Today I heard an interview done by San Francisco based reporter and scout Bonnie Jill-Laflin asking former San Francisco Giants player Aubrey Huff his take on women in baseball. Aubrey Huff has recently been featured in the news due to him not being invited to the SF Giants 2010 World Series reunion. The reason for his absence is apparently due to his far-right conservative views. Huff opened up to Bonnie in the interview based on their mutual past relationship with one another and it was civil and insightful. The interview took a turn to women in professional sports or the lack-there-off. This really interested me because Aubrey brought up a point that I have never really given much thought to - of the top 4 US sports (MLB, NFL, NBA, NHL) the only professional sport for women is the WNBA.
Huff thought it was not a good idea to let women into a man's sport because of an array of issues from sexual harassment to women not having the same physicality as men, etc...He did, however, say that there should be a women's MLB while also throwing in the fact that they shouldn't be paid as much due to his thought of there may not be a lot of buzz around it. Everyone has their own opinions on the politics of life so I will let you, the reader, decide what you think is right and wrong.
Click Photo For Full Bonnie Jill-Laflin - Aubrey Huff Interview!
What I am interested in is why there is not a WMLB yet? I don't even really hear or see any sort of movement on women's professional sports? I have heard of women being integrated into men's professional sports but not a designated league for just women.
I took a look back and there was, in fact, a professional women's baseball league called the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League (AAGPBL) which existed from 1943-1954. "A League of Their Own" starring Geena Davis, Rosie O'Donnell, Madonna and Tom Hanks is based on this league.
By the fall of 1942, many minor league teams disbanded due to the war. Young men, 18 years of age and over, were being drafted into the armed services. The fear that this pattern would continue and that Major League Baseball Parks across the country were in danger of collapse is what prompted Philip K. Wrigley, the chewing-gum mogul who had inherited the Chicago Cubs' Major League Baseball franchise from his father, to search for a possible solution to this dilemma. Wrigley asked Ken Sells, assistant to the Chicago Cubs' General Manager to head a committee to come up with ideas. The committee recommended a girls' softball league be established to be prepared to go into Major League parks should attendance fall due to franchises losing too many quality players to attract crowds.
Why have we not brought this back! I think a women's WMLB is just what the times call for and I am sure it would be a hit! Here were the teams in the AAGPBL as well as the champions.
Kenosha Comets (1943–1951)
Racine Belles (1943–1950)
Rockford Peaches (1943–1954)
South Bend Blue Sox (1943–1954)
Milwaukee Chicks (1944)
Minneapolis Millerettes (1944)
Fort Wayne Daisies (1945–1954)
Grand Rapids Chicks (1945–1954)
Muskegon Lassies (1946–1949)
Peoria Redwings (1946–1951)
Chicago Colleens (1948)
Springfield Sallies (1948)
Kalamazoo Lassies (1950–1954)
Battle Creek Belles (1951–1952)
Muskegon Belles (1953)
If you want to learn more about the AAGPBL take a look at this video!