Friday, May 21, 2010
RIP: Dottie Kamenshek
Dorothy "Dotty" Kamenshek was arguably the greatest and most heralded ballplayer in the All American Girls Professional Baseball League. She joined in 1943 (the leagues first year) at the age of 17 after being scouted playing softball and went on to play 10 season with the Rockford Peaches as their first baseman. She was on 7 all-star teams (a member every year there was a team during her playing days), won two batting titles and is 4th on the list of all-time batting leaders at .292. Heck, she struck out only 81 times in 3,736 career at-bats.
Dottie could also handle the glove. Her lifetime fielding average was .950. Some have even argued that she may possibly be the greatest fielding first baseman, man or woman, to ever to play the game. Major Leaguer Wally Pipp once said of her that she was, "the fanciest-fielding first baseman I've ever seen, man or woman."
Years later she was depicted by Geena Davis in the great film "A League of Their Own." (Woops, I got this a bit wrong. Geena was more closely depicting teammate Dottie Green, but Kamenshek was also an inspiration for the character. She also was on the set of the movie.)
This past Monday she passed away at the age of 84.
Check out this great story about her at the Hall of Fame, or on SABR's Journal #31, page 83.
As a testament to her greatness, Starting Lineup made a figurine in her honor.