Dorothy Kamenshek, ‘League of Their Own’ Figure, Dies at 84
By DERRICK HENRY
Dorothy Kamenshek, a star player in the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League who helped inspire the lead character in the movie “A League of Their Own,” has died. She was 84.
She died of natural causes Monday at her home in Palm Desert, Calif., said the Riverside County coroner’s office. She had had several strokes in the past five years, said her friend and fellow baseball player Lavone Paire Davis, who was known as Pepper.
Kamenshek played first base for the Rockford (Ill.) Peaches from 1943 to 1951 and again in 1953, and finished among the league’s top 10 career batting leaders, with an average of .292. She was named one of the top 100 female athletes of the century by Sports Illustrated, winning batting titles by hitting .316 in 1946 and .306 in 1947.
“She had the whole package,” said Davis, 85, a catcher who played 10 years in the league. “She could hit with power, she could lay the bunt down and steal the base. She was a great first baseman — she could go off the ground three feet and grab it, or dig it out of the dirt. She was a tough lady, and she was as smart as they come.”
She was selected to seven All-Star teams and retired in 1953.