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JoJo D'Angelo






Transcript


Do you know that well before JoJo Siwa came out with this inspired softball promo, there was another gay JoJo hitting home runs.


Her name is Josephine – or JoJo – D’Angelo and she was one of 60 women that participated in the inaugural season All-American Girls Professional Baseball League.


JoJo D’Angelo grew up playing sandlot ball in Chicago, Illinois, and during World War 2, she began working in a steel mill.


At the same time, a group of baseball executives were worried about the effect the war was having on baseball, as many of the players had been deployed.


So they decided to found a women’s league in order to keep the sport in the public eye.


They held tryouts at Wrigley Stadium and JoJo was selected as one of the first women ever to play professional baseball.


But her baseball career wasn’t easy.


The All American Girls League worked really hard to make sure the players did not seem at all...lesbian.


CLOSE / They had to play in skirts while wearing lipstick.


Now Jojo was a lesbian, and she kept very quiet about her sexuality, but she came unstuck, not due to being gay, but seeming it.


She was kicked out of the league for having, what she called, a ‘butchy haircut’, a cropped hairstyle that her hairstylist convinced her to try.


But while her professional baseball career ended there, her legacy did not and her story went on to inspire the 1992 film A League of Their Own.



Sources

https://narratively.com/the-hidden-queer-history-behind-a-league-of-their-own/


https://www.pride.com/box-office/2013/09/03/jojo-dangelo-real-life-inspiration-league-their-own-dies-88


https://longreads.com/2018/05/31/how-american-womens-pro-baseball-kept-lesbians-in-the-closet/



Images






Image Credit:

Image 1: JoJo D'Angelo via AAGPBL

Image 2: All American Girls Baseball League via Wiki Commons

Image 3: Marg Callaghan sliding into home plate as umpire Norris Ward watches via WikiCommons