Lizzie Murphy was good at baseball. In fact, she was better than most of the boys. But she was born in 1900, and back then baseball was not a game for girls. Lizzie practiced with her brother anyway, and then she talked her way onto the local boys' team, first as a batboy, then as a player. Everyone was impressed by her hard catches and fast pitches. By the time she turned fifteen, she was playing for two different amateur boys' teams. When she turned eighteen, Lizzie did something else that women weren't supposed to do--she signed up with a professional baseball team, determined to earn her living playing the game.
Players in Pigtails by Shana Corey; Rebecca Gibbon (Illustrator)
Publication Date: 2003
This exuberant tribute to the real-life All-American Girls Professional Baseball League will appeal to all, not just girls. It's World War II and the boys are off to war.
Phillip Wrigley, owner of the Chicago Cubs, holds tryouts for girls' teams, and hundreds show up, including baseball-mad Katie Casey. Well-researched and executed illustrations capture 1940s America.
Just Like Josh Gibson by Angela Johnson; Beth Peck (Illustrator)
Publication Date: 2007
The story goes... Grandmama could hit the ball a mile, catch anything that was thrown, and do everything else -- just like Josh Gibson. But no matter how well a girl growing up in the 1940s played baseball, she would have faced tremendous challenges. These challenges are not unlike those met by the legendary Josh Gibson, arguably the best Negro-League player to never make it into the majors. In a poignant tribute to anyone who's had a dream deferred, two-time Coretta Scott King Award-winning author Angela Johnson and celebrated artist Beth Peck offer up this reminder -- that the small steps made by each inspire us all.
Anybody's Game by Heather Lang; Cecilia Puglesi (Illustrator)
Publication Date: 2018
In this engaging non-fiction book, young Kathryn biggest wish is to play baseball but it's "no girls allowed" in the1950s, Not to be deterred, she cuts her long hair and aces tryouts as "Tubby."
Let Me Play: The Story of Title IX: The Law That Changed the Future of Girls in America by Karen Blumenthal
Publication Date: 2005
Can girls play baseball? Or softball, basketball, ice hockey or soccer? Can girl be school crossing guards? Of course they can! But only a few decades ago, opportunities for girls were limited, not because they weren't capable or didn't want to, but because they weren't allowed to. In 1972, Congress passed a law called "Title IX," and changed the lives of American girls. How did it happen? Hundreds of determined lawmakers, teachers, parents, and athletes worked to ensure that the law was passed, protected, and enforced. Again, they met fierce opposition. But as a result of their perseverance, millions of American girls can now play sports. small law made a huge difference. This is a powerful tale of courage and persistence, stories of people who believed that girls could do anything and were willing to fight to prove it.
The Kid from Diamond Street by Audrey Vernick; Steven Salerno (Illustrator)
Publication Date: 2016
In 1922, 10 year old Edith Houghton tried out for a women's professional baseball team, the Philadelphia Bobbies. Though she was the smallest on the field, soon reporters were talking about "The Kid" and her incredible skill. Crowds packed the stands to see her play. Her story reminds us that baseball has never been about just men and boys. Baseball is also about talented girls willing to work hard to play any way they can.
Throw Like a Girl by Jennie Finch; Ann Killion
Publication Date: 2011
Filling the role of girlfriend, big sister, team captain, and mentor, Finch, who led the 2004 Olympic women's softball team to a gold medal, encourages young female athletes to make the right choices and believe in themselves.
Kammie on First by Michelle Houts
Publication Date: 2014
The story of a girl who turned her baseball dreams into a career. Dorothy Mary Kamenshek was born to immigrant parents in Norwood, Ohio. As a young girl, she played pickup games of sandlot baseball with neighborhood children; no one, however, would have suspected that at the age of seventeen she would become a star athlete at the national level. The outbreak of World War II and the ensuing draft of able-bodied young men severely depleted the ranks of professional baseball players. In 1943, Philip K. Wrigley, owner of the Chicago Cubs, led the initiative to establish a new league--a women's league--to fill the ballparks while the war ground on in Europe and the Pacific. Kamenshek was selected and assigned to the Rockford Peaches in their inaugural season and played first base for a total of ten years, becoming a seven-time All-Star and holder of two league batting titles. When injuries finally put an end to her playing days, she went on to a successful and much quieter career in physical therapy. Fame came again in 1992, when Geena Davis portrayed a player loosely based on Kamenshek in the hit movie A League of Their Own.
She Loved Baseball by Audrey Vernick (Illustrator); Don Tate (Illustrator)
Publication Date: 2010
Young Effa loved baseball. She'd go to Yankee Stadium just to see Babe Ruth's mighty swing. But she never dreamed she would someday own a baseball team. Or be the first--and only--woman ever inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame. From her childhood in Philadelphia to her groundbreaking role as business manager and owner of the Newark Eagles, Effa Manley always fought for what was right. Read this captivating remarkable story of
an all-star woman who always swung for the fences.
A Girl Named Dan by Dandi Daley Mackall; Renee Graef (Illustrator)
Publication Date: 2008
Ten-year-old Dandi (affectionately called Dan by family and friends) lives and breathes baseball. She may not be a fence buster but she can hit 'em where they ain't in the neighborhood pickup games. The boys know she's a contender. And there's no bigger fan of the 1961 Kansas City A's. So when Charlie Finley, the A's new owner, announces an essay contest to get batboys, there's no doubt Dandi will enter the contest. Dandi not only enters the contest--her essay wins However, her joy is short-lived when the contest officials enforce the For Boys Only rule. Long before the boundary-breaking ruling of Title IX, young women across the country used grit and determination to prove that barriers of gender have no place on a level playing field. Dandi Daley Mackall's true-life story gives voice and testament to the spirit of these young sports pioneers.
