Doris Sams, the female baseball player who partly inspired the 1992 movie “A League of Their Own,” is dead at 85 after a three-year battle with Alzheimer’s.
Sams, also known as “Sammye,” was one of the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League’s top players and a five-time all-star during her eight-year professional career, reports the Associated Press. Sams played for the Muskegon Lassies, later known as the Kalamazoo Lassies.
In 1947, Sams pitched a perfect game against the Fort Wayne Daisies. But, she said, her perfect game wasn’t so perfect.
After retiring from her baseball career, Sams accepted a job as a computer operator for the Knoxville Utility board where she worked for 25 years. She never married. In 1982 she was inducted into the Tennessee Sports Hall of Fame and remains a permanent part of a display at the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, N.Y. When the producers of “A League of Their Own” asked Sams to help promote their movie, she declined not wanting to be in the spotlight.
“She made women more a part of public sports,” cousin Gordon Sams tells the Knoxville News Sentinel. “She was an interesting lady and I hope she will never be forgotten.”