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06/01/2010

All American Girls Baseball League Lecture Set for June 14

Quick Facts

 Philip K. Wrigley, the chewing gum mogul and owner of the Chicago Cubs, created a girls league in 1943 to bring in the crowds.
 Two of the stars of the league were Jean Faut, now of Rock Hill, and the late Lib Mahon, a Winthrop graduate in the Class of 1942.

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Jean Faut
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Lib Mahon
ROCK HILL, S.C. - A former professional baseball player and a Winthrop librarian will team up to talk about the All American Girls Professional Baseball League on June 14 at the Dacus Library.

The event starts at 5:30 p.m. and is an approved cultural event.

With the onset of World War II, many major and minor league baseball franchises found themselves at a crossroads. Losing many of their players to military service, minor league teams began to feel the pinch, and many went under.

Philip K. Wrigley, the chewing gum mogul and owner of the Chicago Cubs, created the All American Girls Softball League in 1943 to bring in the crowds and to help these franchises stay afloat. The league eventually became the All American Girls Professional Baseball League and was the inspiration for the 1992 hit movie, “A League of Their Own.”

Two of the stars of the league were Jean Faut and Lib Mahon. Faut starred as a pitcher for the South Bend Blue Sox in the league from 1946-53. She was twice the recipient of the Player of the Year award and her 1.23 ERA was the lowest in league history. She was also the only pitcher to throw two perfect games during her career. The late Elizabeth ‘Lib’ Mahon was a Winthrop graduate, Class of 1942, and played in the league from 1944-52. She was a gifted outfielder who was known for her hitting prowess and her speed. In 1946 the two-time all-star stole 114 bases in 116 attempts.

The June 14 event will consist of a lecture by Winthrop faculty member and noted baseball historian Bob Gorman, who is head of Dacus’ reference department. His presentation will be followed by a question and answer session by Faut, 86, who lives in Rock Hill.

The event is accompanied by an exhibit that includes photographs and memorabilia from the Jean Faut Papers and the Lib Mahon Papers housed in the Louise Pettus Archives and Special Collections. The exhibit will continue through June 30.

For more information on the event or exhibit, contact Archives at 803/323-2334, 803/323-2302 or e-mail archives@winthrop.edu.

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