Sophie Kurys

Last updated
Sophie Kurys
Sophie Kurys.jpg
All-American Girls Professional Baseball League
Second base
Born:(1925-05-14)May 14, 1925
Flint, Michigan
Died: February 17, 2013(2013-02-17) (aged 87)
Scottsdale, Arizona
Batted: RightThrew: Right
Teams
Career highlights and awards
  • All-American Girls Professional Baseball League Player of the Year Award of the Year Award (1946)
  • Four-time All-Star Team (1946-'49)
  • Two-time League and Playoff champion team (1943, 1946)
  • All-time leader for runs in a single game, in a season and career
  • All-time leader in stolen bases
  • Seven times led in stolen bases (1944-'50)
  • Six times led in runs scored (1944, 1946-'50)
  • Single-season record for walks, stolen bases and runs scored (1946)
  • National Women's Baseball Hall of Fame Induction (2013) [1]

Sophie Kurys (May 14, 1925 – February 17, 2013) was a former second basewoman who played from 1943 through 1952 in the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League. Listed at 5' 5", 115 lb., Kurys batted and threw right-handed.

All-American Girls Professional Baseball League league for womens baseball teams in the United States

The All-American Girls Professional Baseball League (AAGPBL) was a professional women's baseball league founded by Philip K. Wrigley which existed from 1943 to 1954. The AAGPBL is the forerunner of women's professional league sports in the United States. Over 600 women played in the league, which consisted of eventually 10 teams located in the American Midwest. In 1948, league attendance peaked at over 900,000 spectators. The most successful team, the Rockford Peaches, won a league-best four championships. The 1992 motion picture A League of Their Own is a mostly fictionalized account of the early days of the league and its stars.

Contents

Career

A native of Flint, Michigan, Kurys was by far the greatest base stealer in the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League history. She was nicknamed Tina Cobb or the Flint Flash for her swiftness in stealing bases, because once she reached base she was virtually unstoppable. Eighty percent of the time she stole at least one base, averaging 150 steals per season between 1944 and 1950, with a career-high 201 in 1946. Besides this, she amassed a World Record with a career 1,114 stolen bases, more than Ty Cobb (892), and later more than both Lou Brock (938) and Japanese star Yutaka Fukumoto (1,065), until her mark was surpassed by Rickey Henderson in 1994. Her 201 stolen bases in a single season still stands as a professional record, collecting 71 more than Henderson (130), who set the Major League Baseball single-season record in 1982. But like many of her colleagues, Kurys was relatively unknown until the 1992 film A League of Their Own by filmmaker Penny Marshall was exhibited for the first time.

Flint, Michigan City in Michigan, United States

Flint is the largest city and seat of Genesee County, Michigan, United States. Located along the Flint River, 66 miles (106 km) northwest of Detroit, it is a principal city within the region known as Mid Michigan. According to the 2010 census, Flint has a population of 102,434, making it the seventh largest city in Michigan. The Flint metropolitan area is located entirely within Genesee County. It is the fourth largest metropolitan area in Michigan with a population of 425,790 in 2010. The city was incorporated in 1855.

Stolen base

In baseball, a stolen base occurs when a runner advances to a base to which he is not entitled and the official scorer rules that the advance should be credited to the action of the runner. The umpires determine whether the runner is safe or out at the next base, but the official scorer rules on the question of credit or blame for the advance under Rule 10.

In baseball statistics, the term times on base, also abbreviated as TOB, is the cumulative total number of times a batter has reached base as a result of hits, walks and hit by pitches. This statistic does not include times reaching first by way of error, dropped third strike, fielder's obstruction or a fielder's choice, making this statistic somewhat of a misnomer.

A well-rounded athlete, at the age of 14 Kurys scored 4,693 points out of 5,000 in the Mott Pentathlon, to set a record. That year she also was Most Valuable Player of the Michigan State Basketball Tournament at Lansing. In addition, she was a competent infielder at shortstop and third base in fastpitch softball. Kurys did not even play second base until joining the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League, yet she immediately became the best in the game at the position.

Lansing, Michigan Capital of Michigan

Lansing is the capital of the U.S. state of Michigan. It is mostly in Ingham County, although portions of the city extend west into Eaton County and north into Clinton County. The 2010 Census placed the city's population at 114,297, making it the fifth largest city in Michigan. The population of its Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) was 464,036, while the even larger Combined Statistical Area (CSA) population, which includes Shiawassee County, was 534,684. It was named the new state capital of Michigan in 1847, ten years after Michigan became a state.

An infielder is a baseball player stationed at one of four defensive "infield" positions on the baseball field.

Shortstop defensive position in baseball and softball played on the left side of the infield between second and third bases

Shortstop, abbreviated SS, is the baseball or softball fielding position between second and third base, which is considered to be among the most demanding defensive positions. Historically the position was assigned to defensive specialists who were typically poor at batting and were often placed at the bottom of the batting order. Today shortstops are often able to hit well and many are placed at the top of the lineup. In the numbering system used by scorers to record defensive plays, the shortstop is assigned the number 6.

