1944 All-American Girls Professional Baseball League season

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1944 All-American Girls Professional Baseball League season
All-American Girls Professional Baseball League logo.svg
League All-American Girls Professional Baseball League
Sport Baseball
Number of teams Six
Regular season
Season champions Kenosha Comets (first half)
Milwaukee Chicks (second half)
Scholarship Series
Champions Milwaukee Chicks
AAGPBL seasons
← 1943
1945 →

The 1944 All-American Girls Professional Baseball League season marked the second season of the circuit. The AAGPBL expanded in its second year of existence by adding two franchises to the original four-team format. At this point, the Milwaukee Chicks and the Minneapolis Millerettes joined the Kenosha Comets, Racine Belles, Rockford Peaches and South Bend Blue Sox. The number of games in the schedule also increased to 118, while the final Scholarship Series faced first-half winner Kenosha against Milwaukee, second-half champ, in a Best of Seven Series.[1]

In that season the ball was decreased in size from 12 inches to 11½ inches. In addition, the base paths were lengthened to 68 feet.[2] As a result, batting averages decreased to low .200 as pitching continued to dominate for second straight season. No batters surpassed the .300 mark, with South Bend's Betsy Jochum collecting the highest average at .296. Once again Kenosha's Helen Nicol led all pitchers in earned run average, turning in a minuscule 0.98 mark, while Minneapolis' Annabelle Lee hurled the first perfect game in league history against Kenosha. Among pitchers who threw no-hitters were Rockford's Carolyn Morris (two) and Mary Pratt, and Kenosha' Elise Harney and Nicol.[3]

The final series was extended from three to seven games. The series went to the limit of seven games and Milwaukee clinched the championship, four to three. Despite losing Game 1, Connie Wisniewski earned the four wins to set a series record, pitching a four-hit shutout in decisive Game 7 to give the Chicks the title.[4]

Although the Chicks won the championship, they had no local financial backing and could not compete with the American Association Milwaukee Brewers. In fact, the Chicks were forced to play all seven games of the series at Kenosha's Lake Front Stadium because the Brewers were using the Borchert Field in Milwaukee. In addition, the high ticket prices charged for AAGPBL games failed to encourage significant fan support. Due to lack of community support and skepticism of journalists, the Chicks moved to Grand Rapids, Michigan prior to the 1945 season.[5]

The AAGPBL drew 260,000 fans during the 1944 season, which represented a 49 percent raise over the previous year.[1]

Standings[edit]

First Half[edit]

Rank Team W L W-L% GB
1 Kenosha Comets 36 23 .610
2 South Bend Blue Sox 33 25 .569
3 Milwaukee Chicks 30 26 .536
4 Racine Belles 28 32 .467
5 Rockford Peaches 24 32 .429 10½
6 Minneapolis Millerettes 23 36 .390 13

Second Half[edit]

Rank Team W L W-L% GB
1 Milwaukee Chicks 40 19 .678
2 South Bend Blue Sox 31 27 .534
3 Rockford Peaches 29 28 .509 10
4 Kenosha Comets 26 31 .456 13
5 Racine Belles 25 32 .439 14
6 Minneapolis Millerettes 22 36 .379 17½

Composite records[edit]

Rank Team W L W-L% GB
1 Milwaukee Chicks 70 45 .609
2 South Bend Blue Sox 64 52 .552
3 Kenosha Comets 62 54 .469
4 Rockford Peaches 53 60 .456 16
5 Racine Belles 53 64 .453 18
6 Minneapolis Millerettes 45 72 .385 26½

Postseason[edit]

Game Teams Score
1   Milwaukee Chicks  
@
Kenosha Comets
2

4
2 Kenosha Comets
@
Milwaukee Chicks
4

1
3 Milwaukee Chicks
@
Kenosha Comets
7

0
4 Kenosha Comets
@
Milwaukee Chicks
1

7
5 Milwaukee Chicks
@
Kenosha Comets
0

9
6 Kenosha Comets
@
Milwaukee Chicks
1

2
7 Milwaukee Chicks
@
Kenosha Comets
3

0

[6]

