AAGPBL Interview - Chris Ballingall
Chris Ballingall played baseball during the tail-end of the AAGPBL. She recently took some time to answer our survey:
1) How did you get interested in playing baseball and where did you play before you turned pro?
I had a twin brother that was real good, I was his catcher.
2) Describe your signing.
Happiest day of my life. She had to wait until she was 21 - she was offered a contract when she was just 15, but her father wouldn't let her sign.
3) What position(s) did you play? Which teams did you play for?
Outfield, sometimes I filled in at catcher.
4) What was the best thing about playing pro ball?
The people I met.
5) What was the worst thing about playing ball?
6) What was the highlight of your career?
Hitting over .400 in the playoffs!
7) Who were the best players you played with or faced? Comments?
To just make the league you had to be one of the best.
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?)
TV was our big problem.
9. Who were your favorite big league ballplayers during the era you played in?
Al Kaline (Like many AAGPBL players, Chris grew up in Michigan)
10) Do you follow big league ball now? If so, how do you think it compares with your day?
Yes - Too much money.
11) How do you feel about the Silver Bullets?
It's too bad they played against men. Whoever thought it would make it was just out for what they could gain from it. It should have been formed just like the AAGPBL.
12) Briefly describe your life since your pro career ended.
Just fine - everything has its time. I've lived in Kalamazoo since leaving baseball.
13) What advice do you have for young women who want to become pro ballplayers?
If you dream it, don't give up until you have it.
What do you think of this article?
Leave feedback on our message board.