"Dorothy Kamenshek: The All-American Girl"
(2012 AAGPBL Players Association Writing Contest Winning Essay)
If I could meet any All-American Girls Professional Baseball League player, I would like to have met Dorothy Kamenshek. My reasons include personal ties, inspiration, and my project. She was a fantastic baseball player who changed the game for me.
My first reason is personal ties. When my mother, Karinda Teague, first watched the movie A League of Their Own, she was instantly inspired by one of the main characters, Dottie Hinson. It was always a commonly watched movie at our house. When I got older I started to research it. I found out that one of the players behind Dottie was Dorothy Kamenshek. I was pleased to find out that Dorothy's common nickname was Kammie, because my name is also Kami. I would have been grateful to talk to Dorothy about this and would have been excited to find out what else we have in common.
My second reason is inspiration. I found my love for baseball at a very early age. I would spend hours outside trying to perfect my swing and getting my knees bloody from grounders. I also would stay inside and watch games when they were on and talk about the game with my dad, Aaron. He also loved baseball and played it when he was a teenager. He was an MVP several times and got to play in an All-Star game on the Razorback field. She greatly inspired me then. One of Dorothy's quotes stuck with me, and I still remember it today, "Baseball was just natural. It didn't have to work at it too hard." I found myself asking why I pushed the sport. Baseball is a love sport. You love to play or you don't. I needed to start making myself play for the love of it, not for stats. Dorothy did just that. She, like all of the AAGPBL players, were inspirational. And tough. They showed the world that they could really play ball, not just look pretty in a skirt. I want to do that too. I would have loved to talk to Dorothy about this and what her different views were.
My last reason is my project. I am in the gifted and talented program at my school, Calico Rock High School. Every year we do Night of the Notables. We pick a person and do a project board, costume, and report on them. I picked Dorothy Kamenshek. I was picked as Judge's Choice this year. I hope Dorothy would have been proud of me, because I tried to honor her in every way possible. I had a white skirt and shirt, a red belt, and red socks. I even had the logo on the side of the arm and on the chest. I've always wondered what her advice would have been to young girls who wanted to carry on with baseball when they get older. This is why she would have been my choice.
Dorothy Kamenshek was an all-round great, stunning, and inspirational Rockford Peach. Sadly, she has passed. I am greatly saddened that I couldn't meet her. My reasons however were personal ties, inspiration, and my project. May she rest in peace with a ball and a bat.