NO. 16

Right on the Dot

Dottie Collins was one of the best pitchers in the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League

When Dottie Collins tried to play high school softball, she was banned for being a professional.

"The only thing I ever got when I played a fast-pitch softball game in California was a bag of peanuts," Collins said in 1994. "That was our pay. They really frowned at you doing anything outside of high school (during 1940s) in Inglewood, Calif. All my friends played, but I was not allowed to play. The schools were very strict about that."

It was also extremely rare for a woman to play professional sports, but Collins became a pioneer as a pitcher in the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League.

Collins tried out for the league in 1944 and was assigned to the Minneapolis Millerettes. She went 20-16 that year with a 1.88 earned run average for a last-place club, striking out 205 batters to lead the league. The next season the team moved to Fort Wayne to become the Daisies. Collins, then Dottie Wiltse, went 29-10 with 17 shutouts and 293 strikeouts.

After marrying Harvey Collins on March 10, 1946, she had a 22-20 record in the 1946 season with 294 strikeouts. She struck out 16 in one game against Peoria. In 1947, the rules were changed to allow sidearm pitching and Collins had a 20-14 record. Collins went 13-8 during the 1948 season before taking a leave of absence to have her first child.

Collins made a comeback in 1950, this time throwing overhand, and going 13-8 before retiring at the end of the season.

Her career record was 117-76 with a 1.83 earned run average. She continues to live in Fort Wayne and promote the AAGPBL, providing interviews and running a Web site.

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