AAGPBL Interview - Geraldine Bureker
Geraldine Bureker played outfield for Racine. 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 played one year in 1948 with the Racine Belles. I had played professional softball in Chicago with the Cardinals in 1947.
2) Describe your signing.
I was in Portland, Oregon which was my home town. Two of my softball friends were going to Chicago to play with the Cardinals. The Cardinals asked me to come to Chicago to try out. I only played softball in 1947. In 1948 I was scouted in a game of a California team, who was being scouted with a windmill pitcher. I hit her very first pitch. When I got back to my hotel the next morning I got a call from Mr. Wrigley asking me to try out. I went up to Kenosha to try out. I never heard back from Mr. Wrigley, the gum man. My mother and I left for Portland several days later. The first of April I got a huge roll of tickets telling me to go to Miami Florida for spring training. I went. It was almost a month.
3) What position(s) did you play? Which teams did you play for?
I was a heavy-hitting outfielder.
4) What was the best thing about playing pro ball?
I just loved to play. I made $50 a week!
5) What was the worst thing about playing ball?
There was no worst thing.
6) 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?)
I only played one year. I was engaged to my husband for two years. I went home to raise five kids.
7) Who were your favorite big league ballplayers during the era you played in?
I don't remember. Our coach Leo Murphy was 60 years old.
8) Do you follow big league ball now? If so, how do you think it compares with your day?
Sometimes, but I've got other things to do. Golf, and I am a singer, and I'm out three nights a week.
9) Should women have their own pro league, should they play in the majors, or should we have both?
I don't care.
10) How do you feel about the Silver Bullets?
I never heard of them.
11) Briefly describe your life since your pro career ended.
I raised five kids with my husband. He passed away in 1978 at 54. He was a great guy. Now I'm 80 and still have a good life. 10 grand children.
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