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A Real Life "League Of Their Own" Story

Josephine D'Angelo, who passed away this month at the age of 88, was one of the original members of the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League. Identifying as a lesbian, she experienced a different side of the league depicted in the famous movie.

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Supporting herself and saving money for college, playing baseball served as a kind of escape for D'Angelo.

Susan K. Cahn, a history professor at the State University of New York-Buffalo, wrote that sports helped her "forge private social networks with women she described as 'people of a kind."


D'Angelo followed the rules, dressed in feminine clothing, and purposefully stayed away from the "gay crowd."

The League's Rules Of Conduct read:

- ALWAYS appear in feminine attire when not actively engaged in practice or playing ball. This regulation continues through the playoffs for all, even though your team is not participating. AT NO TIME MAY A PLAYER APPEAR IN THE STANDS IN HER UNIFORM, OR WEAR SLACKS OR SHORTS IN PUBLIC.

- Boyish bobs are not permissible and in general your hair should be well groomed at all times with longer hair preferable to short hair cuts. Lipstick should always be on.


Her career was ended prematurely due to her choice of hairstyle:

But it all came to a halt at the end of her second season, when a team official "approached her in the hotel lobby and told her she had been released. The reason? D'Angelo had gotten a severe, or, in her own words, 'butchy' haircut," Cahn wrote. Ironically, she didn't really want her hair cut short. The hairdresser convinced her she would look good with a bob.

Ms. D’Angelo had a tip for girl players? “Play with boy players early in life."

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Those who came to pay their respects at the funeral services received a unique prayer card. Instead of a picture of a saint, it featured a photo from “JoJo’s” playing days that made it resemble a baseball card.