Former All-American Girls Professional Baseball League Pitcher to Speak at Library This Week

Wyoming Tribune-Eagle (Cheyenne, WY), July 14, 2019 | Go to article overview

Former All-American Girls Professional Baseball League Pitcher to Speak at Library This Week


At 82 years old, Dolly Ozburn has lived quite a life.

She was born during the last few years of the Depression, three months early, in North Carolina. She wasn’t expected to live. Her family members would have to give her droplets of cow’s milk and water every hour, hoping she would make it through to another day.

Make it, she did – and then some. She defied expectations and became a strong little girl. She became a major tomboy, defying societal rules and her parents by wearing shorts or pants as a child.

Instead of spending time with other little girls, sitting on the sidelines and talking, Ozburn wanted to play sports. Even now, she admits she has a fiery competitive streak, likely stoked by the fact that she felt she had to prove herself among the group of boys she would play with.

“We would play a sandlot style of baseball,” she said. “We didn’t have any money, but this group of kids got together in an open field, and we made our own baseball field, backstop and bleachers. No one came, but that didn’t matter. By the time I was 11 or 12, I didn’t really know if I was good or not, but I liked to play baseball.”

When she was around 13, Ozburn went to a baseball game and noticed a sign advertising tryouts for a girls baseball league. After the game, she ran home and told her father that she was going to try out.

She did it, and she was good. She was just too young that year.

“They told me they liked me, but I was 13 and just a little too young to compete,” she said. “They told me to come back the next year and try again.”

On the day Ozburn turned 15, she got on a bus to join her new baseball teammates, the Fort Wayne Daisies. She was one of the youngest members of the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League. The day after, she made her debut with the team.

Thursday night, Ozburn will give a talk at the Laramie County Library, discussing her time in the league and her work consulting for the 1992 Penny Marshall film “A League of Their Own,” which was based on the first year of the league. The event is free and open to the public.

Ozburn ultimately played with the AAGPBL until it was discontinued in 1954. …

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