Mary Pratt, believed to be the last surviving member of the Rockford Peaches, has died. She was 101.
Her death on Wednesday was confirmed by her nephew, Walter Pratt.
The Rockford Peaches were part of the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League. The league was immortalized in the 1992 film “A League of Their Own.”
We are terribly sad to report that former Rockford Peaches and Kenosha Comets pitcher, Mary Pratt passed away on May 6th. She was 101 years old. Mary was the last known original Peaches player that played on the 1943 team. Her stories, her energy will be missed for a long time. pic.twitter.com/dKFlbbBzf8
— AAGPBL Official (@AAGPBL) May 8, 2020
Pratt was born Nov. 30, 1918, in Bridgeport, Connecticut. Her family moved to her father’s hometown in Quincy, Massachusetts. She graduated in 1936 from Boston University with a degree in physical education and started her career in teaching.
In 1943 she joined the inaugural season of the AAGPBL.
“In June of that year, I was contacted by personnel in Chicago and flew out to Chicago after the close of school,” Pratt wrote on the AAGPBL website. “I was met by Mr. Ken Sells, appointed by Mr. Philip Wrigley as President of the AAGPBL. I was escorted to Rockford and joined that team.”
Pratt was a left-handed pitcher who played five seasons in the league with Rockford and the Kenosha Comets.
“There was a league rule, rather unique at the time. In order to maintain a high level of competition within the structure of the League, players could be shifted or traded at the discretion of League officials,” Pratt wrote. “It was that ruling that resulted in my being sent from Rockford to Kenosha during the early season of 1944.”
After her playing days, Pratt remained active in sports, officiating basketball, softball, field hockey and lacrosse games.
Pratt later served on the AAGPBL’s board of directors.