Making My Pitch by Ila Jane Borders; Jean Hastings Ardell.
Publication Date: 2017
In her YA autobiography, Ila Jane Borders offers an honest and compelling look at the difficulties of breaking down barriers in athletics and in her personal life. Ila Jane pitches her way into slots on the all-male middle school and then high school teams and garners MVP status in Little League. Hers is a story of breaking down barriers--she's the first woman awarded a baseball scholarship, first woman to pitch a winning college game, first woman to play in a professional men's league. For readers ages 15 and older.
The All-American Girls after the AAGPBL by Kat D. Williams
Publication Date: 2017
The hit 1992 film A League of Their Own made the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League famous. But the players' stories remain largely untold. The 600 women who played for the AAGPBL through the 1940s and 1950s enjoyed a rare opportunity to lead independent lives as well-paid professional athletes. Their experiences in the league led many to education and careers they never imagined. As teachers, coaches and role models, they strove to broaden the horizons of girls and young women. Many continued to be involved in athletics, supporting the efforts leading to Title IX and the women's sports revolution. Today, they are dedicated to preserving the history of women in baseball and creating opportunities for girls to play.
A Whole New Ball Game by Sue Macy
Publication Date: 1993
"An interesting & informative look at the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League that operated from 1945-1954.... A significant title." -School Library Journal, starred review
In the Year of the Boar and Jackie Robinson by Bette Bao Lord; Marc Simont (Illustrator)
Publication Date: 1986
The hilarious and timeless story of Shirley Temple Wong, an immigrant girl inspired by the sport she loves to find her own team--and to break down any barriers that stand in her way. Shirley sails from China to Brooklyn, New York, with a heart full of dreams. New York is full of wonders, but Shirley doesn't know any English, so it's hard to make friends. Then a miracle happens: baseball! It's 1947, and Jackie Robinson, star of the Brooklyn Dodgers, is everyone's hero. He proves that a black man, the grandson of a slave, can make a difference in America. By watching Jackie, Shirley begins to truly feel at home in her new country. America really is the land of opportunity--both on and off the field.
Keeping Score by Linda Sue Park
Publication Date: 2010
Newbery author Park gives us the story of Maggie Fortini and her brother, Joey-Mick-- named for baseball great Joe DiMaggio. Unlike Joey-Mick, Maggie doesn't play baseball--but at almost ten years old, she is a dyed-in-the-wool fan of the Brooklyn Dodgers. Maggie can recite all the players' statistics and understands the subtleties of the game. Unfortunately, Jim Maine is a Giants fan, but he teaches Maggie the fine art of scoring a baseball game. Not only can she revisit every play of everyinning, but by keeping score she feels she's more than just a fan: she's helping her team. Jim is drafted into the army and sent to Korea, and although Maggie writes to him often, his silence is just one of a string of disappointments--being a Brooklyn Dodgers fan in the early 1950s meant season after season of near misses and year after year of dashed hopes. But Maggie goes on trying to help the Dodgers, and when she finds out that Jim needs help, too, she's determined to provide it. Against a background of major league baseball and the Korean War, Maggie looks for, and finds, a way to make a difference. Readers who think they don't care about baseball will be drawn into the world of the true and ardent fan.
Bat 6 by Virginia Euwer Wolff
Publication Date: 2000
In small town Oregon just after World War II, twenty-one 6th grade girls recount the story of an annual softball game, during which one girl's bigotry comes to the surface. This is the powerful tale of a community shattered by its reaction to two young newcomers. Aki is Japanese-American whose family has just returned from spending most of the war in an internment camp. Shazam's father was killed at Pearl Harbor, and she's hated all Japanese people ever since. Told in 21 voices, this narrative uses a sixth-grade girls' baseball game in 1949 Oregon to examine prejudice and the internment of Japanese-Americans during WWII.
You Throw Like a Girl by Rachele Alpine
Publication Date: 2017
Miss Congeniality meets She's the Man in this hilarious M!X novel about a girl torn between competing in a beauty pageant and playing on the boy's baseball team. Gabby's summer vacation isn't shaping up to be that great. Her dad was just deployed overseas, and Gabby is staying at her grandmother's house with her mom and baby sister until he returns. The one bright spot is that Gaby plans to sign up for the local softball league--her greatest love and a passion she shares with her Dad who was a pitcher in college. But when Gabby goes to sign up for the summer league, she discovers that there wasn't enough interest to justify a girl's team this year. And to top it off, a horrible miscommunication ends with Gabby signed up to participate in the Miss Popcorn Festival--the annual pageant that Gabby's mom dominated when she was younger. Besides not having any interest in the pageant life, Gabby made a promise to her dad that she would play softball for the summer. Since her pitching skills rival any boy her age, Gabby creates a master plan: disguise herself as a boy and sign up for the boy's baseball team instead--and try to win the pageant to make Mom happy. Can Gabby juggle perfecting her pageant walk and perfecting her fastball? Or will this plan strike out?