Research Notes for Women at Play, Volume 3
Research Notes for Women at Play, Volume 3 is the final volume in my collection of baseball articles, notes, and interviews that went into the publication of my 1993 book, Women at Play: The Story of Women in Baseball. Continuing where Volume 2 left off, Volume 3 covers the 1920s and early 1930s, concluding the story of Maud Nelson, the most important figure in the early history of women in baseball.
This book also contains the heart-breaking story of Leona Kearns, who traveled to Japan with The Philadelphia Bobbies and Eddie Ainsmith, with the goal of making money by playing against Japanese college men's teams. This disastrous trip resulted in the abandonment of three players (all in their teens) and the death at sea of one of them.
Contrasted to that tragic story is the joyous one of Margaret Gisolo, who in 1928 helped lead her American Legion Junior Baseball team to the Indiana state championship. Margaret later played for Maud Nelson's All-Star Ranger Girls team: her 1933 and 1934 diaries are included. On that Bloomer Girl team, one of Margaret's teammates was Nellie Kearns, sister of Leona. To read an excerpt, click here.
Unlike Volumes 1 and 2 of Research Notes for Women at Play, Volume 3 contains no articles published before 1923, which means that no articles I used for this book were in public domain. So: I couldn't quote long sections of the articles, as I did in the first two volumes. End result: I had to write summaries for each article. This actually proved more laborious than typing up articles verbatim.
After giving credit to the newspaper in which the information appeared, I tried to pay attention to verb tense: if an article was written in present tense, for example, I tried to indicate that through the style of my summary. If an article referred to players as "Miss Gisolo," I tried to capture that feeling. If an article used baseball slang such as "the horsehide"," I did the same. But I also tried (and this is what I paid most attention to), to use my own words, so that I was, in fact, summarizing rather than merely rephrasing.
Now that I've published all three of the volumes I planned to share with the public, I am putting my research notes on women in baseball in order, and in 2016 I will donate them to the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown . . . along with my files on Jack Graney and his bull terrier Larry, whose story I told in Jack and Larry.
As I do this, I'm running across investigations, letters, interviews, and trips I had forgotten about. It's fun to revisit them and to chuckle at my naivety in some cases, my perceptivity in others. After I finish organizing my files and deliver the materials to Cooperstown, I will have a lot of empty space in my office . . . . I wonder what I'll fill it with.