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Contents:
Program 1412

1. baseball player Pat Scott
2. chef and teacher Bob Perry
3. Woody the Kentucky Wiener Dog
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Boone County

For more information:
All-American Girls Professional Baseball League

Producer: Dave Shuffett
Videographers: Dave Shuffett, Jason Robinson
Audio: Noel Depp
Editor: Dan Taulbee


No Crying

professional baseball player Pat Scott

Pat as in Patricia, that is. To start this edition of Kentucky Life, host Dave Shuffett plays a little catch with Burlington native Pat Scott, who played in the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League in the 1948 and 1951-53 seasons. A standout right-handed pitcher, she helped the Fort Wayne Daisies beat out the powerful Rockford Peaches for the 1952 regular-season pennant. (They lost to South Bend in the playoffs, though.)

The AAGPBL, formed during World War II, was the brainchild of Chicago Cubs owner Philip Wrigley. As young men went off to the war, minor league baseball teams found it a struggle to field teams, and some even folded. Fearing that baseball would lose its status as America’s pastime (and that major league profits would end up suffering), Wrigley sought ideas for keeping fan interest alive. As in other areas of life on the wartime homefront, one solution quickly bubbled to the top: Let women fill in for the missing men.

And so a group of investors conceived a plan for a women’s professional league, and scouts fanned out across the country to recruit potential players. Since the only form of the sport available to girls and women at the time was softball, the new venture was initially called the All-American Girls Softball League. The ball used was larger than a regulation baseball, and pitching was underhand for the first few years. But the distance between bases was lengthened, and otherwise the rules were those of professional baseball, including the additions of a pitcher’s mound and base stealing.

By the time Pat Scott joined the Springfield Sallies in 1948, overhand pitching and regulation-size baseballs had been instituted, making the game even more like the men’s. But other unique aspects of the women’s league (as dramatized in the movie A League of Their Own) hadn’t changed. Players were expected to look as neat and attractive as possible at all times—along with a uniform and glove, each was issued a beauty kit and a guide to comporting herself like a lady. They attended a mandatory charm school and agreed to live by rules that included prohibitions on drinking or wearing slacks in public. And a chaperon traveled with each team to keep an eye on them.

Pat’s first year in the league saw the highest attendance ever, with AAGPBL games drawing more than 900,000 fans. Interest started to wane after that, and the league ended up folding in 1954. But during its 12 seasons, some 600 young women got the chance to do something they haven’t done at any other time in America’s history: play professional baseball in “a league of their own.”

Kentucky movie trivia: Scenes at the boarding house where the Peaches live in the movie A League of Their Own were shot at Henderson’s Soaper-Esser House.

Watch This Story (5:37)




Fayette County

For more information:
• Bob Perry, School of Human Environmental Sciences, 102 Erikson Hall, University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY 40506, (859) 257-8890
The Lemon Tree, (859) 257-3887

Producer, videographer, editor: Brandon Wickey


Field to Table

chef and educator Bob Perry

Bob Perry is a professional chef with more than 25 years of experience in Kentucky and abroad, and today he runs one of Lexington’s most exclusive restaurants. Reservations are definitely required for the Lemon Tree: It’s open only seasonally, and even then only two days a week, and the only meals served are lunches for which the seatings are at noon sharp. But none of that is because Bob is trying to be elitist. He’s the director of the Food Systems Initiative in the University of Kentucky College of Agriculture, and the Lemon Tree is a project to give his dietetics and hospitality management students some practical experience in the restaurant business.

Bob himself was never one of those students. His college major (at the University of Louisville) was international political economics, and he has a master’s degree in sociology. So of course he soon found himself making a living as a bartender and then by putting his self-taught cooking skills to use. He has cooked, run restaurants, or been a food-service consultant in places from the Caribbean to South Carolina to Japan to the Great Lakes. But now he seems to have settled down back home. Among other ventures, he has been the general manager of the Belle of Louisville and the GM/executive chef of My Old Kentucky Dinner Train and is a former director of the food service for the Kentucky state parks.

He’s also an avid gardener and an enthusiastic promoter of locally grown ingredients. While working for the parks system, he directed efforts to revamp park restaurant menus to emphasize local specialties and the use of products straight from the fields. He continues that focus at UK through involvement in a wide range of projects to help Kentucky farmers, vintners, livestock growers, and consumers find one another. And at the Lemon Tree, menus change monthly and always include what’s just now ripe in Kentucky fields.

Watch This Story (6:37)




Bullitt County

For more information:
HotDiggetyDog Press, P.O. Box 747, Shepherdsville, KY 40165

Producer: Valerie Trimble
Videographers: Amelia Cutadean, Prentice Walker, Andrew Ingram
Audio: Chuck Burgess, Noel Depp
Editor: Jim Piston


One Hot Dog

Woody the Kentucky Wiener

In our next segment, we meet a well-traveled Kentuckian who has become one of the most popular guest “speakers” in schools throughout the state, despite a rather limited vocabulary. Woody the dachshund, also known as Woody the Kentucky Wiener or, more formally, Mr. Dogwood Furr, has developed quite a following thanks to a series of children’s books about his adventures written by his “mom,” Leigh Anne Florence.

A Murray native, Leigh Anne earned a master’s degree in music education at Murray State University and started a teaching career. Somewhere along the way, she also adopted a dachshund puppy, probably not realizing how profoundly that act would change her life. She decided to write a children’s book about the experience of choosing a pet, and The Adoption made an instant star of Woody. It was soon followed by several more books starring the wiener dog and a second adopted dachshund, Chloe. Their adventures have also been serialized in newspaper features for young readers, and Leigh Anne has quit teaching to devote herself to the Woody enterprises full-time.

These days, the Florence family (which now includes several other animals) calls Shepherdsville home. But on weekdays when school is in session, chances are that Leigh Anne and her two star dogs are on the road. Traveling in the Woody Bus, they visit schools all over Kentucky to give inspirational presentations on writing, personal responsibility, treating others with respect, and thinking big. When not busy meeting his fans, Woody keeps an online diary and answers e-mails and letters from all over the world.

Watch This Story (9:27)



SEASON 14 PROGRAMS: 140114021403140414051406140714081409
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