With the United States deeply involved in World War II, the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League (AAGPBL) was established to provide entertainment and boost the nation’s morale. During the league’s twelve year run, more than 600 women athletes participated, many of whom also served in the Marine Corps. We've highlighted a few of the Marines who participated in the ground-breaking AAGPBL.
Master Gunnery Sergeant (retired) Helen Campbell enlisted in the Marine Corps in 1943, completing her active duty enlistment in 1946 and joining the reserves. After her active duty time, Helen got involved with the AAGPBL, serving as a team chaperone for the Muskegon Lassies where she arranged the team’s housing and transportation, provided uniforms, and delivered paychecks to the players. She supported the AAGPBL until she was recalled to active duty to serve in the Korean War. She retired from the Marine Corps in 1975.
Lillian Luckey was a pitcher for the South Bend Blue Sox of the AAGPBL. In the 1946 season, she appeared in eight games, earning a 2-4 record and a 3.44 earned run average. She served as a Marine from 1943 to 1945.
Charlene Pryer was a utility player for the Muskegon Lassies, the Kalamazoo Lassies, and the South Bend Blue Sox, playing in the AAGPBL from 1946 to 1952. She was an All-Star and a two-time league champion. She enlisted in the Corps in 1944 and served for 28 months.
Jackie Kelley was a utility player and pitcher for several AAGPBL teams. In her baseball career from 1947 to 1953 she was an All-Star and League Champion. After her playing career, Jackie joined the Marine Corps, serving for two years.
The legacy of these women continues to live in the sport of baseball. These women and many more are enshrined in the National Baseball Hall of Fame and their story inspired the 1992 film A League of Their Own. Want to make your mark? Check out the All-Marine Sports program on your installation.
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