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osephine “Jo Jo” D’Angelo was in a hotel lobby in 1944. The hotel was likely decorated with muted colors in the modernist style of the previous decade. She’d been playing since she was a little girl, and had spent her days working in a steel mill in her hometown of Chicago while devoting evenings to playing ball, before attending a tryout for the league at Wrigley Field.An outfielder for the South Bend Blue Sox — a team in the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League (A. Thanks to World War II, there were supply shortages and rations, which put a hold on new design in the early ’40s. That scene was made famous by the film “A League of Their Own,” with hundreds of women traveling from around the country to the brick ballpark with the ivy-covered outfield wall. L.: “Play like a man, look like a lady.” But she wasn’t the only one.They could have lost their families, occupations, and reputations, too. baseball game and the first woman to get a win in collegiate baseball. They often arrived from small towns or rural areas and were quite young when they left home.

coming out is not yet worth it.” “If a woman plays hardball, people figure she’s likely gay,” writes Borders. If straight players were married, many of their husbands were off at war or were left back at home on farms or in factories.

It’s why, during her baseball career, she constantly had to answer questions about whether she dated men, and had to reassure the public that, despite the fact that she played ball, she was not gay. players cited masculine clothing or appearances as tipping them off about a woman’s sexual orientation, a stereotype that still exists today and may or may not be accurate. The players’ grueling schedule and constant travel made dating difficult.

“Softball was my first love and it still is,” said Wilkinson. In 1963, Estelle “Ricki” Caito, a star second baseman, joined the Ramblers. “We were born at a time when we were all in the closet and that was just the name of the game,” Wilkinson said.

Wilkinson and Caito played together for two seasons, until the A. “And you had to live with it and that’s what we did.” * * * t is the obituaries that offer the most publicly available clues to some of the players who spent their lives with other women. She was the first chairperson of the Players Association Board and two-time A.

And yet, there’s also the truth that there are many athletes who also lesbians. It made staying in the closet easier, because there was no time for dating and so there was no need to make excuses. “They came to Arizona to offer us some contracts,” Wilkinson said.

“I was deeply ignorant of my small place in the history of women athletes and the whole gay rights movement,” Borders writes of her playing days as a closeted homosexual. This was something that Borders discovered, too, when she was playing ball in the 1990s. “They wanted to give me a week [equivalent to

“I was deeply ignorant of my small place in the history of women athletes and the whole gay rights movement,” Borders writes of her playing days as a closeted homosexual. This was something that Borders discovered, too, when she was playing ball in the 1990s. “They wanted to give me $85 a week [equivalent to $1,240 today] to catch.Try to ask most former players about the issue and they clam up. Another time, Leo said that a married player was discovered to be in a relationship with a woman who was unassociated with the league.“I don’t think it was really even talked about, frankly,” Henschel says. Leo claimed he notified her husband, who came and took her home.“No one was even aware of it because we got so careful and no one would have even imagined anything at all.” That stigma has carried on for decades. Indeed, that same year, the book was also published. Dorothy Hunter entered the League in 1943, when she was 27.As Ila Borders, the first woman to play for a men’s professional baseball team since the Negro Leagues, wrote in her memoir, , “I remain certain that my professional career would not have been possible had I come out.” In 1994, Borders, a left-handed pitcher, became the first woman to receive a college baseball scholarship. In her essay, “The Lesbian Label Haunts Women Athletes,” Lynn Rosellini writes, “To most lesbian athletes … Hunter, who was from Winnipeg, Canada, said she had “never heard of lesbianism,” so her teammates regaled her with tales of lesbian love affairs. Well, I just thought they were giving me the gears because I was a green Canadian.” But many of the players were unattached.In the ’40s and ’50s, homosexuality was not discussed much; it wasn’t until 1973 that the American Psychiatric Association removed it from the list of mental illnesses. “Knowledge of gay women in sport ranged from a hazy, unarticulated awareness to an informed familiarity or personal involvement,” writes Cahn.

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“I was deeply ignorant of my small place in the history of women athletes and the whole gay rights movement,” Borders writes of her playing days as a closeted homosexual. This was something that Borders discovered, too, when she was playing ball in the 1990s. “They wanted to give me $85 a week [equivalent to $1,240 today] to catch.

Try to ask most former players about the issue and they clam up. Another time, Leo said that a married player was discovered to be in a relationship with a woman who was unassociated with the league.

“I don’t think it was really even talked about, frankly,” Henschel says. Leo claimed he notified her husband, who came and took her home.

“No one was even aware of it because we got so careful and no one would have even imagined anything at all.” That stigma has carried on for decades. Indeed, that same year, the book was also published. Dorothy Hunter entered the League in 1943, when she was 27.

As Ila Borders, the first woman to play for a men’s professional baseball team since the Negro Leagues, wrote in her memoir, , “I remain certain that my professional career would not have been possible had I come out.” In 1994, Borders, a left-handed pitcher, became the first woman to receive a college baseball scholarship. In her essay, “The Lesbian Label Haunts Women Athletes,” Lynn Rosellini writes, “To most lesbian athletes … Hunter, who was from Winnipeg, Canada, said she had “never heard of lesbianism,” so her teammates regaled her with tales of lesbian love affairs. Well, I just thought they were giving me the gears because I was a green Canadian.” But many of the players were unattached.

In the ’40s and ’50s, homosexuality was not discussed much; it wasn’t until 1973 that the American Psychiatric Association removed it from the list of mental illnesses. “Knowledge of gay women in sport ranged from a hazy, unarticulated awareness to an informed familiarity or personal involvement,” writes Cahn.

||

“I was deeply ignorant of my small place in the history of women athletes and the whole gay rights movement,” Borders writes of her playing days as a closeted homosexual. This was something that Borders discovered, too, when she was playing ball in the 1990s. “They wanted to give me $85 a week [equivalent to $1,240 today] to catch.

Try to ask most former players about the issue and they clam up. Another time, Leo said that a married player was discovered to be in a relationship with a woman who was unassociated with the league.

“I don’t think it was really even talked about, frankly,” Henschel says. Leo claimed he notified her husband, who came and took her home.

“No one was even aware of it because we got so careful and no one would have even imagined anything at all.” That stigma has carried on for decades. Indeed, that same year, the book was also published. Dorothy Hunter entered the League in 1943, when she was 27.

,240 today] to catch.

Try to ask most former players about the issue and they clam up. Another time, Leo said that a married player was discovered to be in a relationship with a woman who was unassociated with the league.

“I don’t think it was really even talked about, frankly,” Henschel says. Leo claimed he notified her husband, who came and took her home.

“No one was even aware of it because we got so careful and no one would have even imagined anything at all.” That stigma has carried on for decades. Indeed, that same year, the book was also published. Dorothy Hunter entered the League in 1943, when she was 27.

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