Rockford Peaches

In 1943, when young men were drafted overseas in WWII, the need for new baseball players emerged. This led Chicago Cubs owner Philip K. Wrigley to form the All American Girls Professional Baseball League. Illinois was home to the most successful team in the league, the Rockford Peaches, who won the championships in 1945, 1948, 1949 and 1950. The Rockford Peaches were so notable that a movie and a television show, both called A League of their Own, were written depicting their story.

In the beginning, the league started off with a 12-inch ball because it was assumed that women should be playing softball. By the league’s end, the women were playing the same game as the men’s league with a 9-inch ball and distance between bases at 85 feet.

In today’s baseball world, women have been pushed to the sidelines. The International Women’s Baseball Center has a vision to build a place of their own – a museum and activity center which will be built in Rockford and bring worldwide attention, increased tourism and economic development. The museum will preserve the long history and impact of sports on the lives of girls and women while the activity center will provide sporting opportunities for everyone.

Click here to learn more about the Rockford Peaches, and here to see the team’s website.