Many people first learned of the Rockford Peaches when the movie ‘A League of Their Own’ was released in 1992. Today, with Amazon Prime releasing their series of the same title, many more will learn of this famous all girls pro ball team. However, many people do not know about the true-life story of the Peaches and the events that took place in the city of Rockford, IL where these girls found community among landmarks that still exist today.
Teaming with Heart
The Rockford Peaches were a dedicated team of young women who loved the game of baseball, and entertained hundreds of thousands of fans while professional MLB teams struggled during WWII as many of the men left to fight the war. The girls played in skirts, toughing the infamous “strawberries” suffered when sliding into bases. They played over 110 games from May to September with only a few days of rest. And took all-night bus rides arriving to sleep just a few hours before games. These girls were dedicated, and could play ball!
On the ground
Where they stood
Most of the women who played for the Rockford Peaches were recruited from around the country and even Canada. However, they soon called Rockford home and many remained in Rockford for life. In a letter to her family in 1948, Dottie Kamenshek wrote, “I feel more at home in Rockford than in my home city. Everyone is so very nice to me, I have a soft spot for all the fans who I’d rather call my friends.” Rockford is where they built community. They went to movies. They had picnics in the park. And of course, became the ball team we are still infatuated with to this day.