space measured roughly eight feet by eight feet.

Yet the memories, artifacts, stories and recollections alone on Nov. 5, 1988, could have filled an institution at least twice the size of the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum.

The women of the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League (AAGPBL) – always proud of their on-field exploits and off-field impact – had finally returned to the public conscience over three decades after the league shut down, appearing in a 1987 documentary shown on public television, as well as in many newspaper articles. The recognition they sought, however, was from Cooperstown – a permanent exhibit to tell the current and future generations about the professional baseball league for women which lasted between 1943 and 1954.

They got it.

About 150 of the over 500 women known at the time to have appeared in the AAGPBL – along with about 300 friends and family members – descended upon Cooperstown for the grand opening of the “Women in Baseball” exhibit, the culmination of a few years’ work by Hall of Fame curator Ted Spencer, just ahead of the museum’s 50th anniversary in 1989. As it happened, while growing up in Quincy, Mass., one of Spencer’s physical education teachers, Mary Pratt, was a former AAGPBL ballplayer.

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Originally published: November 12, 2018. Last Updated: November 12, 2018.