AAGPBL Interview - Joyce Steele
Joyce Steele played one year for the Kalamazoo Lassies. She took the time to give us the following interview.
1) How did you get interested in playing baseball and where did you play before you turned pro?
At the age of five I had my first glove. I played with the boys in my small hometown of Wyalusing, PA. There was not any sports or teams for girls.
2) Describe your signing.
My mom and dad sold their war bonds so I had enough money to take the train out of Waverly, NY to Battle Creek, MI. They had 250 girls there in April 1953. They picked 2 girls each for the 6 teams in the league. They picked me for the Kalamazoo Lassies. They sent me back home to graduate high school and I went back to the Lassies in June of 1953.
3) What position(s) did you play?
First base and outfield for Kalamazoo.
4) What was the best thing about playing pro ball?
Getting paid for doing what I loved. Meeting fellow ballplayers.
5) What was the worst thing about playing ball?
Being away from home.
6) What was the highlight of your career?
Mainly making the pros.
7) Who were the best players you played with or faced? Comments?
June Peppas and Dottie Schroder.
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?)
We were accepted. I got in during the later years - 1953.
9) Do you follow big league ball now? If so, how do you think it compares with your day?
Yes - Ballplayers are overpaid today.
10) 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?)
Yes to both.
11) How do you feel about the Silver Bullets?
I saw them play. I met them in Wilkes-Barre, PA. They were a great group.
12) Briefly describe your life since your pro career ended.
I played softball until 2000. I love the game.
13) What advice do you have for young women who want to become pro ballplayers?
Dreams come true! Mine did!
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