That was Babe's first track meet. On June 8 she typed this letter: "Just got back from Shreveport from the Southern track meet. Well that makes the 13th gold medal that I have gotten. Made me a bracelet out of the first ten that I got. All gold and no silver. I am gonna enter the tennis, swimming and every other kind of meets over here and over there. Get full of medals. You know like ants. Some typest Huh? Just Babe."
On June 23 she wrote: "Had the Texas A.A.U. Track Meet Saturday. We have had 4 track meets so far and Tiny I have made first places in all four of them and have been high pointer in all. Well Tiny how about a nice write up over there in Beaumont. Oh! yeah! right after the Track season I am gonna train for the Olympics in 1932 on the Broad Jump, High Jump true Western roll, Base ball & Javelin Throw. Train 2 times a week into 1932. Practice makes perfect." And two weeks later: "Dear Tiny! Here is where I ought to get a big write up in the Beaumont. Tiny I was one of the six girls from America asked to go to Germany and Tiny Mr. Bingham President of the National A.A.U. and all of the officials said that I had a berth on the Olympic team in 1932 without a doubt. Tiny fix me up a good write up. Yours for a big headline Babe."
The trip to Germany never came about and Babe continued as a "typest" at Employers Casualty. The basketball team won the 1931 AAU national championship; Babe scored 195 points in six games and once more was an All-America. However, there was an ill wind in the Golden Cyclone. By spring Babe was writing Tiny: "Why hello old top, how in the heck are you getting along. Now this is the time that I need a manager. Tiny I think that I should be making more money so I am asking you to write me a letter telling me of a better job that I can get and more money about $125.00 a month. You know kinda shake 'em up a little. They wouldn't want to let me go for nothing. I know good and well I am worth $150 and I am gonna get it out of this company, with your help. Write me just as though I had never written to you so they won't suspect." Also in this letter, Babe said petulantly, "The president is giving me free Golf Lessons out at Dallas Country Club and they are plenty nice so they won't have to raise my pay."
Apparently, between the golf lessons and a small raise, Babe was mollified, for in the summer of 1931 she and the Golden Cyclones entered the national AAU track meet in Jersey City. The team finished second with 19 points; Babe got 15 of them by winning the baseball throw, the 80-meter hurdles and the broad jump.
But by the fall she was restless again. Early in October she wrote: "Heck 'Tiny' if I get me another letter from Wichita, Kans. I'm gonna take it. These girls here are just like they were in Beaumont High School. Jealous and more so because they are all here and trying to beat me. But they can't do it."
The dissension on the team dissipated. The Golden Cyclones were runners-up in the 1932 national basketball championship and Babe was once again an All-America. That summer at the AAU national track meet in Evanston she put on one of the most impressive individual performances ever seen. This was the day she became known as the One-Woman Track Team, when she entered eight events, won five, tied for first in another and finished fourth in yet another, winning the U.S. team championship for Employers Casualty all by herself. The national press went mad about her.
By this time she had come to be something of a prima donna, no longer the childlike Beaumont bumpkin. The metamorphosis was apparent in her letters to Tiny. It was also clear to anyone who observed her during the three seasons she competed for Employers Casualty. Evelyne Hall, a short blonde hurdler from Chicago, had participated in the AAU nationals in 1930 ( Dallas), 1931 ( Jersey City) and 1932 ( Evanston). Now she is 66, a housewife who lives in Pasadena. She recalls the degrees of change in Babe: "In Dallas her teammates were very proud of her. She was a modest, likable girl and we became friends. After the meet she wrote me a couple of letters and even sent snapshots of her family. I next saw her in Jersey City. It was a full house and the crowd got out of hand. It was bedlam. People poured onto the field, mounted police had to come to restore order, the track was full of hoofprints. This was the first time Babe ran the hurdles with me and I finished second. At that point, Babe was pretty cocky. Everybody was doing things for her. If she wanted a drink of water, someone brought it to her. She didn't snub me, but she was not nearly as friendly. She had been more childish in 1930, but by 1931 I think she hardly even drawled. They were really promoting her."
At Evanston, which was also the Olympic qualifying meet, Babe got permission to compete in eight events (the AAU limit for women was three). Now she became all but unbearable. "She was a great athlete," says Evelyne Hall, "but she bragged so much that she made us mad. When she won two events, the girls were even more annoyed because then she was going into six more and eliminating others from the Olympic team. The fact she was in so many events held the rest of us up; we'd be set to go and they'd say Didrikson isn't here yet, please wait. She was getting special treatment. She had managers who waited on her. The rest of us were very poor—we used to pool our money to make our trips. I had one pair of track shoes and the points were worn to nubs. Babe had the longest spikes and they were very very sharp. I didn't have the money to get mine sharpened."
Sixteen women were chosen for the U.S. Olympic track team and they left by train for Los Angeles. On this trip Babe's bragging and abrasive ways reached a climax. "Babe kept running through the train, shrieking and yanking pillows out from your head if you were sleeping," Evelyne Hall recalls. "In Albuquerque we stopped for water. Babe found a Western Union bike and rode it around the station platform hollering, 'Ever heard of Babe Didrikson? You will! You will!' She was exactly like Muhammad Ali even then. Such a braggart."
Jean Shiley Newhouse was America's star high jumper, and Babe had tied her in Evanston. Jean had competed in 1928 in the Antwerp Olympics at the age of 16, finishing fourth. She speaks bitterly of Babe on the train trip west. "She had no social graces. If one girl said she had paddled from Alaska in a kayak, Babe would horn in and say, 'Oh, I done that and I done it in half the time.' She couldn't stand the press talking to other girls and would interrupt the interviews. Once a reporter ignored her so she finally took out her harmonica and started playing it so he couldn't talk to anyone else."