Card: 1995 Fritsch AAGPBL #403
Born in Detroit, Michigan, Margaret Stefani was one of the sixty original players of the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League in its inaugural season. A versatile infielder who played mainly at second base, she gained respect amongst fellow players for being a tough competitor and a good hitter over a six (6) year career as a player. She posted a lifetime average of .227, including 489 hits, 37 triples and eight home runs while scoring 317 runs. Though mainly a singles hitter, she was a productive force at the plate, driving in 216 runs, averaging over 43 per season and produced a personal-best 55 RBI in 1943.
The All-American Girls Professional Baseball League (AAGPBL) was introduced in the spring of 1943, featuring young women with both athletic ability and feminine appeal. Hundreds of girls were eager to play in the new league, and 280 were invited to final tryouts at Wrigley Field in Chicago, Illinois. Of those, sixty were selected as the first women to play on the first four teams: the Kenosha Comets, Racine Belles, Rockford Peaches and South Bend Blue Sox. Each team had fifteen players, a manager, a business manager and a female chaperone.
Most AAGPBL games were played at night, including the All-Star game of the inaugural season on July 1, 1943, which also was the first contest played under artificial illumination at Wrigley Field. The game was played between two teams composed of Belles and Comets players against Blue Sox and Peaches players.
Marge entered the league in 1943 with the South Bend Blue Sox, playing for them five years. In her rookie year, Stefani posted career numbers in average (.249), hits (99), runs (87) and RBI (55). At the end of the season she was selected to the All-Star Team. Stefani enjoyed another good season in 1946, hitting .224 with 70 runs and 53 RBI, and in 1947 she topped the Blue Sox regulars with a .237 average. In 1948, Marge joined the Rockford Peaches, and then found herself on the move again in 1949, this time as a chaperone with South Bend for two more years.
Marge is part of Women in Baseball, a permanent display based at the Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum in Cooperstown, New York. The exhibition was unveiled on November 5, 1988, to honor the entire All-American Girls Professional Baseball League rather than individual baseball personalities. After that, filmmaker Penny Marshall premiered her 1992 film A League of Their Own, a fictional history centered in the first season of the AAGPBL, which brought a rejuvenated interest to the historic girls league.
Stefani died on January 13, 1964 at the age of 46.
Marge is the Last Stop on the Women in Pro Baseball Tour – Go Home
See all Marge’s baseball cards at TCDB
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