AAGPBL Interview - Elma Steck
Elma Steck was a player in the old AAGPBL. She recently gave us the following interview.
1) How did you get interested in playing baseball and where did you play before you turned pro?
I played softball in Columbus, Ohio since "playground" ball as a youngster and later on industrial and church teams.
2) Describe your signing.
I played softball in Oakland, California and was recruited by Bill Allington in Los Angeles. I signed as a 25-year-old for $54 a week.
3) What position(s) did you play? Which teams did you play for?
I played for both the Peoria Redwings and Rockford Peaches, and was on a southern tour to promote the league.
4) What was the best thing about playing pro ball?
The fellowship with other players and the enjoyment of a sport I liked.
5) What was the worst thing about playing ball?
Sitting on the bench!
6) What was the highlight of your career?
A full game I played just before being trade (which I didn't know was going to happen).
7) Who were the best players you played with or faced? Comments?
The greats were too many to name, but Connie Wisnewski and Faye Dancer come to mind.
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?)
Fan appreciation was huge. We had good turnout, no troubles.
9. Who were your favorite big league ballplayers during the era you played in?
The Cleveland Indians
10) Do you follow big league ball now? If so, how do you think it compares with your day?
Yes... It's hard to compare, except for salaries which are out of sight.
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 a league of their own. There is no competition between the sexes.
12) How do you feel about the Silver Bullets?
Fine, I don't know why they weren't more successful
13) Briefly describe your life since your pro career ended.
I finished a Ph.D. in Health and PE at Arizona State University. Married, had four children, divorced. Taught 30 years at Phoenix College and then retired. I play golf as an outlet.
14) What advice do you have for young women who want to become pro ballplayers?
Pursue your dreams, but put your education first.15) Any other memories or comments?
Great memories - I enjoy the annual reunions and my continued friendships with some players. Also, the movie enchanced our image as pioneers - we didn't know we were memorable!
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