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By Compiled from Times wires

© St. Petersburg Times, published August 26, 2000

Women who played have reunion of their own

MILWAUKEE -- Dozens of former professional baseball players will take the field at County Stadium over the weekend, but few people will recognize their names. They will, however, know their story.

Milwaukee will play host to a reunion of the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League, featured in the 1992 movie A League of Their Own.

Philip Wrigley, the millionaire chewing-gum mogul and Cubs owner, launched the league during World War II when men traded their baseball uniforms for military garb. The league initially was called the All-American Girls Softball League.

"After the first few years, we were playing hardball, just like the men," said Jacqueline Baumgart of Milwaukee, who played for the Springfield Sallies and Kenosha Comets during the league's 12-year span from 1943 to 1954.

Women from across the country played on the original four teams in Racine, Kenosha, Rockford, Ill., and South Bend, Ind.

Baumgart, a reunion organizer, expects about 120 members to attend the various events, including a youth softball clinic conducted by former league players this morning at the home field of the Brewers. The league players then will be recognized in a pregame ceremony before the Brewers play the Padres. Many of the women are in their 70s and 80s.

ASTROS: Houston put infielder Tripp Cromer on the 15-day disabled list for undisclosed personal reasons and called up Rusty Meacham from Triple-A New Orleans. Cromer, 32, batted .125 in nine games since being called up to replace injured second baseman Craig Biggio on Aug. 2.

CUBS: Chicago activated third baseman Shane Andrews from the 60-day disabled list before its doubleheader against the Dodgers. To make room for Andrews, the team optioned infielder Chad Meyers to Triple-A Iowa. Andrews had been on the DL since May 15 with a herniated disc in his lower back. He had surgery June 7 to remove the disc.

METS: Left-hander Mike Hampton threw for 12 minutes in the bullpen and his fractured rib felt good enough for him to return to the rotation Sunday. He was cleared to start the final game of the weekend series against the Diamondbacks, New York's closest pursuer in the wild-card race. Hampton was forced to leave in the third inning Aug. 17 against Colorado after he was injured while batting.

REDS: A former live-in girlfriend is suing catcher Benito Santiago for $2.35-million, saying he repeatedly beat her and broke a promise to support her after living together for a year. Maria Lopez's suit, filed in Broward Circuit Court, accuses Santiago of breaking a verbal contract. "I have to find out what it's all about and talk to my lawyer," Santiago said. "It really surprised me because I'm not that type of person."

YANKEES: Second baseman Chuck Knoblauch left his first minor-league rehab game after being hit by a pitch on his left knee while playing for Class A Tampa at a game in Kissimmee. The injury was not serious, and Knoblauch is expected to rejoin the Yankees when rosters are expanded Friday.

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