Eisen, Thelma “Tiby”
Baseball - 2006
Tiby Eisen was far more than a Jewish sports hero - the Los Angeles native was a pioneer in women’s sports in America as one of the true superstars of the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League.
As immortalized in the fictional film recount, "A League of Their Own", the AAGPBL captured the hearts of the nation during a turbulent time in American history. Eisen was a central figure in the league, playing for Milwaukee, Grand Rapids, Peoria and Fort Wayne during her illustrious baseball career. Over her eight-year professional tour, Eisen played 966 games, stole 674 bases and made 1,857 putouts. Total Baseball ranks Eisen as one of the top 20 players in the AAGPBL’s history. In 1946, her finest season as the Peoria Redwings’ star, Eisen was named to the all-star team – leading the league in triples while stealing 128 bases.
In 1993, Eisen helped to cement the legacy of the league and its contributions to the nation by working to establish the women’s exhibit at the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown. As a humorous side note, singer/actress Madonna played Faye Dancer in the film - and in real life, Dancer was traded for Eisen in 1947.
Eisen’s athletic prowess didn’t stop on the baseball diamond. Born May 11, 1922, she began playing semi-pro softball at age 14. Among her accomplishments was leading the Orange Lionettes to a softball world championship. At age 18, Eisen also made her mark on the gridiron in women’s professional football, starring as a fullback for one of the two Los Angeles teams.