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Dottie Kamenshek

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Dorothy Kamenshek

[edit] Biographical Information

Dottie Kamenshek was a star in the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League, playing for 10 seasons in the league on the Rockford Peaches.

Kamenshek was playing outfield in a local softball league, when at the age of 17 she was spotted by a scout from the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League. She played with the Rockford Peaches from 1943 to 1951 and again in 1953.

After twelve games she switched to first base, and became known as an excellent fielder. Her lifetime fielding average was an astounding .950. However, it was her hitting that truly made her stand out. Kamenshek won the league batting title in 1946 with a .316 average and again in 1947 with an average of .306. After the league created an all-star team in 1946, she made the team in every season she played. In 1951, back injuries reduced her playing time and after skipping the a season she retired folloing the 1953 campaign. Kamenshek had a career batting average of .292 in 3,736 at-bats, fourth on the league's leader board. She also struck out a mere 81 times in her career.

Kamenshek went on to earn a degree in physical therapy. She later became the Chief of Therapy Services for the County of Los Angeles, a position she remained in until her retirement in 1980.

Wally Pipp considered her "the fanciest-fielding first baseman I've ever seen, man or woman." The Fort Lauderdale team in the Florida International League offered to buy her contract, but was turned down as it was believed to be a publicity stunt.

In 1999, Sports Illustrated for Women selected Kamenshek as the 100th greatest female athlete of the 20th century. She was the only baseball player on the list.

[edit] Further Reading

  • John B. Holway: "Kamenshek, the All-American: Was This Baseball's Greatest Fielding First Baseman?", in The Baseball Research Journal, SABR, Number 31, University of Nebraska Press, Lincoln, NE, 2003, pp. 83-85.

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