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All American Girls Professional Baseball League catcher and shortstop Lavonne “Pepper” Paire-Davis has passed away at age 88.
Born in 1924, Paire-Davis joined the All American League at age 19 when P.K. Wrigley started it in an effort to save the sport in case Major League Baseball collapsed due to World War II, according to the Pepper Paire-Davis website.
After playing for 10 seasons, she helped to lead her teams, including the Racine Belles, the Grand Rapids Chicks, and the Fort Wayne Daisies, to win five championships, according to the Associated Press.
Although the league was temporarily suspended in 1955 and failed to start up again, after the players held a reunion in 1982, the media took notice and the women became the inspiration for the film A League of Their Own, according to the Pepper Paire-Davis website. Later Paire-Davis went on to author Dirt In the Skirt.
The Associated Press reports that one of her three children, William Davis, Paire-Davis died of natural causes in Los Angeles on Saturday.