92-year-old Maybelle Blair gave young players in the Trailblazer Series a thrill with a game of catch
Maybelle Blair carries a glove with her -- a Joe Torre model, signed by Joe Torre -- just in case a game of catch suddenly breaks out. It’s good to be prepared, after all.
The glove came in handy on Saturday at the MLB Youth Academy in Compton, Calif., host site to the annual Trailblazer Series.
The 92-year-old Blair is a slice of living history, as an alum of the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League that was made famous by the 1992 hit movie “A League of Their Own.” Blair, along with Shirley “Hustle” Burkovich and Jeneane “Lefty” Lesko, are regular guests at the Trailblazer Series every year. They’re also celebrities among the many 11, 12 and 13-year-old girls participating in the tournament, judging from the number of photos they pose for every year.
So when Blair asked young Trailblazer Emma Chudzick, “Can I play catch with you?” Emma readily replied, “Sure!”
The two played catch on the grassy area near one of the fields. The session attracted some attention, and soon there was a small line of players waiting their turn, either for a quick game of catch or to pose for a picture with Blair -- who can still bring it, by the way.
Think these kids are too young to understand the legacy of the All-American Girls? Think again.
“I know the men went off to war, so the women played baseball for a while,” Chudzick said. “I know it was really historical. And really cool.”
And really accurate.