First of all, let's just say "A League of Their Own". Women's professional baseball. The 1992 movie is most people's knowledge of the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League. And now there's a new collectible set to commemorate those baseball pioneers three quarters of a century ago.

Battle Creek Belles bobblehead. Courtesy: teambrownapparel.com

A quick history lesson: World War 2 depleted all major league baseball teams of most of their players.To fill the gap and to keep baseball in the public eye, Chicago Cubs owner Phillip Wrigley, Brooklyn Dodgers executive Branch Rickey (who a couple of years later would sign Jackie Robinson to a contract) and others formed the AAGPBL. The league began play in 1943 and continued through 1954.

The league peaked in 1948, but with the war over and (men's) major and minor league baseball back to normal, attendance dwindled. Teams were moved. The Muskegon Lassies bacame the Kalamazoo Lassies. The Racine Belles, one of the original four teams moved to Battle Creek. The Belles played at Bailey Park. The Lassies started out in Milwood, at Lindstrom Field, which no longer exists, but was off Portage Road and Lovers Lane, behind what is now Diagon's Service and the Transmission Clinic. After a season there, they played at what is now Mayor's Riverfront Park.

In fact, the Lassies played the final game in AAGPBL history, winning the 1954 championship on September 6th, 1954, a 8-5 victory over the Ft. Wayne Daisies.

The 1954 AAGPBL champions, the Kalamazoo Lassies. (Photo Courtesy: Kalamazoo Valley Museum)

"A League of their own" shone a big spotlight on these pioneer baseball players. And now a set of collectible bobblehead dolls is available from TeamBrownApparel.com.

All fifteen teams that played in the AAGPBL are represented, and for collectors, it's a numbered limited initial run.

Seems like a fun and easy way to pass along some important sports history, in the place where it happened. (And the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League website is filled with pictures, features and even video of a special time in baseball history)

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