Batting statistics[edit]

Statistic Player Record
 Batting average Betsy Jochum (SB)
Helen Callaghan (MIN)
Faye Dancer (MIN)
Eleanor Dapkus (RAC)
Merle Keagle (MIL)
Vickie Panos (SB/MIL)
Rose Folder (KEN)
  Dorothy Kamenshek (ROC)  
Shirley Jameson (KEN)
Ann Harnett (KEN)
.296
.287
.274
.273
.264
.263
.261
.257
.253
.248
Runs scored Sophie Kurys (RAC)
Vickie Panos (SB/MIL)
Helen Callaghan (MIN)
Pauline Pirok (KEN)
Betsy Jochum (SB)
Merle Keagle (MIL)
Claire Schillace (RAC)
Shirley Jameson (KEN)
Phyllis Koehn (KEN)
Doris Tetzlaff (MIL)
87
84
81
73
72
72
65
64
62
62
Hits Betsy Jochum (SB)
Dorothy Kamenshek (ROC)
Helen Callaghan (MIN)
Merle Keagle (MIL)
Vickie Panos (SB/MIL)
Eleanor Dapkus (RAC)
Sophie Kurys (RAC)
Phyllis Koehn (KEN)
Faye Dancer (MIN)
Ann Harnett (KEN)
128
115
114
107
106
99
96
91
90
87
Doubles Eleanor Dapkus (RAC)
Pauline Pirok (KEN)
Ann Harnett (KEN)
Dorothy Kamenshek (ROC)
Vivian Kellogg (MIN)
Josephine Lenard (ROC)
Lavonne Paire (MIN)
Lucille Colacito (KEN)
Merle Keagle (MIL)
Sophie Kurys (RAC)
Edythe Perlick (RAC)
Lee Surkowski (SB)
10
10
8
8
8
8
8
7
7
7
7
7
Triples Josephine Lenard (ROC)
Ann Harnett (KEN)
Vivian Kellogg (MIN)
Lois Florreich (SB)
Phyllis Koehn (KEN)
Faye Dancer (MIN)
Mildred Deegan (ROC)
Dorothy Maguire (MIL)
Merle Keagle (MIL)
Betty Whiting (MIL)
10
8
7
6
6
5
5
5
5
5
Home runs Merle Keagle (MIL)
Eleanor Dapkus (RAC)
Helen Callaghan (MIN)
Vivian Kellogg (MIN)
Elizabeth Mahon (KEN)
Doris Tetzlaff (MIL)
Lee Surkowski (SB)
Josephine D'Angelo (SB)
Faye Dancer (MIN)
Betsy Jochum (SB)
Mary Nesbitt (RAC)
Edythe Perlick (RAC)
Margaret Wigiser (MIN)
7
5
3
3
3
3
3
2
2
2
2
2
2
Runs batted in Edythe Perlick (RAC)
Sophie Kurys (RAC)
Eleanor Dapkus (RAC)
Faye Dancer (MIN)
Merle Keagle (MIL)
Vivian Kellogg (MIN)
Margaret Stefani (SB)
Ann Harnett (KEN)
Phyllis Koehn (KEN)
Doris Tetzlaff (MIL)
Thelma Eisen (MIL)
Mary Baker (SB)
63
60
56
48
47
46
46
45
42
42
41
41
Stolen bases Sophie Kurys (RAC)
Vickie Panos (SB/MIL)
Betsy Jochum (SB)
Merle Keagle (MIL)
Shirley Jameson (KEN)
Lois Florreich (SB)
Helen Callaghan (MIN)
Doris Tetzlaff (MIL)
Mary Baker (SB)
Alma Ziegler (MIL)
Pauline Pirok (KEN)
Dorothy Schroeder (SB)
166
141
127
122
119
113
112
101
92
77
75
70

