Janet Barber

Special to the Grove Sun

The public is cordially invited to hear Gina Casey and Alice Fracasso who will be the guest speakers at the Delaware County Historical Society’s 34th Annual Thanksgiving Dinner.

The banquet will be held on Sat., Nov., 13 at noon at the First Baptist Church Christian Life Center, located at 404 N. Price Street in Jay. Members are asked to please bring their favorite dish. Ham, turkey and the drinks will be provided. Cost to non-members will be $5.

Gina Casey and Alice Fracasso, associate members of the All American Girls Professional Baseball League, are sisters residing in Grove and have a special story to share… and a pair of baseball cards to share with it. Gina, 80, and Alice, 85, are a couple of big-time baseball fans who also happen to be associate members of the All American Girls Professional Baseball League – a women’s professional baseball league (1943 – 1954) that inspired the 1992 film “A League of Their Own.”

The two women, who played for the Riverside Townies in Rhode Island from 1944 to 1954, have been active associate members of the AAGPBL for 21 years (Gina) and 24 years (Alice). Gina, once a second baseman, and Alice, a former catcher, were part of a group of Townies teammates that were scouted to attend a two-week tryout for the AAGPBL. Unfortunately, neither of them made the cut, but – inspired by the new opportunity presented for women – remained active with the AAGPL and the underlining encouraging message it was sending to young American girls.

Representing the AAGPBL, Gina and Alice make appearances at events all over the nation such as the Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital Golf Tournament, B.A.D.: Baseballers Against Drugs Auction, the World Children’s Baseball five-day baseball camp, the Twelve Black Aces Golf Tournament, the Make-A-Wish Foundation, the Special Olympics and the Charity Auction for Desert Storm. Along with raising funds for the association, the two strive to keep the story of women playing in baseball alive.

At these events, Gina and Alice have had the opportunity to meet several greats in baseball, including Joe DiMaggio, Dom DiMaggio, Mickey Mantle, Ted Williams, Duke Snider, Buck O’Neil, Jim ‘Mudcat’ Grant, Vern Law, Pete Rose, Cal Ripken, and many others.

Gina and Alice love living in Delaware County and are active members of the charitable organization Santa’s Old Broads. In addition, Gina is an active volunteer at Integris Grove General Hospital.