Search more than 1,000 interviews in more than a dozen oral history collections. Search by collection name or interviewee name.
Take me back to the Oral History landing page.
In 1948, Maybelle Blair, then of Redondo Beach, California, was recruited by a scout from the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League to be a pitcher for the league. Pay was $55 per week, more than her father was making. She pitched for one season with the Peoria Redwings, but pulled a leg muscle during a game which sidelined her thereafter. The following season she played professional softball for the Chicago Cardinals, then gave up her sports career for an opportunity to work for the Northrop Corporation in California. After 37 years she retired from Northrop, one of their few woman managers.
Shirley Burkovich played in the All-American Professional Baseball League from 1949 to 1951, beginning her baseball career when she was only sixteen years old and still in high school. She spent her first year with the Muskegon Lassies, and the 1950 season with the Springfield Sallies and Chicago Colleens, a pair of teams that played throughout the east, introducing new audiences to the league. For her final season, Burkovich played on the Rockford Peaches. By the end of the 1951 season she could see that the league was slowly dying, so she left the sport she loved for a full time job with Pacific Bell. Many years later, Shirley had a small cameo role in the classic film, "A League of Their Own."
Kevin Corbin worked as a batboy for the St. Louis Cardinals from the 1995 season (following baseball's disastrous strike year of 1994), until he graduated from St. Louis University in 2000. During those years, most of which Tony LaRussa managed the team, Kevin was working as the team's batboy for the epic home run race between Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa in 1998, and for the Cardinal's pennant race in 2000. During his years with the Cardinals, he saw many of baseball's greats, including Cal Ripken, Jnr., Ozzie Smith and Willie McGhee, and shared numerous colorful stories about his experiences.
Allen Stare started a career in radio while still a student at Taylorville High School and began his own DJ service then as well. Following college, he continued in the radio business for a few years, then got into the advertising business, while continuing to DJ on the side. Shortly after he and his wife moved to Jacksonville, he was approached in 2005 to be the umpire for the Jacksonville Orphans vintage base ball team. He later became the umpire for the Springfield Long Nine, and over the years, also became an expert on the early history of the game, especially pre-American Civil War base ball.
Gary and Mike Watson are identical twins born in 1953 who have only a couple significant differences; one is left handed while the other is right handed. More importantly, Mike is a life-long St. Louis Cardinals fan while Gary became a Cubs fan in 1980. The brothers reminisce about their youth growing up in Normal, Illinois in the 1950s and early 1960s, recall the turbulent years of the late 1960s, and especially share their memories of lives spent as passionate baseball fans.