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Betty Trezza, a pioneer in womens sports, died last week at her Williamsburg home, the same neighborhood in which she was raised. She was 82. Trezza, born on August 4, 1925 in Williamsburg, was a rising young star in ladies baseball. She was scouted by many teams in the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League (AAGPBL), but it was the Minneapolis Millerettes that made her the best offer. Despite the opposition of her mother, who was unwilling to allow the youngest of 12 kids to play professional baseball, Trezza decided it was an unusual opportunity that couldnt be passed up, according to her older brother, Daniel Trezza of Bensonhurst. The Millerettes offered an enticing starting salary of $55 a week for Trezzas services. At the tender age of 18, Trezza played shortstop for the Millerettes and batted .108 in her rookie season in 1944. In 1945, when the Millerettes were replaced by the Fort Wayne Daisies, Trezza split her 45 season with the Daisies and the South Bend Blue Sox. She packed her bags for the fourth and final time in 1946 to the Racine Belles, one of the teams featured in the 1992 movie A League Of Their Own, which featured an all-star cast of Tom Hanks, Geena Davis, Madonna, Lori Petty, and Rosie ODonnell. The movie depicted the start of the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League (AAGPBL), a league of all-female professional baseball players. It is best known for the famous line, Theres no crying in baseball, a comment made by Rockford Peaches Manager Jimmy Dungan, played by Tom Hanks. During the 1946 season, Trezza was most remembered for singling in teammate Sophie Kurys in the bottom of the 16th inning to win the final game of the championship series to clinch a second title for Belles. Trezza, described by her brother as having a bullet of an arm, played several positions including shortstop, second base and outfield. Trezza was best known for her speed on the base paths. In 1947, Trezza swiped 66 bases, which was tied for seventh in the league. A year later, in 1948, she swiped another 64 bases. Betty called it quits in 1950, but she went out with a bang, swiping another 53 bases, tying for ninth in the league that season. After retiring from baseball, Trezza worked for Pfizer, Inc. but stayed in the publics eye by advocating for womans sports at many functions. It was her motto, If you have it, go for it that made womens sports as successful and as enticing to young women today.
©2007 Community Newspaper Group
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