Sunday, August 17, 2008

Baseball pitcher Dottie Collins

That's the headline for the obituary in the Chronicle, and kudos to them: not modifying it to "pitcher of women's baseball league," as the NY Times did. Just "baseball pitcher." With a lifetime ERA of 1.83.

My favorite story that I found poking around was that she, Dorothy Wiltse as was, met her husband, on shore leave from the Navy, when he came to a double-header where she pitched and won both games for the Fort Wayne Daisies. He and a buddy brought her and her roommate a case of beer. He asked Dottie if she'd like to play golf the next day. And so she took up golf and got married in 1946.

Oh, and in 1948 she pitched until she was four months pregnant. Or six. Accounts vary.


qoe said...

I am not completely sure about this (my movie trivia memory bank has not been quite as full or as sharp since my children came along), but I think that the "Dottie Hinson" character was modeled on Dottie Collins in "A League of Their Own."

Carolyn Trombe said...

I am the author of Dottie Collins's biograppy, (Dottie liked to introduce me as "her biographer," with her typical Dottie chuckle), and I wanted to clear up a few points. First, Dottie pitched until she was four months pregnant. She pitched the first game of a double header, was supposed to pitch the second, but walked off the mound after the first game, telling her manager that she had had enough. Her doctor trusted her judgement immensely. Secondly, all of the characters in A League of Their Own were compostites. No one character was based upon a particular player. The League wanted recognition for the League, not kudos for individual players. Finally, I was honored to have known this remarkable woman first hand. She was a great softball player in the LA area and had a few brushes with Hollywood. She was also insturmental in helping young women in sports such as golf and bowling in the 50s and 60s, when sports opportunites were not open to women. The book is titled Dottie Wiltse Collins, Strikeout Queen of the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League. To date, it is the only biography published about a professional woman baseball player. Please check it out for more on Dottie's amazing life.

qoe said...

Thanks for all that terrific information and I'll definitely read the book!!!!