AAGPBL Interview - Joanne McComb
Joanne McComb was a member of the Springfield Sallies touring team. She took the time to answer a few of our questions.
1) How did you get interested in playing baseball and where did you play before you turned pro?
My father was a good athlete and he encouraged me and too time to play ball with me. Our small town had no organized teams, so I developed my skills on my own. For example, throwing a tennis ball against the steps and having it rebound, throwing the ball against the house, rebound off the porch, throw the ball over the garage, run around the garage and catch it before it hit the ground.
2) Describe your signing.
No big deal, I just signed.
3) What position(s) did you play? Which teams did you play for?
Played first base daily. Was listed as being able to play all positions (except catcher) - Springfield Sallies.
4) What was the best thing about playing pro ball?
Earning money for college. I was only 16 so I couldn't get a job in the factories.
5) What was the worst thing about playing ball?
Can't think of anything.
6) What was the highlight of your career?
Playing in Yankee Stadium just prior to a Yankees vs. A's game. We sat in the Yankees dugout and their players chatted with us.
7) Who were the best players you played with or faced? Comments?
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 really appreciated us and our abilities. Since the movie "A League of Their Own" came out the public has been awesome.
9) Who were your favorite big league ballplayers during the era you played in?
All Pittsburgh Pirates.
10) Do you follow big league ball now? If so, how do you think it compares with your day?
To a limited degree. Today it is more of a business (every one for himself) and less a sport.
11) 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?)
Women should have their own league. Women should compete against women. Women should not compete against men.
12) How do you feel about the Silver Bullets?
The women were used for promotion. The people responsible for running the operation were in it for self (business) promotion - not for promoting women's baseball.
13) Briefly describe your life since your pro career ended.
Great. I attended college. I received my BS and M.Ed. worked towards a doctorate degree. I taught for 32 years (26 in a university). I coached college basketball, taught and was an administrator. I retired in 1986 and am busy with my animals. I also volunteer for the local hospice program.
14) What advice do you have for young women who want to become pro ballplayers?
Practice, practice, practice... Listen to coaches for advice. Pray for some good luck.
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