A Chicago softball star and the first girl to sign a contract with the league, Harnett started her career at third base in 1943 with the Kenosha Comets, playing for them four years before joining the Peoria Redwings (1947). She started at third base during her first two seasons; in 1945 and 1946 played primarily as a catcher, and in 1947 moved to the outfield, though she pitched occasionally coming out of the bullpen. Her most productive season came in 1943, when she led the league in extra base hits (26), drove in 69 runs, and collected the best fielding average (.891) among defenders at third base, while hitting a solid .271 average. In the inaugural season, she also became the first third basewoman ever selected to an AAGPBL All-Star Team. But her average dropped off after the first season to .248 (1944), .202 (1945), .224 (1946) and .203 (1947). Following her baseball career, Harnett became a nun.
Ann Harnett collaborated with famed poster artist Otis Shepard to design special baseball uniforms for the League. The one-piece short-skirted flared tunic was fashioned after the figure skating, field hockey, and tennis costumes of the period. Satin shorts, knee-high baseball socks and baseball hat completed the uniform. Each city had a different colored uniform and its own symbolic patch decorated the front of the uniform. Harnett also became a model for the innovator uniforms.
A League of Their Own is a 1992 film about the first season of the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League. While the film does not use real names, filmmakerPenny Marshall seemed to be aiming for realism, as her film includes fake newsreel footage and pseudo-documentary present day scenes at the beginning and end of the fictitious story. Like many of her colleagues, Harnett, was relatively unknown until the Marshall's film was exhibited for the first time.
^The Women of the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League: A Biographical Dictionary - W. C. Madden. Publisher: McFarland & Company, 2005. Format: Paperback, 295 pp. Language: English. ISBN 0-7864-3747-2