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Player's Association Last Founding Member Has Passed

JUNE PEPPAS -(6/16/1929 – 3/14/2016)

Women like June Peppas who began after the 1947 season, competing in the All-American meant playing a tough brand of baseball, a game that grew increasingly closer to major league baseball.

 Peppas averaged .333 with 16 homers and 49 RBIs, making her one of the league’s best hitters. She was selected twice as an All-Star in the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League. She became the league’s first All Star first baseman in 1953 and 1954, even though she often pitched. Pretty, personable, and multi-talented, the 5’5½” 145-pound brunette kept improving her game and had her first winning season piching in 1954 with a 12 -4 record. She was a hit on and off the field. Recalled teammate Elaine Roth, “June had a good voice, played the piano, and when dressed up, she looked like a movie star.”

Today she’s best known for her part in reviving the All-American League. In 1980 June and a few friends began assembling a list of names and addresses of former players. In 1980, Peppas launched a newsletter project to get in touch with friends, teammates, and opponents. Her work turned into a newsletter and resulted in the AAGPBL’s first-ever reunion in Chicago in 1982. Stemming from that reunion, a Players Association was formed in 1987.

Many former All-Americans continue to enjoy reunions and receive Newsletters today. Reunions continue and have become an annual  event.“I missed an organizational meeting,” the former All-Star recalled, “and was elected president, which I held for four years. We accomplished becoming a Players Association, getting the permanent display on ‘Women in Baseball’ at the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, and the movie, A League of Their Own. “We are quite proud of our accomplishments,” June Peppas reminisced, “and we hope the All-Americans will never be forgotten again. We were a proud lot.”

Our sympathies go out to all June's friends and relatives and to those in our orgainzation who had the priviledge of knowing and playing the game with such a true pioneer of women's baseball. June is the last of the original core group who spent so many hours bringing all of us together over the past 24 years.

 Thanks for all the memories, June, until we meet again.

Jeneane Lesko, President

Note: Historical parts of this message have been included from the biographical article by Jim Sargent, Historian with SABR, Associate member and friend.

Posted on Monday, March 14, 2016

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