Long before organized sports leagues came to the city, local ladies formed a softball league of their own. “We played whenever we could!” says Genevieve Lane, noting the lack of athletic options for women in 1936. “Everyone who wanted to play was welcomed to the team.”
Seventy-six years later, Lane can still vividly remember the uniforms. “We had blue slacks that were like linen, plus a gold top with a big felt ‘P’ sewn on. The shirts also had blue collars and trim,” she says.
The team held weekly practices in a field by Ivey’s Tavern (no longer standing) on Rockford Road and later at Parker’s Lake. While Lane shuffled between shortstop and center field, her sister, Dorothy, played first base. “She was one of the best in the league!” Lane says.
Their home field was near Parkers Lake, where the team competed against gals from Osseo, Dayton, Brooklyn Center, Robbinsdale and Crystal. “We’d travel back and forth to play each other,” she says.
Lane graduated from Wayzata High School in 1937 and got married in 1939. She says she remained in contact with her teammates after graduation because most remained in the area. “We kept in touch whenever possible—although there are very few of us left now,” she says. Still, Lane looks back fondly on the memories shared; the 92-year-old says that although it was decades ago, she remembers playing just like it was yesterday.