Women in Baseball History: Sophie Kurys

Every time she got on base, you might as well call it a double. If she would have been a man, she could have played second base for any major league team. – Racine resident Mike Corona, bat boy for the Belles

“It wasn’t so much her speed. Sophie read the pitchers and took advantage of their different deliveries, and she took advantage of every mistake they made.” – Madeline English, 1996.

Known as the Flint Flash and Tina Cobb, this Flint Michigan native played second base during the years of the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League.  Kurys was a member of the Racine Belles and played with them for eight years, during which time she became famous for her base stealing abilities, averaging 150 steals per season. In 1946 she had her career high season with 201 steals, a record that still stands in baseball today. Her overall record of 1,114 stolen bases was not beaten until Rickey Henderson in 1994.
Sophie Kurys slides into base
Image courtesy of Racine Belles Facebook Page

*for more information there is a fascinating article on Sophie at Society for American Baseball Research

[Women in Baseball History is a weekly feature in honor of my book The Legend of League Park, which will be released in April.]

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