A League of Their Own

A League of Their Own
Grace Coolidge: Sports and Popular Culture

Skill: Elementary School
Time Required:


Standards Compliance
NCSS Strand 1
Culture
NCSS Strand 10
Civic Ideals and Practices
NCSS Strand 5
Individuals, Groups, and Institutions
NCSS Strand 2
Time, Continuity, and Change
ISTE Standard 6
Technology problem-solving and decision-making tools

Introduction:

Grace Coolidge was not only known as the First Lady of the United States, she was also known as “The First Lady of Baseball.”  She could be found in the audience of every opening game of the World Series and at Fenway Park throughout the season.  When not at a game in person, she was often at home in front of her radio listening to the game.  In the 1950’s she wrote to a close friend, “I venture to say that not one of you cares a hoot about baseball but to me it is my very life.”

Objectives:

In this lesson students will not only learn about the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League, but also about the social requirements placed on each player.

Materials Required:

Access to the Internet and/or access to a public library.

Procedures:

Notify students that they are going to be researching a unique event in the history of the United States and comparing it to a modern phenomenon.
 
Have students access the All-American Girls Baseball League’s official website or if internet access is not available, work with your local public library to collect the books in the resource section of this lesson plan.
 
Assign them the task of learning the events that led to the creation of the All-American Girls Baseball League, as well as the structure of the league and rules governing players.
 
When they have completed their research assign them the task of researching the history of the major league baseball for men.  In particular have them examine the following questions: 
 
Was there ever a code of conduct for men?
 
Who was Ty Cobb and what did he do in 1910 to win the American League batting title?
 
Who was Joe Jackson and why is he a part of baseball history?
 
What was the Louisville Grays Scandal?
 
What is the steroid scandal in baseball?
 
Why did the Negro League exist?
 

Extending the Lesson:

To extend this lesson have students research the life and career of Pete Rose and have a class debate on whether or not he should be granted entry into the Baseball Hall of Fame.

Sources & Resources:

Websites: 
 
History of Baseball
Baseball Hall of Fame Cooperstown
Sport Parent Code of Conduct
Fan Code of Conduct

 
 
Books: 
  
   Asinof, Elliot and Gould, Steven Jay.  Eight Men Out: The Black Sox and the 1919 World Series.  New York: Henry Holt and Company, 1963. 
  
   Berlage, Gai.  Women in Baseball: The Forgotten History,  Westport: Praeger Publishers, 1994. 
  
   Browne, Lois.  The Girls of Summer:  The Real Story of the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League.  New York: Harper Collins Publishers, 1992. 
  
   Brown, Patricia.  A League of My Own, Memoirs of a Pitcher for the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League.  Jefferson: McFarland & Company Inc., 2003. 
  
   Fidler, Merrie A.  The Origins and History of the American Girls Professional Baseball League.  Jefferson: McFarland & Company Inc., 2006. 
  
   Fleitz, David.  Shoeless:The Life and Times of Joe Jackson.  Jefferson: McFarland & Company, 2001. 
  
   Galt, Margot Fortunato.  Up to the Plate:  The All-American Girls Professional Baseball League.  Minneapolis:  Lerner Publications, 1995. 
  
   Gregorich, Barbara.  Women at Play: The Story of Women in Baseball.  San Diego:  Harcourt, Brace and Company, 1993. 
  
   Hogan, Lawrence D. and Tygeil, Jules. Shades of Glory: The Negro Leagues and the Story of African-American Baseball.  Washington D.C.: National Geographic, 2006. 
  
   Jenson, Don.  The Timeline History of Baseball.  New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2005. 
  
   Johnson, Susan E.  When Women Played Hardball.  Seattle: Seal Press, 1994. 
  
   Kovach, John.  Benders: Tales from South Bend’s Baseball Past.  South Bend: Greenstocking Press, 1987. 
  
   Madden, W. C. The Hoosiers of Summer.  Indianapolis: Guild Press, 1994. 
  
   Miller, Ernestine.  Making Her Mark.  New York: McGraw Hill, 1992. 
  
   Robinson, Ray and Jennison, Christopher.  Greats of the Game: The Players, Games, Teams, and Managers that Made Baseball History.  New York: Harry N. Abrams, 2005. 
  
   Stump, Al.  Cobb: A Biography. Chapel Hill: Algonquin Books, 1994. 
  
   Thrombe, Carolyn.  Dottie Wiltse Collins.  Jefferson: McFarland and Company, 2005. 
  
   Vecsey, George.  Baseball: A History of America’s Favorite Game. New York: Modern Library, 2006. 
  
   Ward, Geoffrey and Burns, Ken.  Baseball: An Illustrated History.  New York: Knopf, 1996 
 

Young Adult Books: 
  
   Hanmer, Trudy J.  The All-American Girls Professional Baseball League.  London: New Discovery Books, 1994. 
  
   Helmer, Diana Star.  Belles of the Ball Park.  Brookfield: Millbrook Press, 1993. 
  
   Macy, Sue.  A Whole New Ball Game:  The Story of the American Girls Professional Baseball League.  New York: Henry Holt and Company, 1993. 
 

Credits: This lesson was written by Debra L. Clark, Kent State University