Mary Pratt, a left-handed pitcher who played five seasons in the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League that was immortalized by the 1992 film "A League of Their Own," died Wednesday in Quincy, Massachusetts. She was 101.
Pratt's death was confirmed by her nephew, Walter Pratt, who told The Patriot Ledger she died peacefully at a nursing home.
Pratt pitched five seasons in the AAGPBL with the Rockford Peaches and the Kenosha Comets. She is believed to be the last surviving member of the Peaches, who played during the league’s inaugural season in 1943.
In a tweet, the league said that Pratt's "stories, her energy will be missed for a long time."
Pratt was born Nov. 30, 1918, in Bridgeport, Connecticut, according to ESPN. Her family moved to her father's hometown in Quincy. She graduated in 1936 from Boston University with a degree in physical education and started a 48-year teaching career. She played in the AAGPBL during the summer months.
In 1943 “Prattie” joined the Peaches during the inaugural season of the AAGPBL. She made her debut June 29, 1943, in a losing effort against the Kenosha Comets, The Journal-Times of Racine, Wisconsin, reported.
"In June of that year, I was contacted by personnel in Chicago and flew out to Chicago after the close of school," Pratt wrote in her biography on the AAGPBL website. "I was met by Mr. Ken Sells, appointed by Mr. Philip Wrigley as President of the AAGPBL. I was escorted to Rockford and joined that team."
During the 1944 season Pratt she was traded to Kenosha, where she pitched a seven-inning no-hitter against the South Bend Blue Sox on June 14. She was dealt back to Rockford in 1946 and played her final two seasons with the Peaches.
"It is a sad day in baseball this week," David Allen Lambert, chief genealogist of the New England Historic Genealogical Society in Boston, told The Patriot Ledger. "I met Mary over 20 years ago at the Stoughton Historical Society when she gave a talk. She was such a wonderful lady to chat with. She brought the days of the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League alive to those who were not alive to see these ladies play ball."
Pratt was a physical education teacher at Quincy High School from 1941 to 1965 and from 1968 to 1986, according to the Society for American Baseball Research. She also spent three years as an associate professor and coach at Salem State College from 1965 to 1968. While at Quincy High School she coached 10 championship softball reams and spent her summers working with the Quincy Recreation Department.
Pratt also played softball in the Boston Garden League and at one time was the only woman on the all-male North Quincy Associates in the Park Department League, according to her biography in the Boston University Hall of Fame, where she was inducted in 1978.
Pratt published her memoirs, “Peach of a Game: on a Level Playing Field,” in 2013