Dorothy Kamenshek


CHICAGO (AP) — Dorothy Kamenshek, a former star of the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League who helped inspire the lead character in the movie "A League of their Own," has died. She was 84.

Kamenshek died of natural causes Monday at her home in Palm Desert, Calif., according to the Riverside County coroner's office. She had been having lung problems, said Jeneane Lesko, vice president of the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League Players Association.

Kamenshek, who also went by Dottie and Kammie, played for the Rockford Peaches in Illinois from 1943 to 1953. The left-handed infielder was a seven-time All-Star and chosen on of the top 100 female athletes of the century by Sports Illustrated.

"She was the greatest first baseman in the league," said Lesko, who also played for the Grand Rapids Chicks of Michigan. "She's been an inspiration to all the members in the association."

Kamenshek, and other league players, were the basis for Dottie Hinson, Geena Davis' character in the 1992 movie about women's professional baseball in the 1940s and 1950s.

Many players were consulted before the movie was made and several others made cameos, including Sarah "Salty" Ferguson, who played for the Rockford Peaches in 1953 and 1954.

Ferguson, 74, said she remembers Kamenshek as a laid-back person who was a great hitter and "slick first-baseman."

"She knew the game," said Ferguson, of Orangeville, Penn. "She was very, very good."

Private funeral services were planned Tuesday in Cathedral City, Calif.

Copyright © 2010 The Associated Press

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my prayers and condolences to her family and she,ll be missed by all who knew her through her acting and her friends. rest in peace.we used to watch the program. we enjoy it. we should be inducted to the baseball hall of fame woith all her coworkers.

I lived in Fort Wayne, Indiana where the Daisies played at Memorial Park. I lived 5 blocks from the park so I went to every game. Dottie was one of my many inspirations to long for a future in baseball. I was 13 when I finally could join the Future Daisies League. Those were the best days of my life as I am sure they were for all. I still grieve the passing of Dottie and all the players that are slowly leaving us. I am 74 now and she remains in my heart along with so many other AAGBL players....

my grandsons and i met dottie about 14 years ago in dallas she was signing photos .i have 3 signed by her but the great thing she did was let me take a photo with ma grandsons sitting in her lap .what a warm /kind and wonderful lady she was. i collect autographed baseballs/mantle/kofax/etc. but i am most proud of the photo of her with my grandsons/ god bless the loved ones from john martin

With our deepest condolences.

John 11: 1-44

To all baseball fans!
Just over 2 years ago we lost a huge part of history in baseball......the death of Dottie Kamenshek! The movie "League of their own" was based on true stories of the gals of "The AAGPBL!" That movie is one of my favorites! Cannot believe it is celebrating its 20th anniversary!
I lived in Rockford from 1989 until moving to Janesville in 1997. I have alot of memories of Rockford baseball but especially meeting alot of the gals that came...

Wow what a fantastic women and achiever... Great to show all she had and what she has done for this country in a time of need to keep baseball going... Great job to all those fantastic women...


To the family of Dottie, my heart is always with you. As i watched " A league of their own" I remembered the real players and how great they were. It brings tears to my eyes every time. I know that she is in a better place. I love her always and she has inspired me to do whatever i want to do in life and be good at it. Thanks for everything Dottie. You are forever in my heart and in my prayers and so are all of your team mates who played with you for the Rockford Peaches. You live...