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Shirley Burkovich - Baseball

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."

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Caption

A Burkovich family gathering in Pittsburg, circa 1948. Shirley is second from the right, next to her brother Walt, holding the bat. They’re ready to play ball, reflecting their passion for the game.

Where:

Pittsburg

When:

circa 1948

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo

Caption

Shirley Burkovich received this Western Union telegram in the spring of 1949 while she lived in Swissvale, Pennsylvania, a telegram that began her three-year baseball adventure.

Where:

Swissvale, Pennsylvania

When:

1949

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo

Caption

The Muskegon Lassies 1949 spring training squad in West Baden Springs, Indiana. Shirley is in the back row, third from the right. The team manager was Carson Bigbee. Helen Hanna was the chaperon, and Micky McGuire, in front of Shirley, was the catcher.

Where:

West Baden Springs, Indiana

When:

1949

Ownership:

This image is considered to be in the public domain.

Caption

The Muskegan (Michigan) Lassies team photo from 1949, which was Shirley Burkovich’s first year in the league. Shirley is in the middle of the photo next to the player in the dark jacket.

Where:

Muskegan (Michigan)

When:

1949

Ownership:

This image is considered to be in the public domain.

Caption

Barbara Parks and Shirley Burkovich, were two of the young players with the Springfield Sallies in 1950. The team traveled the country playing for the AAGPBL.

Where:

Unknown

When:

1950

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo

Caption

The Chicago Colleens wore green uniforms with white trim in this 1950 team photo. Shirley is the fourth from the right, holding the glove. Sitting in the front row, second from the right is Isabelle ‘Lefty’ Alvarez, a pitcher from Cuba.

Where:

Unknown

When:

1950

Ownership:

This image is considered to be in the public domain.

Caption

The Rockford Morning Star featured this photo of new prospects for the 1951 Rockford Peaches, including Shirley Burkovich on the left, along with Margaret Jurgensmeier and Marguerite Kerrigan. The article inaccurately referred to Shirley as a pitcher.

Where:

Rockford, Illinois

When:

1951

Ownership:

May be restricted. Patrons desiring to use this photograph should contact the ALPL Audio-Visual Curator.

Caption

Shirley Burkovich with Lori Petty, who played Kit Keller in the 1992 film A League of Their Own, at a AAGPBL reunion in Palm Springs, California.

Where:

Palm Springs, California

When:

Unknown

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo

Caption

The New York Times featured this photo on June 24, 2003 with Shirley helping coach two young baseball players in Hawthorne, California.

Where:

Hawthorne, California

When:

June 24, 2003

Ownership:

May be restricted. Patrons desiring to use this photograph should contact the ALPL Audio-Visual Curator.

Caption

Shirley talks to a group of young girls at one of the many events she and Maybelle Blair visit to promote girls’ baseball around the country, circa 2017.

Where:

Unknown

When:

circa 2017

Ownership:

May be restricted. Patrons desiring to use this photograph should contact the ALPL Audio-Visual Curator.

Caption

Maybelle Blair and Shirley Burkovich relax in the dugout at Beyer Stadium in Rockford in late July, 2017. They were visiting the city during the annual national girls’ baseball tournament.

Where:

Rockford, Illinois

When:

July, 2017

Ownership:

May be restricted. Patrons desiring to use this photograph should contact the ALPL Audio-Visual Curator.

Caption

Shirley Burkovich (left) and Maybelle Blair (center) found time for a group photo with a group of Red Sox supporters during a 2017 Memorial weekend event at the Boston Red Sox’s famed Fenway Park.

Where:

Fenway Park, Boston

When:

2017

Ownership:

May be restricted. Patrons desiring to use this photograph should contact the ALPL Audio-Visual Curator.

Caption

Batter up

Where:

Boston’s Fenway Park

When:

May, 2017

Ownership:

May be restricted. Patrons desiring to use this photograph should contact the ALPL Audio-Visual Curator.

Caption

Shirley Burkovich, at one of the many events she attends promoting the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League. She hopes to provide the spark for a new women’s baseball league.

Where:

Unknown

When:

Unknown

Ownership:

May be restricted. Patrons desiring to use this photograph should contact the ALPL Audio-Visual Curator.

Caption

Shirley Burkovich’s baseball card when she played for the Rockford Peaches in 1951.

Where:

Rockford, Illinois

When:

1951

Ownership:

This image is considered to be in the public domain.



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