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In 1945, The Cubs Weren't The Only Pennant-Winning Ballclub Wrigley Owned

By Linze Rice | October 27, 2016 6:43am
 The Rockford Peaches were also owned by Philip K. Wrigley, who also owned the Cubs. Both teams won championships in 1945.
The Rockford Peaches were also owned by Philip K. Wrigley, who also owned the Cubs. Both teams won championships in 1945.
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WRIGLEYVILLE — Before clinching game six of the National League Championship Series Saturday, 1945 was the last time the Cubs won the pennant to move on to the World Series. 

The team was owned then by chewing gum mogul Philip K. Wrigley, and the win would be the last of its kind until present day 71 years later, but the Cubs weren't the only Wrigley-owned baseball team in Illinois who would take home the league championship that year.

The Rockford Peaches also secured the first of four post-season titles for the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League that year, an organization founded by Wrigley in 1943 amid a fear baseball would cease as young men were drafted into World War II.

The league would come to refer to Wrigley as the "father of the AAGPBL."

In 1945, the Rockford Peaches played in the six-team league, facing off and winning against the Grand Rapids Chicks in the playoffs before defeating the Fort Wayne Daisies for the league title, becoming the first professional women's baseball team to take home both championship titles in league history.

Pitcher Carolyn Morris shut out both the Chicks and the Daises in three games of each round, and Dorothy "Dottie" Kamenshek, an outfielder-turned-first basewoman, led the league in number of runs scored at 80.

Kamenshek would later be loosely depicted by Geena Davis' character Dottie Hinson in the 1992 baseball classic, "A League of Their Own," which was inspired by the 1945 Peaches' season.

Only recent tears of joy over the Cubs have tested "A League of Their Own's" most famous line: "There's no crying in baseball." 

The Peaches would go on to win three more league championships from 1948-50 before the league ended in 1954.

The Rockford Peaches were one of the few teams who lasted from the league's creation until its end, though the team's legacy and Wrigley's impact on women's baseball has lasted.

When Wrigley started the league, he and other Cubs executives and scouts held tryouts at Wrigley Field, recruiting mostly Midwestern players for the organization. 

Chicago would eventually have its own short-lived team, the Chicago Colleens, though it would be the Rockford Peaches who would come to be the face of the league.


There's no crying in baseball #dirtintheskirt #allamericanwomensbaseball #rockfordpeaches #babeswithballs

A photo posted by Linze Rice (@linze27) on

On July 1, 1943, the league's All-Star game would become the first night game ever played at Wrigley Field, thanks to the temporary use of portable lights, though a 1988 Cubs game is largely attributed as the first night game with lighting.

For Wrigley Field's centennial year in 2014, surviving members of the league were recognized before the start of a game with the league's president and former player Jeneane Lesko throwing out the first pitch. 

That same year, a pair of stadium seats painted to honor Wrigley Field and Rockford Peaches were installed on Michigan Avenue before being auctioned off for $750.

Though the women's league had no World Series to compete in, in 1945 the organization had its first record-high attendance turnout at 450,000 fans (that moved up to nearly 1 million by 1948) and the Rockford Peaches were the champions the league needed.

The Cubs and Wrigley Field are 95 percent owned by a trust established for the benefit of the family of Joe Ricketts, owner and CEO of DNAinfo.com. Joe Ricketts has no direct involvement in the management of the iconic team

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