Question of the Week
Eighty years ago, a professional women's baseball team was formed in Philadelphia. Its name came from a popular hairstyle of the time. Can you guess its name?
Answer: The Philadelphia Bobbies
Though professional women's baseball in Philadelphia dates back to 1867 with the founding of the Dolly Vardens, the Philadelphia Bobbies were formed in 1922. Their name was derived from the popular "bob" hairstyle of the time. Among their star players was Edith Houghton (born 1912) who played shortstop and was just 10 years old when she joined the team. She and her teammates embarked on a tour across America challenging various men's teams. In 1925, the team traveled to Japan to play, a unique opportunity for a women's baseball team.
Baseball remained a part of Houghton's life after her time with the Bobbies. She played for other teams and pitched for a navy team as part of the WAVES (Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Service) during World War II. In 1946, the Philadelphia Phillies hired her as the sport's first female scout. Houghton is now a resident of Sarasota, Florida, and recently celebrated her 100th birthday. She remains a devoted Phillies fan.
Image: Edith Houghton in the Bobbies uniform, photograph (1929)
About the Author
Look for these history stories every Sunday in the Philadelphia Inquirer. The stories, called Memory Stream, are published in the Currents section of the newspaper.