Friday, July 26, 2019

On This Day - "About the Girls"

On this day seventy-five years ago, on July 26, 1944, the Milwaukee Journal's sports editor R. G. Lynch devoted his column "Maybe I'm Wrong" to printing letters from his readers.

What's notable for us is that two of the five letters in Lynch's mailbag were about our Milwaukee Chicks baseball club. struggling to bring the All-American Girls' Professional Ball League to Milwaukee.

Maybe I'm Wrong
[Sports Editor]

About the Girls

FROM "A New Fan," E. Lake View av,: I attended the girls' game at Borchert field last Wednesday and heard the Milwaukee symphony orchestra. My attitude was a critical one but I came away a fan. The girls were attractive in their neat uniforms and they played a clever game of baseball. Dr. Julius Ehrlich and his orchestra played very well indeed. I do hope, and I believe many others will hope with me, that Dr. Ehrlich will include some of the semiclassics with his symphonic music in programs to come, for we all like to hear familiar and loved music beautifully played.

The fact that we attended the concert - game combination again Thursday should be sufficient evidence that we loved it. We had not seen a professional baseball game for several years but the entire family turned out for this.
Excellent feedback, and exactly the response that league founder Philip K. Wrigley was hoping for when he paired his league with Milwaukee's classical music scene. For this one anonymous Whitefish Bay family, at least, Wrigley's novel experiment was a roaring success.

The second letter Lynch printed was also positive, but more along the lines of offering constructive criticism.
Lower Prices

FROM A. G. Heinmiller, 342 N. Water st.: Maybe symphony concerts will help to bring up the attendance at the girls' baseball games, but I think a reasonable price might be a bigger encouragement for the fans to come out. I'm a pretty loyal fan, myself, but I haven't been able to make myself pay 95c to see a game that lasts about 1 hour 15 minutes, in which they make all the way from 5 to 15 errors, when I can see the Brewers for the same price. I think a 50c price plus tax would show as much net revenue and bring out a crowd. Or why not try a two for one plan a few times?
This isn't a new suggestion, but it's a very sensible one. It seems short-sighted to price the brand-new Chicks at the same prices the Brewers could command, considering that the Brews had a forty-year head start and were playing at a level right below the Major Leagues.

We know the Chicks had several free-or-reduced-price specials for paperboy baseball leagues and for Red Cross blood donors. And that is a great start to get people through the turnstiles, but we hear a constant refrain that the ticket prices were making it hard to bring them back again.

I'm also fascinated by A. G. Heinmiller's description of the games themselves. We knew that AAGPBL games, at least in Milwaukee, were fast-paced affairs, with lots of baserunning and lots of errors. But seventy-five minutes? That's astounding.

No comments:

Post a Comment