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12/08/2011

South Bend Blue Sox Team Subject of Librarian's New Baseball Book

Quick Facts

 Gorman and Jim Sargent captured the history of the South Bend Blue Sox through the eyes of the players and management in their new book, “The South Bend Blue Sox: A History of the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League Team and Its Player, 1943-1954.”
 The Blue Sox were one of the original four teams in the league and one of only two that existed throughout the league’s entire history.

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ROCK HILL, S.C. - Dacus Librarian Bob Gorman has co-authored a book about one of the women’s professional baseball league teams immortalized in the film “A League of Their Own.”

Gorman and Jim Sargent captured the history of the South Bend Blue Sox through the eyes of the players and management in their new book, “The South Bend Blue Sox: A History of the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League Team and Its Player, 1943-1954.” The Blue Sox were one of the original four teams in the league and one of only two that existed throughout the league’s entire history.

The women’s league debuted in 1943 as a way to fill ballpark seats should Major League Baseball suspend operations during World War II. Fans did not see a watered-down version of the game, because the women on the field proved every bit as tough and competitive as their male counterparts. They ran with abandon, dove for catches, and slid fearlessly, all while wearing uniforms with short skirts.

Although players never saw themselves as revolutionaries, these daring heroines helped pave the way toward greater freedom of choice for the generations of women who followed.

Gorman is head of the reference department at Winthrop’s Dacus Library. He received the 2009 Sporting News-SABR Baseball Research Award for the book he and David Weeks wrote, Death at the Ballpark (McFarland, 2009).

Sargent, a longtime professor of American history, retired as dean of the Social Science Division at Virginia Western Community College in 2010. Before that, he taught on the college and university level for more than 30 years. 

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