Friday, August 22, 2008

Good Night, Sweet Pitcher

Dottie Wiltse Collins, one of the best pitchers in women's baseball and the moving force behind the alumnae organization of retired players from the women's leagues, died on August 12 at the age of 84.

A powerhouse pitcher who could throw overhand, underhand, and sidearm, she pitched two no-hitters within a seventeen-day stretch. Collins won more than 20 games each of her first four seasons as a pro. In her best year, 1945, her record was 29-10, with a 0.83 ERA and 293 strikeouts. She once pitched -- and won -- both halves of a doubleheader, and in 1948, she played until she was four months pregnant.

Her work to gather and preserve the history of women's baseball inspired the movie A League of Their Own. More important, the memorabilia she helped gather is enshrined in the Baseball Hall of Fame at Cooperstown, NY. Where she belongs.

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