An update to previous posts, AAGPBL great and NEIBA Hall of Famer, Dottie Collins passed away recently. Several outlets reported the news and many have produced wonderful recaps of her life and career.
Over the weekend, I learned of several more. Again, it’s a wonderful tribute to a treasure of a woman. Here are the excerpts and links to the additional coverage:
Baseball pitcher Dottie Collins dies at 84
She pitched underhand, sidearm and overhand; she threw curveballs, fastballs and changeups; and in the summer of 1948, she pitched until she was four months pregnant. She won more than 20 games in each of her first four seasons. She threw 17 shutouts and had a league-leading 293 strikeouts in 1945 for the Fort Wayne Daisies, when the women’s game resembled fast-pitch softball. But Ms. Collins’ greatest contribution to women’s baseball may have come when its ball clubs had long been forgotten [Richard Goldstein; New York Times, San Francisco Chronicle].
Final note sung for ex-Daisy
Despite the reminder, Alvarez said she still raised her hand after the funeral and stood by herself before the mourners, singing the leagueâ€™s song.
As the tearful Alvarez struggled to continue, she was soon joined by Baumgartner and Harding, and the three finished the song together, singing, â€œWeâ€™re all for one, weâ€™re one for all, Weâ€™re All-Americans.â€
The performance garnered applause from the mourners, Eckler said, and demonstrated the bond that exists among the members of the All-American Girls Baseball League.
â€œI think it just epitomized the culmination of the love those women had for each other,â€ Eckler said. â€œDottie would have done the exact same thing.â€[Becky Manley; The Journal Gazette].
DOTTIE COLLINS, STAR PITCHER IN WOMEN’S BASEBALL, DIES AT 84
Sadly, after the AAGPBL folded, it was all but forgotten, and the girls lost contact with each other. That is, until their superstar got involved. Because of Dottie’s efforts, the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown created its Women in Baseball exhibit.
Penny Marshall’s movie, A League of Their Own, recounts the history of the league. It’s one of my favorite movies and features some big names. The movie focuses mainly on Dottie and her sister, with Dottie being played by Geena Davis.
Note: This blog post includes a chilling excerpt from the end of A League of Their Own – Nearly brings tears to my eyes every time I see it.[ThirdWaveDave].
Dottie Collins, 84, pro league pitcher, dies
June Peppas, a rookie with the 1948 Daisies, remembered how Collins “kind of played mother” to her and fellow rookies, teaching them how to conduct themselves as professional athletes, and how she provided emotional support for former teammates over the years.
“She had a lot of compassion for everybody,” Peppas said from her home in Florida. “She did a lot of letter-writing to support people who had problems. She was a good shoulder.”
“The movie is second place so far as we are concerned,” she told The Las Vegas Review-Journal in 1992. “Being accepted by Cooperstown was the greatest thing that happened to any of us.” [Los Angeles Times].
Womenâ€™s Baseball League Hero Dies, or Me and Title IX
A lot of us grew up in the era before Title IX, which resulted in equal sports programs for girls. I was a tomboy and loved sports. I remember the angst I felt at having no outlet for my athletic energy . . . Dottie Collins, one of the most esteemed members of the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League (1943-1954), died August 12 at age 84. [The Boomer Chronicles].
Dottie Collins: Pitcher in pro baseball league in ’40s
Dottie Collins, a pitcher with the Fort Wayne Daisies in the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League in the 1940s, has died at 84. [Chicago Sun Times].
NOTE: The Chicago Sun Times has also picked up my two earlier posts, “Dottie Collins Honorary Golf Outing” and “Dottie Wiltse Collins: 1923-2008”, through syndication.