'Women in Baseball' are highlighted in newest Reds Hall of Fame exhibit
An exhibit entitled "Women in Baseball" opens Friday at the Reds Hall of Fame, featuring artifacts from former professional women's baseball players, movie props from A League of Their Own, personal items of former Reds owner Marge Schott, and memorabilia of the Rosie Reds.
" 'Women in Baseball' is way beyond just the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League," says Curator Chris Eckes. "Women had been involved with the game since the mid-19th century in a host of capacities, from playing to being umpires to being executives — there are very few areas of the game that women have not been involved in over the course of its history. So, this exhibit is an attempt to introduce folks to some of those stories."
The exhibit dates to the early days of the game and continues to present day, exploring the obstacles women and girls have had to overcome and still struggle with.
Eckes explains, "The All-American Girls League never did accept African American players. But we do touch on the stories of probably the two best known female professional baseball players in the Negro Leagues."
What can you see?
"It's a wide variety of things that really go back to those the earliest era of the game," says Eckes. "Early women's baseball trophies and pendants; we have uniform examples going back to the bloomer girls."
There's even a 1907 contract from a women's team. In the late 1800s baseball cards depicted women. There are some examples of those.
RELATED: What should Reds fans expect after last year's losing season?
Eckes' favorite is a doll made for the All-American Girl player Dora Satterfield. The doll is on display as well as a picture of her holding it.
Who was Dorothy "Kammie" Kamenshek
A former Cincinnatian was the most famous and arguably the best player in women's professional baseball. Dorothy "Kammie" Kamenshek was born in Norwood, graduated from Roger Bacon High School and was signed by a scout while playing sandlot baseball. She is in pictures in the Reds Hall of Fame exhibit. Kamenshek went on to play for the Rockford Peaches and was eventually depicted in the movie A League of Their Own.
According to Eckes, "We actually owe a deep debt of gratitude to a gentleman by the name of John Kovach. John has been a baseball historian, a women's baseball coach for many decades, he visited our museum last summer and asked if we'd ever done anything on this topic. Many of the items on display come from Kovach's collection.
"Women in Baseball" will remain on display for at least a year.