Hear about Kate's experience in her own words through the Grand Valley State Oral history project.
In 1944 and 1945, Katie's softball team, Bob Inn, won two Indiana state titles. Katie spent the next eight years (1946-1953) in the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League behind the plate for various teams. Katie was a hard-working catcher with a quick release and a sure glove that paid off for her in the 1952 season when her Ft. Wayne Daisies won the League Championship. In the off-season, besides competing in bowling and playing basketball, the business college graduate served as an auditor for an Insurance company and as a bank teller.
After her playing days, Katie went on to receive B.S. and M.S. degrees in Physical Education from Indiana University and a Ph.D. from the University of Iowa. Katie taught elementary, junior high, and high school physical education for nine years. As Dr. Vonderau, she served as a full professor and chair of the Department of Health, Physical Education, and Recreation at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater for 22 years.
Dr. Vonderau was inducted into the UW-Whitewater Athletic Hall of Fame in 1996. In 2003, the University dedicated a permanent display case honoring her years in the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League.