A new documentary, which has been developed over the past 10 years by Grand Valley State University students, faculty, staff and alumni, explores the history of West Michigan Women in baseball during World War II.

The film will screen three times in West Michigan before it heads across the country.

A Team of Their Own: The First Professional Baseball League for Women includes interviews with more than 40 women who played in the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League (AAGPBL). The women describe their careers, from training and tryouts to playing across the U.S. They also reflect on the overall impact of the league in regard to women in sports.

“Many of these women were very young when they entered the league, and there they were at the age of 15 or 16 doing something that was virtually unheard of for grown women to do,” said James Smither, co-producer and GVSU Veterans History Project director.

There will be three screenings in West Michigan:

  • Wednesday, October 21, at 7PM at Loosemore Auditorium, DeVos Center, Pew Grand Rapids Campus
  • Thursday, October 29, at 6PM at Celebration! Cinema Carousel, Muskegon
  • Tuesday, November 10, at 6:30PM at Grand Rapids Public Museum

The AAGPBL, developed by former Chicago Cubs’ owner Philip K. Wrigley in 1943, existed for 12 years. The Grand Rapids Chicks played in Michigan from 1945 until the league folded in 1954. The team won the league championship in 1953 and played most of their games next to the old Grand Rapids South High School. The Muskegon Lassies joined the league in 1946 before relocating and becoming the Kalamazoo Lassies in 1950.

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