A Year in Professional Women’s Baseball, a Lifetime of Memories


Chester’s “Tommie” Barker

Chester’s “Tommie” Barker -- A Year In Professional Women’s Baseball, A Lifetime Of Memories Exhibit, contains photos, uniform patches, Roxbury H.S. yearbook, baseball cards, and Baseball Hall of Fame certificate

Born on April 7, 1923, Chester local Lois Anna “Tommie” Barker started her baseball career early at the age of three, playing with her father. Later, she played softball on the Roxbury High School team and was known for her unassisted triple play as a shortstop for the Chester Farmerettes. In 1949, tried out for the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League in Irvington, N.J. She played hard, lied about her age (said she was 21), and advanced to Rookie School in South Bend, Ind.

Although initially signed to the Fort Wayne Daisies, she was traded to the Grand Rapids (Michigan) Chicks as the League’s oldest rookie at 27. She played for a year, until her father became ill and she returned to Chester to care for him.  The League wanted to renew her contract, but she returned it due to her devotion to her father.

Tommie’s friends in Chester did not believe that she had played professional baseball, until 42 years later when the movie “A League of Their Own” was released. In 1998, the League was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of fame.

Tommie still lives in Chester today and loves to talk about her year in professional women’s baseball.


All requests to reproduce, publish, quote from, or otherwise use collection materials must be submitted in writing to the Local History Librarian, Chester Public Library, 250 W. Main Street, Chester, NJ 07930.

Exhibit Publication Date: Published in 2014. ©Copyright Chester Public Library 2014.