AAGPBL Interview - Pauline Dennert
Pauline Dennert played one year for the Muskegon Lassies and then returned to college. She took the time to answer a few of our questions.
1) How did you get interested in playing baseball and where did you play before you turned pro?
I played sandlot baseball with the boys. I went to Western Michigan University to be a Phys Ed teacher - the gals were good players, but not like in the AAGPBL. Those players were exceptional.
2) Describe your signing.
I wrote for a tryout. I had to take my college exams early to meet the deadline. I tried out and they kept me for the remainder of the season. I signed a contract for $50 a week and meal money while on trips - $6 a day. That was more than I could make in my hometown in a 9 to 5 job. I put myself through college.
3) What position(s) did you play? Which teams did you play for?
Leftfield - Muskegon Lassies 1947.
4) What was the best thing about playing pro ball?
Getting paid for playing a game. The pros now should thank their lucky stars because of what they make - NFL, NBA, WNBA, pro tennis, you name it.
5) What was the worst thing about playing ball?
Long bus trips.
6) What was the highlight of your career?
Making the team.
7) Who were the best players you played with or faced? Comments?
Jo Lenard, Doris Sams, Mickey Maguire Chapman and many many others.
8) Do you think the fans and press accepted you more as the years wore on? (Describe how it was when you started. Did increased exposure change some minds?)
The fans accepted us more as time went on. We didn't have TV in 1947, no internet to send e-mails. The fans jeered me at first, then cheered when we played.
9) Who were your favorite big league ballplayers during the era you played in?
The Detroit Tigers.
10) Do you follow big league ball now? If so, how do you think it compares with your day?
Yes. They have a whole lot more exposure.
11) Should women have their own pro league, should they play in the majors, or should we have both (a women's league and the chance for the best women players to play in the majors?)
There will never be a league like we had. Look at the women's pro soccer league...
12) How do you feel about the Silver Bullets?
I never heard of them.
13) Briefly describe your life since your pro career ended.
Fun. What I learned in baseball helped me graduate college, become a teacher, and a softball, basketball and cheerleading coach.
14) What advice do you have for young women who want to become pro ballplayers?
You'll need someone with big bucks and deep pockets to try this again.
15) Any other memories or comments?
We're all reaching the age of 78 to 85. We are a dying breed. But it was fun while it lasted.
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