"Women should have their own major league and minor leagues plus the sponsors to make it go."
— Betsy Jochum
Betsy Jochum starred as an outfielder and pitcher for the South Bend (Indiana) Blue Sox in the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League from 1943 to 1948. Launched in 1943 by the owner of the Chicago Cubs, the league kept fans in the bleachers during World War II. AAGPBL peaked in 1948 with 10 franchises and 600 players but was gone by 1954.
"Sock'em Jochum" was one of the League's best hitters and runners, clinching the 1944 batting championship with an average of .296. She embodied the hopes of many women athletes who believed that the league was the breakthrough women's sports needed. Despite the league's short lifespan, its players pushed the envelope of social perceptions and advanced the cause of women's rights. Still, many professional sports remain closed to women.
Jochum earned a degree in physical education and taught for 26 years.
Name: Betsy Jochum
Born: Cincinnati, Ohio, 1921–