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Mary Pratt (1918–2020), last surviving member of 1943 Rockford Peaches baseball team

by Linnea Crowther

Mary Pratt was a pitcher with the Rockford Peaches in the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League, which was featured in the hit 1992 movie “A League of Their Own.”

Teacher and pitcher

Pratt was teaching physical education in Quincy, Massachusetts when the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League formed in response to World War II taking so many young men away from Major League Baseball. Pratt joined the league as a pitcher, playing first on the Rockford Peaches and later joining the Kenosha Comets. She played professional baseball from 1943 to 1947, pitching a no-hitter in 1944 with the Comets. After retiring from the league, Pratt returned to teaching P.E. and coaching softball, basketball, soccer, and tennis with the Quincy Public Schools.

“A League of Their Own”

The All-American Girls Professional Baseball League lasted from 1943 until 1954 and had become a footnote of the sports world before it was remembered in “A League of Their Own.” Though Pratt wasn’t specifically fictionalized in the film, she was one of many players who inspired the film’s plot and influenced the development of supporting characters. Pratt was the last known surviving member of the 1943 Peaches, the team featured in the film.

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Pratt’s fond memories of sports

“The good things I used to think about sports . . . memories, you live on with them, because baseball is baseball, whether it’s today, or tomorrow or 50 years ago” —from a 2018 interview with the Patriot-Ledger

What people said about her

Full obituary: Boston Globe

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