Friday, May 24, 2019

On This Day - "Girls Selected to Play Here"

After the Milwaukee Sentinel, Milwaukee's morning paper, broke the news of the first three All-American Girls Professional Ball League players assigned to the new Milwaukee Chicks team, the afternoon Milwaukee Journal was able to follow up with the full roster.

On this day seventy-five years ago, on Wednesday, May 24, 1944, the city of Milwaukee was introduced to its new ballclub. Or, at the very least, the women who would wear its uniform.

Girls Selected to Play Here

Three Are Canadians

Journal Staff Correspondence

Peru, Ill. – Girls from seven states and three provinces of Canada make up Milwaukee's first all-girl ball team. They were selected here Tuesday night after a week and a half of spring training in the All-American Girls' Professional Ball league.

The girls are: Pitchers Connie Wisniewski, 22, Detroit, Mich.; Lafern Price, 18, Terre Haute, Ind.; Viola Thompson, 22, Greenville, S.C.; and Josephine Kabick, 22, Detroit. Catchers Emily Stevenson, 18, Chapaign, Ill.; and Dorothy Maguire, 25, Cleveland, Ohio. Outfielders Shirley Schulze, 21, Chicago; Thelma Eisen, 22, Los Angeles, Calif.; Olga Grant, 23, Alberta, Canada; Mary Shostal, 19, Winnipeg, Canada. Infielders Judy Dusanico, 22, Regina, Canada; Vivian Anderson, 23, of 2417 N. 68th st., Milwaukee; Doris Tetzlaff, Watertown, Wis.; ALma Ziegler, 22, Los Angeles, Calif.; Dolores Klosowski, 21, Detroit; and Betty Whiting, 18, Ida, MIch.

Vivian Anderson, the only Milwaukee girl on the team, is a graduate of West Division high school. She has been playing ball about 12 years. She is married to Staff Sergt. Dan Anderson, who is with an army unit on maneuvers in Tennessee. Vivian works for the E. F. Schmidt Co.

The chaperone of the Milwaukee team will be Dorothy HUnter of Winnipeg, Canada, a player with the Racine team last year. Max Carey is manager and Eddie Stumpf general manager.

The girls will leave Peru early Thursday and will play their first game in Milwaukee on Saturday. They will live in private homes while in Milwaukee.
I love the focus on Vivian Anderson, as the only native Milwaukeean on the Opening Day roster. We've looked at her career before; she was scouted out of the very popular West Allis League, where she had met her future husband as a coach.

"Andy", as she was known to her teammates in this league of nicknames, lived with her parents during the season. The curious newspaper convention of the day, where people mentioned in articles are identified by their full address, lets us know what her commute would have been like.

By my reckoning, 2417 N. 68th Street is actually in Wauwatosa. But perhaps that wasn't the case in 1944, or it was a distinction not worth noting. Regardless, it's a straight shot from her house to Borchert Field, fourteen minutes by car today.

I wonder if Vivian ever made that fourteen-minute drive to the Orchard to watch the Brewers play?

So now the initial roster was set. The team was coming together, and Opening Day was right around the corner. The Milwaukee Chicks were about to hatch.

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