Women At PlayWomen At Play | Reviews
Women at Play: The Story of Women in Baseball (Harcourt, 1993) was the first book to tell the dramatic story of women who played baseball, starting with young Maud Nelson, who pitched Bloomer Girl teams to victory from the 1890s into the 1920s. After the Bloomers came individual players such as Lizzie Murphy and Negro Leaguers such as Toni Stone, followed by the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League, or AAGPBL (featured in A League of Their Own). And after them came Little Leaguers and high school players such as Julie Croteau, who played for the Colorado Silver Bullets.
Women at Play received a boxed review in The New York Times and was awarded the SABR-MacMillan Award for best baseball research. Now out of print.
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Behind the Book
The idea for what would become Women at Play came to me when I was writing my novel about the first woman baseball player, She’s on First. I suspected there might be a true story behind my fictional event. At first I resisted writing this story, but once I committed to it, I planned on one year of research. Instead, uncovering the story took four full years — years in which my eyes blurred from reading microfilm, my car’s tires grew smooth from hauling me to libraries around the country, and my fingers frayed from dialing strangers so that I could ask if they were related to the ballplayers I was researching. After Harcourt offered me a contract, I had only 92 days in which to write the book (see my article, How I Wrote a Book in 92 Days). Despite everything, it was the most thrilling research experience I’ve ever had. — Bg