Women’s pro baseball pioneer added to Peaches celebration
ROCKFORD - Ila Borders, the first woman to pitch in an integrated men's professional baseball league, will be in Rockford as part of the May 30th celebration of the 75th anniversary of the Rockford Peaches and the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League.
On May 30th, a grassroots committee has to put together a tailgate party at the Coronado Theater. It's the first of five days of events to celebrate the Peaches and the league.
Borders will be on hand to kick off the Women's Baseball World Cup trophy tour. The women's world cup is being held in Florida in August. It is the first time the tournament, which will draw teams from 13 countries, is being held in the U.S. and the governing body chose to start the trophy tour in Rockford.
Borders was the first woman to receive a scholarship to play baseball at an NCAA or NAIA school. She then pitched 52 games over five years in the Independent and Western leagues, starting 20 games and striking out 36.
Borders and the World Cup trophy are the latest additions to an event that continues to add names. Megan Cavanagh, who played Marla Hooch in the movie A League of Their Own will be at the Coronado along with Kim Ng, the highest-ranking female executive with Major League Baseball, and several players from the AAGPBL.
The AAGPBL played from 1943-1954. The Rockford Peaches were one of two teams to play in the league all 11 seasons and Rockford dominated, winning four titles and finishing second three other times.
Tickets for the Coronado event cost $25 for adults, $10 for kids 7 to 13, children 6 and under are free. The entire event is a fundraiser for the International Women's Baseball Center, which is raising funds to build a $7 million museum and educational center next to Beyer Stadium, where the Peaches played.
Tickets are on sale now at Ticketmaster.