Helen Walulik

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Helen Walulik
Helen Walulik.jpg
All-American Girls Professional Baseball League
Outfield / Pitcher / Second base
Born: (1929-05-03)May 3, 1929
Plainfield, New Jersey
Died: March 6, 2012(2012-03-06) (aged 82)
Rochester, Massachusetts
Batted: Right Threw: Right
Teams
Career highlights and awards
  • Women in Baseball – AAGPBL Permanent Display
    at Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum (1988)

Helen Walulik [Kiely] (May 3, 1929 – March 6, 2012) was a pitcher and an outfield/infield utility who played in the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League. Listed at 5 ft 8 in (1.73 m), 121 lb, she batted and threw right-handed.[1]

Helen Walulik was a versatile player with three different teams for two seasons in the league and spent one year as touring player for development teams.[1]

Born in Plainfield, New Jersey, Walulik was one of seven children of Polish immigrants, Michael and Veronica Walulik.[2] She graduated from Plainfield High School, where she played basketball and softball for three years. As a result of her accomplishments she was named Best Female Athlete for the class of 1947. In addition to school sporting events, she played both sports for two years with the Plainfield Bobby Sockers and another two years with the Perth Ambey Cardinalettes.[3]

Though she was primarily an outfielder, Walulik was a solid utility player, serving as spot starter and long reliever when not playing at second base.[1]

"Hensky", as her teammates called her, entered the league in 1948 with the Muskegon Lassies,[4] playing for them briefly before joining the Fort Wayne Daisies during the midseason. She helped Fort Wayne make the 1948 playoffs, after posting a 2–6 record and a 3.07 earned run average in 91 innings of work.[1] The highlight of her season came when she launched her only career home run, an inside-the-park hit against the Kenosha Comets.[5] During the off-season she worked for Diehl Manufacturing Company in New Jersey because her playing salary was not enough to live on year-round.[6]

In 1949, Walulik was allocated to the Chicago Colleens rookie training team to acquire more experience and better professional quality.[7] Then, she joined the Kalamazoo Lassies midway through the 1950 season, her last in the league.[8]

Following her baseball career, Walulik played basketball for the New York Covergirls in the 1950s. She married Edmund J. Kiely in 1953. They had three children: Karen, Jill and Robert.[8] She also worked for 22 years at Ethicon Inc. as a quality assurance technician before retiring in 1992. A grandmother of five, she was a volunteer at the Rochester Senior Center in Massachusetts.[2]

In 1988, Walulik received further recognition when she became part of Women in Baseball, a permanent display based at the Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum in Cooperstown, New York, which was unveiled to honor the entire All-American Girls Professional Baseball League.

Helen Walulik Kiely died in 2012 in Rochester, Massachusetts, at the age of 82.[2]

Career statistics[edit]

Batting

GP AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB TB BB SO BA OBP SLG
67 131 11 20 1 0 1 10 5 24 3 13 .153 .172 .183

Pitching

GP W L W-L% ERA IP H RA ER BB SO HBP WP WHIP
67 3 8 .273 3.28 148 127 82 54 88 48 14 3 1.45

Fielding

GP PO A E TC DP FA
91 48 44 9 61 4 .911

Note: Since the league counted the 1949 tour as exhibition games no official statistics were kept.
[1][8]

Sources[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e "All-American Girls Professional Baseball League official website – Helen Walulik profile". 
  2. ^ a b c "Saunders-Dwyer Funeral Home, Mattapoisett, MA. Helen Walulik Kiely obituary". 
  3. ^ Encyclopedia of Women and Baseball – Leslie A. Heaphy, Mel Anthony May. Publisher: McFarland & Company, 2006. Format: Softcover, 438pp. ISBN 0-7864-2100-2
  4. ^ 1948 Muskegon Lassies
  5. ^ The Women of the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League: A Biographical DictionaryW.C. Madden. Publisher: McFarland & Company, 2005. Format: Softcover, 295 pp. ISBN 978-0-7864-2263-0
  6. ^ Encyclopedia of Women and Baseball
  7. ^ 1949 Chicago Colleens Archived 2012-04-21 at the Wayback Machine.
  8. ^ a b c The Women of the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League