Trailblazer for women’s baseball makes appearance at NBC World Series

Ninety-six-year-old Maybelle Blair was in Wichita as an advocate for women’s sports.
Published: Aug. 10, 2023 at 8:00 PM CDT
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WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) - A pioneer for women’s baseball and an inspiration for the 1992 movie, “A League of Their Own,” spent time Thursday at Wichita State University’s Eck Stadium, recognized during the 89th Annual NBC World Series. Ninety-six-year-old Maybelle Blair is in Wichita as an advocate for women’s sports.

“We understand the game of baseball as good as the men, we think. And if a girl is qualified, please give her a chance,” Blair said.

Growing up, Blair followed her love for baseball and made a difference in the game during the World War II era as a pitcher in the All American Girls Professional Baseball League, the women’s league that was the foundation for “A League of Their Own.” Blair said joining the league wasn’t easy.

“We can’t run as fast, we can’t leap as fast, we’re not as strong as the men. We have our own limitations but we can play baseball to our limits,” she said.

An honor for Blair came Thursday night during an NBC World Series-affiliated event recognizing women in baseball.

“I am so thrilled to be here in Wichita, and this particular stadium here at [Wichita State University] is so beautiful,” Blair said.

The 96-year-old former professional athlete said she’s happy more women are taking the field. She said it’s a battle she’s continued to work on to this day.

“The doors are wide open now [for] girls to play baseball, and they want to play,” Blair said.