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This collection is part of the larger Kathleen Bertrand and Linda Lundin: Honoring Women in Sports Collection. The entire collection is comprised of scrapbooks documenting Winter’s athletic career. These scrapbooks contain news clippings, AAGPBL ephemera, and material pertaining to Winter’s time in the NGBL and ASA.

Joanne “Jo” Winter, 1924-1996, was a well-known ball player of the twentieth century. Winter was born in Chicago and grew up in the suburb of Maywood, Illinois. A versatile athlete, she competed in basketball, swimming, volleyball, soccer, track, handball, tennis, golf, and baseball. Winter began her career in the Amateur Softball Association (ASA), coached by Emery Parichy, and left that league after being scouted by the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League (AAGPBL). In 1943 the All-American Girls Soft Ball League was created by Philip K. Wrigley, owner of Major League Baseball’s Chicago Cubs, in response to MLB rosters being decimated by the draft during World War II which was creating a loss of revenue. The league would later change its name to the All-American Professional Girls Baseball League after the inaugural season.

In 1943 when Winter joined the AAGPBL, she began playing for the Racine Belles out of Racine, Wisconsin. Her jersey number was 16. That same year, the Racine Belles won the post-season playoff championship game. With this victory the Belles became the first World Champions of Girls Professional Baseball. Winter stayed with the Racine Belles for eight seasons, leaving in 1950 when the team relocated. In 1946, Winter was awarded a spot on the AAGPBL All-Star Team as a member of the pitching staff. During those eight seasons Winter amassed great successes and is one of seven pitchers with 100 or more wins in AAGPBL history. She was known as a “strikeout pitcher,” usually with an ERA in the mid 2.50 to 3.00 range.

After the Racine Belles disbanded the team moved to Battle Creek, MI and became the Battle Creek Belles. Rather than go to Battle Creek to continue playing for the Belles, Winter jumped to the National Girls Baseball League (NGBL) along with four of her teammates (see letter in the Helen Nunamaker Collection that references players, including Winter, who the AAGBL was trying to keep on for the 1952 season). Similar to Winter, three of these teammates had played for the Racine Belles from 1943-1950: Maddy English, Sophie Kurys, and Edythe (Perlick) Keating. As a result of their league move (AAGPBL to NGBL), these players were banned from playing in the AAGPBL again. Winter played in the NGBL from 1952-1954. She was inducted into the National Women’s Baseball Hall of Fame in 2005 and was a consultant in the production of the 1992 movie A League of Their Own.



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