Softball fans urged to think of Green Bay example

When Kenosha, Wisconsin was chosen in 1943 to host a team in Philip Wrigley’s new professional girls’ softball league, the local newspaper invoked the Green Bay Packers in urging local people to support the Kenosha Comets.  

Ann Harnett, Shirley Jameson, AAGPBL, Kenosha Comets, 1943 team practice

It looks like Shirley Jameson will make her base before Ann Harnett makes the catch. The two Kenosha Comet players were at a team practice in 1943, the first year of operation for the All-American Girls’ Softball League.

According to the Kenosha News editorial, the new softball league promised to be “one of the major additions to wholesome entertainment in sports…”

It could be a “great asset” to Kenosha if it was “accorded the proper support by the public…”  The editorial urged Kenoshans to recall the history of “another such venture in the realm of sports several years ago.”

In the infancy of professional football, some residents of Green Bay had the wisdom and foresight to pioneer that sport in that city. That community rallied to the support of the team which Green Bay placed on the professional football gridiron and as the years passed the Green Bay Packers carried the name and fame of that city throughout the length and breadth of the land and the project became a sizable addition to the economic assets of that community.

Kenosha…is being given a similar opportunity in the launching this year of the All-American Girls’ Softball League. This schedule will bring to Kenosha the best girl softball players in the entire country. It will bring first-class athletic entertainment that can fill a void which has existed in Kenosha for several years.

…These teams are composed of healthy, attractive young girls, stars in the softball game, who will live in private homes in the city which they represent. They will become a part of that community for the next three months, patronizing local merchants and aiding in the development of the community.

They will offer in their games contests on a big league scale. The providing of a new form of sports entertainment is particularly welcome at this time for it will furnish relaxation for war workers and will provide in Kenosha thrilling contests, which can be reached by the people of this community despite the transportation problem.

The one thing necessary for the success of this venture is the support by the public…The public will find these games most exciting and most entertaining. They are presented at bargain prices. This movement is entitled to whole-hearted public support and with this it will become a valuable asset to Kenosha.

Kenoshans did support the team that year and for another eight years until 1951. The league fielded teams for another three years, folding in 1954.


About Lois Browne

I'm a mystery writer, blogger and traveller.
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