Last surviving member of original Rockford Peaches dies at 101

Mary Pratt was a pitcher in the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League during World War II, which inspired "A League of Their Own."
/ Source: TODAY

Crying in baseball was allowed this weekend.

Mary Pratt, believed to be the last surviving member of the original 1943 Rockford Peaches of the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League, died at 101, her nephew told The Patriot Ledger on Saturday.

Pratt also pitched for the Kenosha Comets in the AAGPBL, which was the inspiration for the 1992 hit movie "A League of Their Own" about the all-female professional baseball league started in the Midwest during World War II.

"We are terribly sad to report that former Rockford Peaches and Kenosha Comets pitcher, Mary Pratt passed away on May 6th. She was 101 years old. Mary was the last known original Peaches player that played on the 1943 team,'' the AAGPBL tweeted. "Her stories, her energy will be missed for a long time."

Pratt, who played from 1943-47, died of natural causes in a nursing home in Braintree, Massachusetts, on May 6. She was buried the following day, her nephew told The Patriot Ledger, a local newspaper.

Mary Pratt was a left-handed pitcher for the Rockford Peaches and later the Kenosha Comets during World War II. aagpbl.org

She was a multi-sport athlete who participated in basketball, softball, volleyball, lacrosse, field hockey, sailing, tennis and archery while at Sargent College, a part of Boston University, where she is in the school's athletic hall of fame.

Following her baseball career, the Connecticut native continued to promote women's sports as a physical education teacher and championship-winning coach for 46 years in Braintree and Quincy, Massachusetts.

Mary Pratt waves to the crowd during a reunion of players from the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League (AAGPBL) before a Chicago White Sox game in 2010. Mark Cunningham / Getty Images

Pratt was one of 150 former AAGPBL players to gather at the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum in Cooperstown, New York, in 1988 to dedicate a permanent exhibit about the women's professional league, which lasted from 1943-54.

Ted Spencer, the National Baseball Hall of Fame curator who helped put the exhibit together, was one of Pratt's former physical education students in Quincy, according to the Hall.

Pratt described the exhibit as a "dream come true" and "a wonderful role model for the youngsters coming along."

CORRECTION (May 12, 2020, 4:40 p.m.): The headline for an earlier version of this article stated that Mary Pratt was the last surviving member of the Rockford Peaches. She is believed to be the last surviving member of the original 1943 Rockford Peaches.