Thursday, May 27, 2010

a first-baseman worth remembering.

um, i mean first-basewoman.

dorothy kamenshek - or dottie or kammie to her gal pals - was likely the best woman baseball player ever.

but what may have made dottie best known among modern generations was her inspiration for the lead character of the 1992 film a league of their own, about the all-american girls professional baseball league.

the movie character - dottie hinson played by geena davis - was a composite. but dottie was the league's clear superstar.

dottie, named among the top 100 female athletes of the century by sports illustrated,
played first base for the rockford [illinois] peaches from 1943 to 1953.

the ohio southpaw was only 17
when she was picked as a peach.
the league's expectations were clear:
look like women. play like men.

which meant shoulder-length or longer hair,
full makeup on the field,
and sliding into bases
in short skirts and bare legs.

strawberry city. and dottie was the mayor.
dorothy kamenshek stole 657 bases during her ten-year baseball career.

she was also the league's top batter,
with a career average of .292.
with 3,736 career at-bats,
she struck out only 81 times.

dottie led her team to four league titles.
she was chose for seven all-star teams.

she was once recruited for
a men's professional team, but refused
the offer, believing it was intended
as a publicity stunt.

dottie retired from baseball in 1953.
the league disbanded in 1954.

dorothy kamenshek went on to earn her degree
in physical therapy at marquette university.

she moved to practice in california, where
she became chief of therapy services for
los angeles county children's services.

she retired from her second successful career in 1980.

dottie died ten days ago at the age of 84
of stroke-related causes.
she never married and left no survivors.

just an inspirational legacy for women athletes
about how a different kind of diamond
can be a girl's best friend.

image source:, yahoo!