TDA - Lois Youngen Interview
Lois Youngen played in the All American Girl's Professional Baseball League for four years and later joined the faculty at the University of Oregon.
1) How did you get interested in playing baseball and where did you play before you turned pro?
I was always interested in playing ball games. My dad was a very good pitcher for Kent State University in the early 1920s. He would throw to me. I played baseball with neighborhood boys. I played softball in Ashland, Ohio.
2) Describe your signing.
There was no "signing" ceremony. I was sent a contract each year. The playing was more important than the money!
3) What position(s) did you play? Which teams did you play for?
1951 - Ft. Wayne Daisies, Catcher.
4) What was the best thing about playing pro ball?
5) What was the highlight of your career?
September 3, 1953 - I caught Jean Faut's perfect game as South Bend beat Kalamazoo 4-0. This was only the second perfect game in the league's history since overhand pitching was introduced.
6) Who were the best players you played with or faced? Comments?
Almost all of the Ft. Wayne Daisies of 1952 were great. Jean Faut of South Bend was a superstar.
7) 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 country didn't know the AAGPBL existed until the 1992 film A League of Their Own was released. We had great fans and good press coverage in the cities in which we played!
8. Who were your favorite big league ballplayers during the era you played in?
I was a Cleveland Indians fan since I grew up in Ohio.
9) 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?)
I don't think most women can compete against men based upon physiology and anatomy, ie. testosterone and longer levers. If women want their own league, I'm for it!
10) How do you feel about the Silver Bullets?
I wished them luck!
11) Briefly describe your life since your pro career ended.
I joined the faculty of the University of Oregon in 1960. In 1991 I became head of the Physical Activity and Recreation Services department at Oregon. After 36 years, I retired in 1996. I'm currently the full-time caregiver for my 101 year-old mother.
12) What advice do you have for young women who want to become pro ballplayers?
Title IX has given them an opportunity to play high school and college softball. Yes! Baseball, however, is a very different game. Professional softball leagues exist. Advice? Go for it, however, get a good education, you can't play forever.
13) Any other comments?
I loved every minute of my four years in the AAGPBL!
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