For years, the women of the AAGPBL were forgotten. But now the Baseball Hall of Fame has an exhibit devoted to their exploits, and film director Penny Marshall is planning to do a movie about them. "People are beginning to realize that there really was a major league for women," says Kurys. "I think some of us should have the chance to be inducted into Cooperstown. After all, we played just as hard as the men."
And they did things that were just as amazing. Orel Hershiser may have the major league record for consecutive scoreless innings at 59, but he's still shy of the record of 63 set by Joanne Winter.
Racing with the Moon
Villanova barely wins the second annual Nude Relays
Inspired, perhaps, by the ancient Greeks, who competed at the Olympics in the nude, 45 men and women from 10 university track teams shed their clothes at 2:30 a.m. on March 31 and took off running. Jerry Falwell's worst nightmare? A complete breakdown in traditional values? No, just the second annual Nude Relays, an unsanctioned track meet following the Florida Relays in Gainesville.
A few athletes initiated the instant tradition last year, sneaking onto pitch-dark Percy Beard Track and running relays naked after the postmeet party. The legend was passed along the college track grapevine, so the second run-as-you-are party generated a lot of interest. Too much, in fact.
The revelers trying to watch from the stands made enough noise to wake up the neighbors, who called the campus police. After the first heat, the police turned on the lights, and the runners scattered. The Villanova team had won a chaotic 400-meter relay, so the Wildcats were declared the winners. "This wasn't just a bunch of drunks," said Phil Wharton, a former Florida runner and the self-described Nude Relays coordinator. "We were getting down to the essence of the sport, without all the commercialization. No baton, no shoes, just the bare essence."
Upon uncovering the Nude Relays, University of Florida officials kept their shirts on. No one was arrested. University president John Lombardi confessed, "If I had known about it, I would have watched."
Will there be a third annual Nude Relays? Florida track coach John Webb recognizes the public relations value. "We could break a world record and not get this kind of publicity," lamented Webb. "But this will be the last one at Florida."
Said Wharton, "The venue might change, but the event will continue."