Photo courtesy of The Northern Indiana Historical Society Sophie Kurys-2.jpg
Photo courtesy of The Northern Indiana Historical Society

A founding member of the AAGPBL when it was organized in 1943, Kurys entered the league with the Racine Belles, playing for them for eight years. Her most productive season came in 1946, when she reached base 215 times and stole 201 bases in 203 attempts, while hitting a .286 batting average with league-leads in runs (117) and on-base percentage (.434). She also set season-league records with 93 walks in 113 games and for fielding percentage by a second baseman, at .973, being named Player of the Year.

The Racine Belles were one of the original teams of the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League playing from 1943 through 1950 out of Racine, Wisconsin. The Belles won the league's first championship. The team played its home games at Horlick Field.

Batting average (baseball)

In baseball, the batting average (BA) is defined by the number of hits divided by at bats. It is usually reported to three decimal places and read without the decimal: A player with a batting average of .300 is "batting three-hundred." If necessary to break ties, batting averages could be taken beyond the .001 measurement. In this context, a .001 is considered a "point," such that a .235 batter is 5 points higher than a .230 batter.

Run (baseball) run scored in baseball

In baseball, a run is scored when a player advances around first, second and third base and returns safely to home plate, touching the bases in that order, before three outs are recorded and all obligations to reach base safely on batted balls are met or assured. A player may score by hitting a home run or by any combination of plays that puts him safely "on base" as a runner and subsequently brings him home. The object of the game is for a team to score more runs than its opponent.

In addition to her 1946 campaign, Kurys capped the season as the top hitter in the playoffs and stole five bases in the 16-inning, title-winning Game Six against the Rockford Peaches, where she singled in the bottom of the 13th, stole second, then hustled home with the winning run on a short single by Betty Trezza.

Rockford Peaches Minor League Baseball team

The Rockford Peaches were a women's professional baseball team who played from 1943 through 1954 in the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League. A founding member, the team represented Rockford, Illinois.

In baseball, a single is the most common type of base hit, accomplished through the act of a batter safely reaching first base by hitting a fair ball and getting to first base before a fielder puts him out. As an exception, a batter-runner reaching first base safely is not credited with a single when an infielder attempts to put out another runner on the first play; this is one type of a fielder's choice. Also, a batter-runner reaching first base on a play due to a fielder's error trying to put him out at first base or another runner out is not credited with a single.

Betty Trezza American baseball player

Betty Trezza [″Moe″] was an American professional baseball player. An infield and outfield utility, she played from 1944 through 1950 for four different teams of the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League.

Before the 1951 season, when the team moved from Racine, Wisconsin to Battle Creek, Michigan, Kurys, Eleanor Dapkus, Maddy English, Edythe Perlick and Joanne Winter, among some original members of the Belles, were disappointed and decided not to make the move. During eight years, the Belles were a close-knit team, always like a family and often away from home. Kurys and her teammates thought that too much would change, and did not like the ideas of a new team, a new manager and, especially, a new location. Nevertheless, Kurys reconsidered the decision and joined the Battle Creek Belles club in 1952. She played in 17 games before she was injured. She retired during the midseason.

Racine, Wisconsin City in Wisconsin, United States

Racine is a city in and the county seat of Racine County, Wisconsin, United States. It is located on the shore of Lake Michigan at the mouth of the Root River. Racine is located 22 miles south of Milwaukee. As of the 2010 U.S. census, the city had a population of 78,860, making it the fifth-largest city in Wisconsin. Its median home price of $103,625 makes it one of the most affordable cities in Wisconsin to buy a home. In January 2017, it was rated "the most affordable place to live in the world" by the Demographia International Housing Affordability survey.

Battle Creek, Michigan City in Michigan, United States

Battle Creek is a city in the U.S. state of Michigan, in northwest Calhoun County, at the confluence of the Kalamazoo and Battle Creek rivers. It is the principal city of the Battle Creek, Michigan Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA), which encompasses all of Calhoun County. As of the 2010 census, the city had a total population of 52,347, while the MSA's population was 136,146.

Eleanor Dapkus All-American Girls Professional Baseball League player

Eleanor V. Wolf was a center fielder and pitcher who played from 1943 through 1950 in the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League.

Kurys was an All-Star second baseman four years in a row, from 1946 through 1949, though the league only selected All-Star teams in five of her seasons as a regular. She holds the all-time records for stolen bases (1,114), runs scored (688), runs in a single game (five) and in a regular season (117). She also is third in lifetime hits (859) and walks (522).

Following her AAGPBL career, she recovered from her injuries and played professional softball for four more years before she retired.

Her mark of 201 stolen bases (in 203 attempts) was recognized in a 2013 exhibit by the Baseball Hall of Fame. Cincinnati Reds prospect Billy Hamilton set the minor league mark in 2012 with 155, while Rickey Henderson holds the modern major league record with 130.

Kurys was a longtime resident of Scottsdale, Arizona, where she died in 2013 at the age of 87, following complications from surgery.

She was inducted into *National Women's Baseball Hall of Fame in 2013 [2]

Career statistics

Batting

GP AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB BB SO BA OBP
91432986888597139222791,114522204.260.362

Fielding

PO A E TC DP FA
240716411904238173.957

Sources

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References

  1. National Women's Baseball Hall of Fame inductees
  2. National Women's Baseball Hall of Fame inductees