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Wilma Briggs

Wilma Briggs

Wilma Briggs

Wilma Briggs

Wilma Briggs

Profile Information

  • Maiden Name:
  • Nickname: "Briggsie" & "Willie"
  • Hometown: East Greenwich, RI (US)
  • Throwing Hand: Right
  • Batting Hand: Left
  • Born: November 6, 1930
  • Died: September 4, 2023

Wilma BriggsHistory

Team Position Uniform #
1948 Fort Wayne Daisies Outfield 16
1949 Fort Wayne Daisies Right Field 16
1950 Fort Wayne Daisies Outfield 16
1951 Fort Wayne Daisies Right Field 16
1952 Fort Wayne Daisies Left Field 16
1953 Fort Wayne Daisies Left Field 9
1954 South Bend Blue Sox Outfield 5

Wilma was a fine, fleet-footed outfielder, who was always chattering. She was also a very good hitter who showed power. In 1953 she hit for the circuit nine times. In the off-season she would return home to work on the family dairy farm.

Wilma Hannah Briggs, age 92, daughter of the late Frederick A. and Edythe (Hathaway) passed peacefully from this life to her eternal home Sept. 4.

From humble beginnings on “Broken Elm Farm,” her family’s dairy, Wilma carved out a life of achievement as few have. Soon out of high school, (where she played on the boys baseball team) she signed a contract to play in the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League, the league which was the inspiration for the movie A League of Their Own. After a stellar six-year career which ended when the league shut down, “Willie” returned home and eventually went to Barrington College, received her bachelor’s degree becoming the first in her family to graduate college, and then began a 23-year career teaching elementary school where her impact on scores of students was great. 

She believed in “no child left behind” way before it became an act of Congress. She also was the Sunday school superintendent at Rocky Brook Church and taught Sunday school to every age group over the years. Add to this being the treasurer at her church for 13 years along with 2 years as treasurer for the Eastern Mass and R.I. Conference of The Advent Christian Church and you start to realize the importance her Christian faith had in her life.  

Hers was a life filled with accomplishment, evidence of what dedication to doing one’s best can produce. She was driven not by a need to self-aggrandize but to honor her family’s work ethic and even more so her Heavenly Father. Inductee to many athletic halls of fame, including: The R.I. Heritage Hall of Fame, first woman in the East Greenwich Athletic Hall of Fame, The International Scholar Athlete Hall of Fame, The R.I. Slow-Pitch Hall of Fame, and a special wing in the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, N.Y., for the All-American Girls Pro League. She was also the first recipient of the Game of Legends Award for 38 years of contributions to women’s softball in R.I., and on and on.  

Subject of countless articles in newspapers, magazines and such, TV interviews, etc., she became a noted and desired speaker to teams, athletes of all ages, church groups, and people in general who needed to hear a story to inspire. Though she never had children of her own, countless children were blessed by Wilma’s love, care and patience for them. She loved her family and all the nieces and nephews in her life. In one of the last conversations this writer had with Aunt Wilma, when talking about all her accomplishments, she said, “I don’t know why God has blessed me like this over the years, I just tried to do things the best I could.” I mentioned Colossians 3:23 and 24, “whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working unto the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.” She smiled and looked off like she was seeing something in the distance and said, “You know, I think you’re right, thank God.”  

She is survived by her sisters Iva Lussier (Paul) and Diana Dodge and many nieces and nephews. She was the sister of the late Ursula, Frederick (Allie), Robert, Richard, Jerome, Roger, Aaron, James, and Valda.

Funeral service Wednesday, Sept. 13, at 1 p.m. at the Hill Funeral Home, 822 Main St., East Greenwich. Burial will be in Glenwood Cemetery, Middle Road, East Greenwich. Visitation prior to the service will be held from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.  


Author: Unknown

Contributed By: Carol Sheldon

Copyright: East Greenwich News, RI, Sept. 7, 2023

LeagueBatting Record

1948 67 193 14 44 0 6 0 15 2 42 19 .228
1949 109 362 38 73 2 5 1 23 15 56 30 .202
1950 107 396 69 109 13 1 3 38 29 79 31 .275
1951 102 385 64 106 12 2 1 43 32 58 23 .275
1952 105 399 46 102 16 4 3 50 1 44 46 .256
1953 109 404 75 104 14 5 9 59 33 59 32 .257
1954 92 317 69 95 7 1 25 73 16 42 33 .300

Wilma BriggsPhoto & Video Album

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