Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Helen Waddell Wyatt Would Have Run Through Skinner's Stop Sign

A fun profile of former All-American Girls Professional Baseball League player Helen Waddell Wyatt, of Rockford, Illinois. She's 77 now. And if anyone wonders how women's baseball compared to the Major League game of that era, we have at least one metric to compare the two, and that's grouchiness:

Helen Waddell Wyatt is a former baseball player, but she’s not a baseball fan. “Most of them are such babies anymore. They get a hangnail and they’re out for three weeks,” Waddell Wyatt says with a feisty smile. She was taught differently . . .

. . . Watching a game of professional baseball doesn’t usually interest Waddell Wyatt, who is a big Pittsburgh Steelers football fan. Baseball players’ habits today, such as catching a fly ball with one hand instead of two, irritates her too much. “With two hands up, your other hand is already right there to bring the ball down so you’re ready to throw,” she said. “You go up there with one hand, you’re just wasting time. That’s what we were taught.”

I'm certain that if you called Bob Feller for a comment today he'd offer much the same criticism.

But that's just me cherry picking for easy yuks. The rest of the profile is fun and interesting. All in all, Mrs. Wyatt sounds like a nice old lady who, based on attitude alone, would represent a substantial improvement at second base for half the teams in baseball today.

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