The All-American Girls Professional Baseball League was started by Philip Wrigley, owner of the Chicago Cubs, during World War II to fill the void left by the departure of most of the best male baseball players for military service. Players were recruited from across the country, and the league was successful enough to be able to continue on after the war. The league had teams based in Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana and Michigan, and operated between 1943 and 1954. The 1954 season ended with only the Fort Wayne, South Bend, Grand Rapids, Kalamazoo, and Rockford teams remaining. The League gave over 600 women athletes the opportunity to play professional baseball. Many of the players went on to successful careers, and the league itself provided an important precedent for later efforts to promote women's sports.
The GVSU Veterans History Project is conducting this interview series in collaboration with the league's association (AAGPBL), and plans to use material from the interviews in a documentary project.