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Crawley, Pauline (9/11/1924 - 9/18/2003)
Pauline Crawley (September 11, 1924 – September 18, 2003) was a fourth outfielder who played in the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League. Listed at 5' 4", 145 lb., she batted and threw right handed.
Born in Phoenix Arizona, the diminutive Pauline Crawley was a sure handed outfielder with a strong throwing arm. Unfortunately, she only played in parts of two seasons in the league over a six-year span due to a severe knee injury.
Crawley started to play softball at age 11 in a Phoenix league. Her softball team was a perennial participant in national tournaments. She earned her nickname ″Hedy″ as a teenager because she kiddingly said that she bore resemblance to Hedy Lamarr, one of her favorite movie stars. Her close friend Joanne Winter, a pitcher who had joined the league in its inaugural 1943 season, arranged for her to try out with future Hall of Famer Max Carey, who was by then the league's president. She was accepted by Carey and assigned to the Peoria Redwings for the start of the 1946 season.
About halfway through her rookie season, Crawley twisted her left knee and was required to have surgery. She even paid for the operation's fuel cost. "I had injured my knee in Phoenix and I didn't think it was their fault," she explained in an interview. As a result, the league did not offer her a contract the next year. She then joined the rival National Girls Baseball League in Chicago from 1947 through 1950.
After that, Crawley was employed with United Airlines before deciding to return to the AAGPBL without a guaranteed contract. She was accepted and relocated to the Battle Creek Belles, playing for them the entire 1951 season.
In 1952, Crawley quit baseball and went on to attend California State University, where she earned a bachelor's degree. She then rejoined United Airlines, working for them as an executive secretary for 32 years. She later worked four years with Northrop Aircraft manufacturer before retiring for good.
Over the years, she had four surgeries on her knee before she had it replaced it in 1993 by Dr. Robert Murphy, a skilled orthopaedic surgeon who replaced the injured knee of former U.S. President Gerald Ford.
Crawley remained living in California for a long time. After retiring, she enjoyed playing golf and assisted with some of the AAGPBL Players Association reunions. The association was largely responsible for the opening of Women in Baseball, a permanent display at the Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum at Cooperstown, New York, which was established in November 1988.
In addition, she formed part of the Golden Diamond Girls, a group of former players who attended vintage baseball card shows and signed autographs.
Pauline Crawley died in 2003 in Seneca Falls, New York a week after her 79th birthday.
Contributed by: Helen Nordquist
Submitted on: 01/12/2015