GO! Presents 100 Women We Love: Class of 2024

THE CULTURAL ROADMAP FOR CITY GIRLS EVERYWHERE

Dorothy Elsie “Dot” Wilkinson

June 12, 2023

DOT WILKINSON

Dorothy Elsie “Dot” Wilkinson died in March 2023, but her century on Earth packed a punch. According to friend and biographer Lynn Ames, Wilkinson is the only member of the National Softball Hall of Fame who is a member of a Hall of Fame in another sport as well. Two decades after her National Softball Hall of Fame acceptance, Wilkinson was inducted to the Women’s International Bowling Congress Hall of Fame for winning the WIBC Queens Tournament in 1962 and the WIBC national singles in 1963. From 1933-1965, Wilkinson played for the PBSW Phoenix Ramblers, winning three world softball championships and 19 All-American honors, the most of any player ever. So why wasn’t she in A League of Their Own? Ames says that Phillip Wrigley, the brains and money behind the AllAmerican Girls Professional Baseball League depicted in the 1991 movie and 2022 Amazon series, approached Wilkinson with a contract that offered $85 per week (the maximum amount for an AAGPBL player). However, Ames says, Wilkinson “looked at…the stipulations—she would have to attend charm school and wear a skirt to play ball, among other things—and she turned them down cold.” More significantly, Wilkinson disapproved of Wrigley’s efforts to hide the fact that many AAGPBL players were lesbians. Though Wilkinson never hid her own identity, she formally came out at age 89, listed as her partner Ricki’s longtime companion in Ricki’s obituary. When Ames asked her about this decision, she said, “I’ll be damned if I’m going to bury that girl and not let everyone know what she meant to me.”

Click here to check out the entire list of Women We Love 2023!

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