Young women and girls are probably familiar with the name Jennie Finch. Jennie is arguably the most famous softball player - man or woman - in history.
Jennie pitched the USA national softball team to an Olympic gold medal in 2004 and the silver in 2008.
Long before Jennie, there were pioneering women who played softball and baseball. One of those was Dottie Wiltse Collins. Dottie Wiltse Collins: Strikeout Queen of the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League is her story.
World War II depleted the available manpower available to the major and minor leagues. Chicago Cubs owner Phillip Wrigley came up with a plan to ensure baseball would continue in the war years: the creation of the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League.
One of the players brought in to fill the rosters of the new teams was Dottie Wiltse, a star softball player from Southern California. Assigned to the newly formed Minneapolis Millerettes, Wiltse went on to become one of the dominant players in the AAGPBL.
In her 6 year career, Dottie pitched in 223 games, with a 117-76 record, 1205 strikeouts, and an earned run average of 1.83. Hence her nickname of the Strikeout Queen.
The author tells the story of Dottie who showed her love for the sport at age two. In parallel with Dottie's personal story is the evolution of women's softball, baseball and sports in general.
Though the story is the basis for the popular Tom Hanks, Geena Davis and Madonna movie, A League of Their Own, the author states that the Geena Davis character of Dottie was not based on Dottie Wiltse Collins. It was a composite of many players.
For young girls who have heard that "There's no crying in baseball" this book gives a look at a pioneer of women's athletics.