Ann Harnett

Philip Wrigley, who inherited the Wrigley chewing gum empire and the Chicago Cubs from his father, faced a potential disaster in 1942. As young men were being drafted into the armed forces, major league baseball was shutting down. Wrigley asked his advisors to come up with an idea to keep fans in the stands. The All-American Girls Professional Baseball League (AAGPBL) was born. The first player signed to the new league was Chicago born-and-bred Ann Harnett (1920-1974) who played third base and the outfield along with being a catcher. After playing 5 seasons, Harnett retired from professional sports and became a nun.

Why this stop? The Red Line Addison stop is right at Wrigley Field, home of the Chicago Cubs. Since the Cubs staff was put to work organizing the AAGPBL and recruiting potential players and since the final tryouts were held at Wrigley Field, it makes sense to honor the first AAGPBL player at this stop.

Want to learn more about the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League and have fun while learning? Watch A League of Their Own (available on several streaming services).

Connect—Support women and girls in sports where you live—go to a game! Be it a professional sports team, high school athletes or 8 year olds playing on park district teams, watch and cheer!

Women's L Project Connection -- A fellow BVM nun is Sister Jean Schmidt.

Photos courtesy of the family of Ann Harnett