AAGPBL Interview - Terry McKinley
Terry McKinley played one year in the AAGPBL. She granted us the following interview.
1) How did you get interested in playing baseball and where did you play before you turned pro?
Softball was my favorite sport growing up. I played in the Chicago Park District since age nine. I never had played fast pitch or with a glove until I went to tryouts.
2) Describe your signing.
Max Carey signed my contract at the Wrigley Building downtown in Chicago. It was very exciting.
3) What position(s) did you play? Which teams did you play for?
In the minor leagues I played every position. When I was called up to the Muskegon Lassies I only played outfield.
4) What was the best thing about playing pro ball?
I loved playing in front of a lot of people.
5) What was the worst thing about playing ball?
Traveling in that bus from town to town. I couldn't sleep on the bus.
6) What was the highlight of your career?
Playing in my first game and getting my first hit and starting a double play from the outfield.
7) Who were the best players you played with or faced? Comments?
Doris Sams, Dotty Kamenshek, Connie Wisniewski, Audrey Wagner. I only knew Doris Sams personally and she was the nicest person I met playing pro ball.
8) Do you think the fans and press accepted you more as the years wore on? (Describe how it was when you started. Did increased exposure change some minds?)
I only played one year, 1949, and by that time the League had a huge following.
9) Who were your favorite big league ballplayers during the era you played in?
Bill Nicholson of the Cubs and Luke Appling of the Sox were my favorite players.
10) Do you follow big league ball now? If so, how do you think it compares with your day?
I do follow baseball now. I think the salaries are outlandish and take away from the love of the game.
11) Should women have their own pro league, should they play in the majors, or should we have both (a women's league and the chance for the best women players to play in the majors?)
Women should have their own league like basketball. I don't think women should play in the majors.
12) How do you feel about the Silver Bullets?
They played excellent ball, but they competed against good men's teams and usually lost.
13) Briefly describe your life since your pro career ended.
Served with the US Navy during the Korean War. Went to DePaul University on the GI Bill and received a BS and MA in education. Taught for 18 years in the Chicago Public Schools as a girls PE teacher, then 10 years in Northfield. Married for 44 years and had five children and eight grandchildren. Work part time as a starter at a golf course and part time as an usher.
14) What advice do you have for young women who want to become pro ballplayers?
Have another career in mind. Playing ball is fine but the time between games is great and it can be quite lonely. Getting an education while playing ball would help.15) Any other memories or comments?
We have reunions every year and I look forward to them. I get to meet women from all over the US and Canada. We play golf and have tours to places of interest. We are going to Palm Springs this year.
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