By Bob Kann
Joyce Westerman: Baseball Hero tells the story of a young girl who grew up on a farm in Pleasant Prairie, Wisconsin. As a kid, Joyce cleaned the barn, picked vegetables, and helped her father cut down trees. But what she really loved to do was play baseball. She played at recess and with friends whenever she could, and she even joined her aunt’s softball team when she was just twelve years old.
When Joyce graduated from high school, she went to work at a factory in Kenosha. But then World War II broke out, and chewing-gum tycoon P. K. Wrigley started a women’s baseball league to replace men’s baseball while players were away fighting. Women from all over the country tried out for the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League. Only a few were good enough to make the cut, and Joyce was one of them. For eight years, she traveled around the US playing ball, even winning the league championship in her last season.
This title in the Badger Biographies series tells the story of a woman who lived her dream of becoming a professional athlete. In a time when women had few opportunities for careers, and next to none in professional sports, Joyce and her teammates proved to the world that women have what it takes.