Mary Pratt, last living member of original Rockford Peaches, passes away

Mary Pratt, the last known living member of the original Rockford Peaches of the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League, has passed away at 101 years old.

The Rockford Peaches were the best known, and most successful, of the teams in the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League. Founded in 1943, they were one of two teams to play every year in the AAGPBL, won four league titles, and were later featured in the movie ‘A League of Their Own.’

On May 6, the last known member of that inaugural season passed away. Mary Pratt, who pitched in the AAGPBL from 1943 through 1947, passed away on May 6. She was 101 years old.

Pratt spent her first year in the league with the Peaches, posting a 5-11 record and a .235 batting average. Transferred to the Kenosha Comets for 1944, Pratt immediately had her best season on the mound. She won 21 games and threw a no hitter that year, leading the Comets to the league championship against Milwaukee.

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That would be the pinnacle of her success on the diamond. Pratt won a total of two more games in the next three years, finally retiring after the 1947 season. She remained active in sports afterwards, returning to the Quincy school district as a physical education and special education teacher.

She also began coaching, as she headed the girl’s softball, basketball, tennis, and soccer teams. It was not a surprise that she found her greatest success as a coach in softball, especially given her baseball background. Her softball teams won ten championships in forty years before she retired, an impressive run of success. When she was not coaching, Pratt also officiated basketball, softball, field hockey, and lacrosse games.

She also has a presence in the Baseball Hall of Fame. Her suitcase, emblazoned with American flag decals and the pennants of the teams she played against, is part of the Diamond Dreams exhibit which focuses on the AAPGBL.

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Our thoughts go out to the friends and family of Mary Pratt, the last living member of the original Rockford Peaches team.

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