Academic journal article Nine

All-American Girls

Academic journal article Nine

All-American Girls

Article excerpt

In the fall of 2005, the Winthrop University Archives in Rock Hill, South Carolina, acquired the papers of Elizabeth "Lib" Mahon, a 1942 graduate of the college and one of only two South Carolinians to play in the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League (AAGPBL). Among the memorabilia, clippings, and papers belonging to this remarkable woman were hundreds of never-before-published personal snapshots of teammates on and off the field.

Mahon (1919-2001), an outstanding high school and college athlete, traveled from Greenville, South Carolina, to LaSalle-Peru, Illinois, in the spring of 1944 to try out for the league. After ten days of intense competition, she was assigned to the Minneapolis Millerettes. A few weeks later she was traded to the Kenosha Comets. In 1945 Mahon joined the South Bend Blue Sox, where she would remain until her retirement at the end of the 1952 season.

Playing primarily in the outfield, Mahon was especially noted for her hitting ability. She twice led the AAGPBL in RBIs with 72 in 1946 and 60 in 1949--the two years she was selected for the All-Star team--and her 400 career RBIs ranks her among the top five run producers in league history. In her nine years of professional baseball, Mahon compiled an excellent offensive record: a lifetime .248 hitter, she had 721 hits, 364 stolen bases, and 358 walks with only 150 strikeouts. She also scored 432 runs and maintained a respectable .961 fielding average. The highlight of her career was the 1951 season, when she helped the Blue Sox win their first league championship.

The 600-plus members of the All-American Girls broke down barriers, not only in sports, but in society in general. …

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