AAGPBL Interview - Anna Meyer
Anna Meyer joined the AAGPBL at 15. She granted us the following interview.
1) How did you get interested in playing baseball and where did you play before you turned pro?
I got interested in baseball as I had five brothers who played and was on several ball teams. I would go with them to the ball park and take the field when they would go to bat. I took their position and played. Also, one brother was a pitcher and I would warm him up. I just played at home and on the field and with my brothers and at town parks.
2) Describe your signing.
I signed up at age 15. That was a great thrill for me.
3) What position(s) did you play? Which teams did you play for?
I played short stop for Kenosha and Minneapolis. They moved you around to different teams to even them up. That's why they call it "A League of Their Own."
4) What was the best thing about playing pro ball?
I liked the traveling as well as going into towns and seeing a lot of people. You sign autographs and I liked that and talking to kids about baseball.
5) What was the worst thing about playing ball?
Sitting on the bench.
6) What was the highlight of your career?
I played at the age of 15 and that was my highlight.
7) Who were the best players you played with or faced? Comments?
I played with Pepper Paire and Faye Dancer. They were on my team at Minneapolis and they were really stars. They helped me a lot at the age of 15 I needed a lot of teaching to become a good pro.
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?)
Yes, I do believe the fans did accept us more as the years went by. When I started I sat on the bench until one shortstop got hurt (that was Pepper). I didn't get much exposure in the league.
9) Who were your favorite big league ballplayers during the era you played in?
I had a lot of ballplayers come to the hotel I worked at. I had pictures of Mel Ott and Harry the Hat Walker. And several players came out to see my play at Chicago as they played all day games at Cubs park and I played at night.
10) Do you follow big league ball now? If so, how do you think it compares with your day?
I do follow them a lot. I go to the games when I can and I really enjoy the beautiful ballparks. No it does not compare to our days.
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 pro league and now they are starting to play again. We have a pro league and team in Tucson - the Heat.
12) Briefly describe your life since your pro career ended.
I got married, that's why I stopped playing. You can't play pro plus be married, I didn't think. I have two sons. I played at the YMCA for many years and kept up the physical part. I ride the bike for years and walk about every day to keep up as long as I can. We have our reunion every year and I go to there every year.
13) What advice do you have for young women who want to become pro ballplayers?
Girls now a days have a greater advantage than in my day. It was a SIN to play ball as a girl in my day. They can go to college and play now and they have the best equipment. We had small gloves and not good stuff to play with. I say it's built into you as a child and you have to have that athletic ability to start with.
14) Any other memories or comments?
If you have the interest and ability I say work hard at your sport regardless of what it is. Learn all you can and put everything in it. Enjoy it also, that means a lot. Have fun playing ball.
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