First and Foremost

December 13,2017

Sometimes you write a book about a subject that you just can’t let go. That happened to me with my first book, A Whole New Ballgame, published way back in 1993. The book tells the story of the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League, the women’s league that began as a wartime measure in 1943 and lasted for 12 glorious seasons. Mine was the first kids’ book written about the league, and it was based on more than a decade of research. But that decade was hardly all work and no play. During that time, the players became my role models, my friends, my community.

I have gone to approximately 30 annual AAGPBL reunions. I have served on the board of the AAGPBL Players Association. I have learned countless lessons from the players about how to live life to the fullest and grow old with dignity. Every time I accomplished anything in my life—wrote another book, finished a triathlon, got a new job—players responded with congratulatory messages. It started early. I still have the taped answering machine message from Lou Arnold (with me, left), one of the nicest women ever to take the field, telling me how much she appreciated Ballgame. Hearing her say, “Good job, Susie,” is better than any review or honor I’ve gotten since, and I wish she were still around so I could tell her.

Next year, the 25th anniversary of the publication of Ballgame, is also the 75th anniversary of the AAGPBL, and I have volunteered to head up the publicity surrounding the milestone. There will be media appearances by some of the players, who are now in their 80s and 90s. There will be the AAGPBL’s booth at Fan Fest, the annual baseball extravaganza held before the All Star game in Washington, DC, next July. There will be other surprises. And things will culminate at the player reunion, set for Kansas City, Missouri, from September 6 through 9. If you’re in the area and want an unforgettable experience, come to the reunion. Everyone is welcome. Check here for details, or contact me through this site.