January 7th, 2021 was National Bobblehead Day, and to celebrate, the National Bobblehead Hall of Fame and Museum unveiled six officially licensed, limited-edition Rockford Peaches AAGPBL Bobbleheads. The first four bobbleheads feature Dorothy Doyle, Dorothy Kamenshek, Rose Gacioch and Ruth Richard, who were four of the top players for the Rockford Peaches in the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League. In addition, the Hall of Fame and Museum unveiled a vintage Rockford Peaches Bobblehead similar to the 1960s classic bobblehead style as well as a Wall Catch bobblehead replicating the iconic Peaches’ logo.
These mark the first bobblehead for all four players and they are four of 13 available in the new series featuring the league’s top players. Bobbleheads of former players from the Grand Rapids Chicks, Kenosha Comets, Muskegon Lassies, Racine Belles, Fort Wayne Daisies, and South Bend Blue Sox are also available. The vintage bobblehead is part of a series featuring all 15 AAGPBL teams and are the first bobbleheads in the vintage style to celebrate the league. The wall catch bobblehead is a special edition bobblehead for the Peaches. The bobbleheads were produced by the National Bobblehead Hall of Fame and Museum and are officially licensed by the AAGPBL.
Wearing Rockford’s Peach-colored uniforms with Red caps and socks on a baseball field base, the Harrell Doyle bobblehead, with ball in glove, is making a play from her shortstop position, the Kamenshek bobblehead is down on one knee fielding a ground ball from her first base position, the Gacioch bobblehead is ready to unleash a throw, while the Richard bobblehead, donning her catcher’s gear, is making a play behind the plate. Each bobblehead base has the player’s name, nickname, and AAGPBL logo.
The All-Star and Vintage bobbleheads are each individually numbered to 500 while the Wall Catch bobblehead is numbered to 1,943 to coincide with the debut year of the Peaches. The bobbleheads are available through the National Bobblehead Hall of Fame and Museum’s Online Store. The bobbleheads, which just arrived and ship now, are $30 each for the All-Star and Wall Catch bobbleheads and $25 for the Vintage bobbleheads plus a flat-rate shipping charge of $8 per order. A complete set of all 13 All-Stars is $375 while the set of 15 vintage bobbleheads is $300.
Harrell Doyle, a native of Los Angeles, first played under the name Dorothy Harrell before changing her name to Dorothy Doyle after being married. An All-Star in five of her eight seasons and a member of four championship teams, she was one of the game’s premier shortstops for the Peaches from 1944 to 1950. After playing in an Arizona independent league in 1951, she returned to Rockford for the 1952 season. In her eight seasons, Harrell Doyle collected 667 hits (102 for extra bases), 306 RBI and 229 stolen bases. Nicknamed “Snookie,” the slap hitter ranks 13th in league history in RBI and struck out only 95 times in 2,922 career at-bats. A longtime counselor and physical education teacher in the Compton Unified School District, Harrell Doyle died at the age of 87 in 2011 in Cathedral City, California.
Spotted in her native Cincinnati by an AAGPBL scout as a 17-year-old, the left-handed Kamenshek was a slick-fielding first baseman who played for the Peaches from 1943 to 1951 and again in the 1953 season. A seven-time All-Star and two-time batting champion who led the Peaches to four championships, Kamenshek was one of the game’s brightest stars. Nicknamed “Dottie” and “Kammie,” she is the AAGPBL’s all-time leader in hits (1,090), batting average (.292), putouts and double plays. She struck out only 81 times in her 3,736 at-bats. In 1999, Sports Illustrated for Women selected Kamenshek as the 100th greatest female athlete of the 20th century. Kamenshek died in 2010 at the age of 84 in Palm Desert, California. She was inducted into the National Women’s Baseball Hall of Fame in 2013.
Gacioch, a native of Wheeling, West Virginia, played in the AAGPBL from 1944 to 1954 and was one of the league’s most versatile players. She began her career as a 29-year-old with the South Bend Blue Sox in 1944 and played for the Peaches for the rest of her career (except for a short stint with the Grand Rapids Chicks during the 1950 season). A member of four championship teams with Rockford, the three-time All-Star ranks eighth in league history in RBI (352). She also finished with 703 hits (121 for extra bases) and 167 extra bases. As a 38-year-old in 1954, she batted .304 with 13 home runs – both career highs. On the mound, Gacioch posted a 92-60 record with two 20-win seasons. She pitched a no-hitter in 1953. Gacioch died in 2004 at the age of 89 in Clinton Township, Michigan.
Richard, a native of Argus, Pennsylvania who grew up on the family farm, played catcher in the AAGPBL from 1947 to 1954 – the first season with the Grand Rapids Chicks as a 19-year-old and the final seven in Rockford. A six-time All-Star who played on four championship teams, Richard was a converted outfielder who threw out more baserunners than any catcher in the league thanks to her strong throwing arm. She committed only 134 errors in 3,407 total chances. At the plate, Richard, a left-handed line-driver hitter, collected 608 hits (102 for extra bases) and 287 RBI. Richard died in 2018 at the age of 89 in Quakertown, Pennsylvania.
The 1992 fictional movie, “A League of Their Own,” told the story of the AAGPBL’s founding and play and brought renewed interest in the AAGPBL and the women who played professional baseball. The Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York, has a section dedicated to the AAGPBL and women in baseball. In the film, Geena Davis played Dottie Hinson, the best player in the league, a character loosely based on Kamenshek. In 2018, the Hall of Fame and Museum unveiled the first bobblehead series featuring all 15 AAPBL teams.
“We are thrilled to add to our growing AAGPBL bobblehead collection by honoring 13 of the league’s star players,” National Bobblehead Hall of Fame and Museum co-founder and CEO Phil Sklar said. “Dorothy Doyle, Dorothy Kamenshek, Rose Gacioch and Ruth Richard were four of the best players to wear the Rockford Peaches’ uniform and they, along with all of the other women of the AAGPBL, paved the way for women in professional sports and beyond.”
About the National Bobblehead Hall of Fame and Museum:
The National Bobblehead Hall of Fame and Museum, which is located at 170 S. 1st St. in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, opened to the public on February 1st, 2019. The HOF and Museum also produces high quality, customized bobbleheads for retail sale as well as organizations, individuals, and teams across the country. Visit them online and on Facebook, Twitter and Insta