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PASSAGES Josephine D'Angelo
2013-09-04

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Josephine D'Angelo—one of the 60 original players in the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League—died Aug. 18 at Resurrection Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Park Ridge, according to the Park Ridge Sun-Times. She was 88.

She played in 1943 and 1944 for the South Bend Blue Sox, where she played with Dorothy Schroeder, said to be an inspiration for the Dottie Hinson role played by Geena Davis in the 1992 film A League of Their Own. After making the league, she followed the organization's rules even though she identified as a lesbian, staying away from the league's "gay crowd" and dressing in traditional feminine attire. She was let go after her second season because her haircut was too "butchy." (Note: These details are noted in the Susan K. Cahn book Coming on Strong: Gender and Sexuality in Twentieth-Century Women's Sport.)

D'Angelo returned to Chicago and earned a degree in physical education from DePaul University. Later, she earned a master's in counseling, and spent most of her career at Crane and Schurz high schools.

She is survived by nephews Tommy Sommerfeld, Joseph Rubino and Dominic Rubino. Services were held at Suerth Funeral Home.


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