AAGPBL Interview - Katie Horstman
Katie Horstman was a player in the old AAGPBL. She joined at a young age and played until the demise of the league.
1) How did you get interested in playing baseball and where did you play before you turned pro?
I was a natural athlete. I had five brothers and whenever they played so did I. I played on the CYO softball team in Minster, Ohio since the 5th grade.
2) Describe your signing.
Minster was playing at St. Henry, Ohio when a plumber from Ft. Wayne was visiting. He thought that I could make the Ft. Wayne team. I was only 15 years old so the St. Henry coach took me to Ft. Wayne for a try-out and I signed the very first day and stayed with them for 1951-4.
3) What position(s) did you play? Which teams did you play for?
I played outfield under Max Carey. In 1952, Jimmie Foxx brought me to third base and pitching. I played all positions in my four year career.
4) What was the best thing about playing pro ball?
Meeting so many nice people and doing what I loved to do. Beat milking cows on a hot or cold day in Ohio.
5) What was the worst thing?
Putting on a skirt to get a bottle of Coke on a road trip at 2 in the morning.
6) What was the highlight of your career?
Hitting homeruns in 1954 with the regular baseball. I loved to hit the ball. Also playing under Jimmie Foxx was a dream come true.
7) Who were the best players you played with or faced? Comments?
The best players I played with were the Weavers, Jo and Betty. The best player I faced pitching was Jean Faut. The best catcher was Ruth Richard.
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 in the Midwest in the 50's were tremendously receptive. They adored us.
9. Who were your favorite big league ballplayers during the era you played in?
Pete Rose - because he always hustled and his birthday is the same as mine - April 14. My number on my uniform was #14.
10) Do you follow big league ball now? If so, how do you think it compares with your day?
I follow the Cincinnati Reds - always will. They make too much money and have lost sight of teamwork and fundamentals.
11) Should women have their own pro league, should they play in the majors, or should we have both?
The women should play in their own league. They should never compete with men. Physically and different emotions are different between the two sexes.
12) How do you feel about the Silver Bullets?
Good, but no women's team can compete physically with men.
13) Briefly describe your life since your pro career ended.
I graduated from Medical Record Librarian School. I joined the Franciscan Sisters for five years and taught in Chicago. I Graduated from DePaul and taught in Indiana and ended up 25 years in my hometown. I began the sports program in Minster and was the coach of 8 state track champions and 2 cross-country. I've been inducted into five hall of fames in baseball and track and the Ohio Womens Hall of Fame. Doing clinics now in the LA region.
14) What advice do you have for young women who want to become pro ballplayers?
Do what you love to do.
15) Any other comments or memories
I wouldn't change anything in my life - always a surprise and its getting better.
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