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Women in Professional Sport A Brief History and Contemporary Challenges I Early Professional Sport for Women Tennis offered one of the earliest opportunities Charles Cash and Carry Pyle Women and professional rodeo Tad Lucas Women and professional golf LPGA 1949 II The All American Girls Professional Baseball League First night game played at Wrigley Field 1943 women s all star game Founder Philip K Wrigley Adapting the popular sport of women s softball II The AAGPBL cont Wrigley s Management Team Branch Rickey The Search for Ballparks Original four teams South Bend Blue Sox Rockford Peaches Racine Belles Kenosha Comets Hybrid of softball and baseball played II The AAGPBL cont Search for players The distinctive design of player uniforms Spring Training practice by day Charm School at night Rules of Conduct Player chaperones II The AAGPBL cont Women s Professional Baseball game evolved over time Unique challenges for team managers Experimenting with Women s Baseball in Major League Parks Minneapolis Millerettes and Milwaukee Chicks II The AAGPBL cont Wrigley sells the League to Arthur Meyerhoff in 1944 Over one million in attendance in 1948 Women players as good as men The downfall of the League by 1954 Fort Wayne Daisies dominated the League in final years III Individual Women s Sports Pioneers Sonja Henie Esther Williams Strictly speaking neither woman engaged in professional sport they participated in athletic exhibitions not competitions Babe Didrikson AP Female Athlete of the Year six times IV The Era of Growth 1960 s and 1970 s were pivotal periods in the growth of women s professional sports Prize money in golf and tennis grew dramatically in the 1970 s IV The Era of Growth cont Gains of earlier years solidified in 1980 s and 1990 s Monica Seles earned 6 million in 1998 in endorsements Creation of a viable women s professional basketball league First WNBA game in Los Angeles in June of 1997 V The Present Status of Women s Professional Sports Still enormous

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