All American Girls Professional Baseball League and their Buses
Exhibit extended through October 31, 2010
Saturday October 23rd, 2010 11AM–2PM — Lois “Tommie” Barker from the Grand Rapids Chicks.
August 29th, 2010 12:30–4PM — Lemoyne, PA native, Helen Waddell, who played ball for the Rockford Peaches made a special appearance at the Museum to speak with visitors and sign baseball cards. Join us for some great American baseball history!
All American Girls Professional Baseball League and Their Buses will be a new display for August, 2010 along with an encore presentation of the Buses of the Negro Leagues Baseball Teams which was originally displayed in February of this year at the Antique Automobile Club of America (AACA) Museum. The Museum of Bus Transportation which displays 12 vintage buses on the lower level of the Antique Automobile Club of America (AACA) Museum has arranged this special exhibit for the month of August.
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.
The All-American Girls Professional Baseball League gave over 600 women athletes the opportunity to play professional baseball and to play it at a level never before attained. The League operated from 1943 to 1954 and represents one of the most unique aspects of our nation’s baseball history.
We’re sad to announce the passing of Mr. Willie Fordham on Sunday at the age of 83. Willie was here at the Museum during February and again most of August with a Baseball Buses exhibit here at the Museum. Willie was a former Negro League Baseball Player for the Harrisburg Giants. If you had a chance to meet Willie here at the Museum and talk with him you’ll know that he was very special and will be sadly missed.
Like the teams of the Negro League Baseball Association, they traveled to their away games in buses. Display includes uniforms and posters about the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League and the Negro Leagues Baseball Teams along with memorabilia of the individual teams and similar vintage buses that the teams rode in during that time. Come step back in time and experience the sports world in the early to mid-20th century.