Catherine Bennett (baseball)
|All-American Girls Professional Baseball League|
September 4, 1920|
Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada
Catherine Bennett (born September 4, 1920) was a female Canadian pitcher who played from 1943 through 1944 in the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League. Listed at 5' 5", 120 lb., she batted and threw right-handed.
During World War II, Wrigley was in charge both of the Wrigley Company and the Chicago Cubs Major League Baseball club. Wrigley decided to found the league as a promotional sideline to maintain interest in baseball as the military draft was depleting Major League rosters of first-line players. Wrigley had scouts all over the United States, Canada and even Cuba signing girls for tryouts. About 500 girls attended the call. Of these, only 280 were invited to the final tryouts at Wrigley Field in Chicago, where 60 were chosen to become the first women to ever play professional baseball.
The league started in 1943 with four teams: the Kenosha Comets, Racine Belles, Rockford Peaches and South Bend Blue Sox. Each team was made up of fifteen girls. Bennett survived the final cut and was assigned to Kenosha.
In her first season, Bennett divided her playing time between Kenosha and South Bend, recording ten consecutive losses to set a league mark. The next year, she improved to a 14-9 record with the Blue Sox.
The league folded in 1954. It was a neglected chapter of sports history, at least until 1988, when a permanent display was inaugurated at the Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum at Cooperstown, New York, which is dedicated to the entire league rather than any individual figure.
After that, filmmaker Penny Marshall premiered her 1992 film A League of Their Own, a fictional history centered on the first season of the AAGPBL. Starring Geena Davis, Tom Hanks, Madonna, Lori Petty and Rosie O'Donnell, this film brought a rejuvenated interest to the extinct league.
- "All-American Girls Professional Baseball League – Catherine Bennett entry".
- "All-American Girls Professional Baseball League History". Archived from the original on 2009-08-28.
- 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 978-0-7864-3747-4
- IMDb.com – A League of Their Own (1992)
- ESPN Page 2 – Reel Life: A League of Their Own - Article by Jeff Merron
- Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum