|All-American Girls Professional Baseball League|
May 17, 1932 |
Ann Arbor, Michigan
|1953,, for the Muskegon Belles|
|1954,, for the Kalamazoo Lassies|
|Career highlights and awards|
Chris Ballingall (born May 17, 1932) is a former female catcher who played from 1953 through 1954 in the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League. Listed at 5'6", 145 lb., she batted left-handed and threw right-handed.
A native of Ann Arbor, Michigan, Ballingall learned to play baseball while catching for her twin brother. She had originally been offered a contract at the age of 15 to play in the AAGPBL, but her father did not want her to play then. She had to wait six years before being signed in 1953. She entered the league with the Muskegon Belles, and was traded to the Kalamazoo Lassies during the midseason. She also appeared in a few games at first base and outfield.
In 1954, Ballingall posted a .242 batting average with 17 home runs and 40 runs batted in in 90 games. In the playoffs, she hit .444 with eight RBI and two home runs, including one grand slam, to help the Lassies clinch the AAGPBL last-ever championship title. She and her teammate Carol Habben, who hit a total of 16 homers (one in postseason), were dubbed the Home Run Twins by terrorizing opponents with their bats all the way through the lineup.
Ballingall is currently living in Mattawan, Michigan.
- The AAGPBL, which drew as many as one million people during one season, was founded in 1943 by the Chicago Cubs' owner, Philip K. Wrigley, to keep fan interest alive during World War II. The league folded in 1954, but there is now a permanent display at the Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum at Cooperstown, New York since November 5, 1988 that honors those who were part of this unforgettable experience.
- In 1992, filmmaker Penny Marshall premiered her film A League of Their Own, which was a fictionalized account of activities in the AAGPBL. Starring Geena Davis, Tom Hanks, Madonna, Lori Petty and Rosie O'Donnell, this film brought a rejuvenated interest to the women's baseball.
- Encyclopedia of women and baseball - Leslie A. Heaphy, Mel Anthony May. Publisher: McFarland & Co., 2006. Format: Paperback, 438 pp. Language: English. ISBN 0-7864-2100-2
- The Women of the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League: A biographical dictionary - W. C. Madden. Publisher: McFarland & Co., 1997. Format: Paperback, 295 pp. Language: English. ISBN 0-7864-0304-7