Throughout the 1940’s to the 1950’s the All-American Girls’ Professional Baseball League filled a gap created by Major League Baseball’s brief departure due to so many players going to overseas to fight in the war.
This league saw teams and athletes from all over the country. Notably in the league is Anna May Hutchison who was one of the strongest sidearm pitchers in the league and indeed a native of Louisville.
In addition to pitching, Hutchison was a strong catcher behind the plate as well able to bounce between positions with relative ease. She was such an attraction for the league that she became a two-time all-star, pitched a no-hitter, holds the records for pitching appearances in the league’s history, and was a single season leader in pitching wins.
Hutchison grew up learning baseball and softball in the Derby City, playing specifically with the Girls Athletic Association or GAA during high school. She would go on to join the Camera Corner team and lead them to the Louisville championship. The next stop for the team was regional’s where they played in Fort Wayne, Indiana. Scouts were attendance for this tournament and soon enough they were discussing the possibility of Hutchison going pro, which she did after getting her college degree from the University of Wisconsin-Parkside.
Hutchison’s professional baseball story started in 1944 when she joined the Racine Bells. During her time as a Belle she led the team to three playoffs and a championship in 1946.
After the ’48 season the interest in the pitcher moved her to play for the Muskegon Lassies, who she led to a playoff appearance before retiring officially in 1949.
However Hutchison didn’t leave sports at all as she became a highly accomplished professional golfer and bowler. She also became an elementary teacher in Wisconsin.
Despite her passing in 1998, Hutchison’s legacy lives on and for that reason and so many more she’s a sports legend of the Ville.
Image courtesy of Anna May Hutchison