Pitching statistics[edit]

Statistic Player Record
Wins Josephine Kabick (MIL)
Carolyn Morris (ROC)
Mary Nesbitt (RAC)
Connie Wisniewski (MIL)
  Charlotte Armstrong (SB)  
Margaret Berger (SB)
Mary Pratt (ROC/KEN)
Dorothy Wiltse (MIN)
Elise Harney (KEN)
Helen Nicol (KEN)
Amy Applegren (ROC)
Viola Thompson (MIL)
Joanne Winter (RAC)
Catherine Bennett (SB)
Betty Luna (ROC)
Annabelle Lee (MIN)
26
23
23
23
21
21
21
20
18
17
16
15
15
14
12
11
Earned run average Helen Nicol (KEN)
Charlotte Armstrong (SB)
Margaret Berger (SB)
Dorothy Wiltse (MIN)
Catherine Bennett (SB)
Carolyn Morris (ROC)
Elise Harney (KEN)
Connie Wisniewski
Annabelle Lee (MIN)
Mary Pratt (ROC/KEN)
Betty Luna (ROC)
Josephine Kabick (MIL)
Amy Applegren (ROC)
Jane Jacobs (RAC)
Viola Thompson (MIL)
Joanne Winter (RAC)
Doris Barr (SB)
0.93
1.51
1.57
1.88
2.04
2.15
2.23
2.23
2.43
2.50
2.61
2.66
2.77
2.82
2.88
2.96
2.98
Strikeouts Dorothy Wiltse (MIN)
Helen Nicol (KEN)
Carolyn Morris (ROC)
Mary Nesbitt (RAC)
Margaret Berger (SB)
Elise Harney (KEN)
Connie Wisniewski
Josephine Kabick (MIL)
Charlotte Armstrong (SB)
Amy Applegren (ROC)
Viola Thompson (MIL)
Joanne Winter (RAC)
205
136
112
106
92
88
82
81
68
56
52
52
Games pitched Josephine Kabick (MIL)
Mary Nesbitt (RAC)
Carolyn Morris (ROC)
Margaret Berger (SB)
Mary Pratt (ROC/KEN)
Joanne Winter (RAC)
Charlotte Armstrong (SB)
Dorothy Wiltse (MIN)
Amy Applegren (ROC)
Connie Wisniewski
Catherine Bennett (SB)
Audrey Haine (MIN)
Elise Harney (KEN)
45
45
44
41
41
40
39
38
36
36
34
34
34
Innings pitched Josephine Kabick (MIL)
Carolyn Morris (ROC)
Mary Nesbitt (RAC)
Charlotte Armstrong (SB)
Margaret Berger (SB)
Joanne Winter (RAC)
Mary Pratt (ROC/KEN)
Dorothy Wiltse (MIN)
Connie Wisniewski
Elise Harney (KEN)
Amy Applegren (ROC)
Helen Nicol (KEN)
366
343
343
321
315
310
303
297
291
262
250
243

[6][7]

All-Star Game[edit]

Sources[edit]

  1. ^ a b "All-American Girls Professional Baseball League History". 
  2. ^ AAGPBL Rules of Play
  3. ^ All-American Girls Professional Baseball League Record BookW. C. Madden. Publisher: McFarland & Company, 2000. Format: Softcover, 294pp. Language: English. ISBN 978-0-7864-3747-4
  4. ^ Connie Wisniewsi biography by Joyce M. Smith
  5. ^ "University of Wisconsin Oral History Project – The Forgotten Champs: The 1944 Milwaukee Chicks. Interview with Viola Griffin (Thompson). Robert Carter. December 11, 2009". 
  6. ^ a b All-American Girls Professional Baseball League Record Book
  7. ^ The Women of the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League: A Biographical DictionaryW. C. Madden. Publisher: McFarland & Company, 2005. Format: Softcover, 295pp. Language: English. ISBN 0-7864-3747-2

External links[edit]