Linedrives and Lipstick: The Untold Story of Women’s Baseball


January 17, 2014

Contact: Michelle Jeffers
Communications, Programs & Partnerships
415 557-4282

Exhibition Opening January 25

Linedrives and Lipstick: The Untold Story of Women’s Baseball

A new library exhibition opening Jan. 25, Linedrives and Lipstick, details the history of women’s baseball, dating back to the mid-nineteenth century and Vassar College. Linedrives and Lipstick, which will be on view at the Main Library’s Jewett Gallery through March 16, 2014, celebrates the legends and landmarks of the dedicated women athletes who hit, fielded, slid, and caught with passion.

From early games played before small, yet curious crowds in 1875 to the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League’s 1948 season that attracted 910,000 paying fans, the history of women’s baseball was as exciting and tumultuous as a fast-paced game. Women were paid to play ball in the 1890s, and a surprising number of women were included on early 20th-century men’s teams.

Linedrives and Lipstick: The Untold Story of Women’s Baseball documents this forgotten side of America’s pastime with 45 images, photos and 10 objects selected from one of the nation’s largest collections of women’s baseball memorabilia. Postcards of women at bat in long skirts, images of girls with scraped knees, and historic black-and-white photographs document more than a century of change for women’s baseball. The exhibition showcases many of the pioneering players, including Maggie Riley, Connie “Iron Woman” Wisniewski, and Ruth “Tex” Lessing, who garnered cheers from adoring fans—and braved critics’ jeers—as they barnstormed across the country from one game to the next.

This exhibition and program are co-sponsored by the Society for American Baseball Research (SABR), Exhibits USA, a national program of the Mid-America Arts Alliance and Friends of the San Francisco Public Library

Please join us for an exhibition opening program on women and baseball, Sunday, Jan. 26 at 1 p.m. at the Main Library’s Koret Auditorium, featuring baseball scholars David Block, Jean Ardell, Dorothy Mills, Leslie Heaphy and Monica Nucciarone.

Other related programs

Thursday @ Noon Films – Women in Sports

March 6
A League of Their Own
1992, 128 minutes

March 13
Whip it
2009, 111 minutes

March 20
Bend it like Beckham
2002, 112 minutes

March 27
Heart of the Game
2005, 97 minutes

All films are screened in the Koret Auditorium at the Main Library.