Carol Habben

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Carol Habben
Carol Habben.jpg
All-American Girls Professional Baseball League
Center fielder / Utility
Born: (1933-05-15)May 15, 1933
Midland Park, New Jersey
Died: January 11, 1997(1997-01-11) (aged 63)
Ridgewood, New Jersey
Batted: Right Threw: Right
Career statistics
Batting average .231
Home runs    15
Runs batted in    65
Teams
Career highlights and awards
  • AAGPBL Champion Team (1954)

Carol Habben (May 15, 1933 – January 11, 1997) was a center fielder and backup catcher who played from 1951 through 1954 in the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League. Listed at 5 ft 5 in (1.65 m), 135 lb., she batted and threw right-handed.[1]

Early life

Born in Midland Park, New Jersey, Carol Habben began playing ball on sandlots in Rahway at age 12 and joined the Flashettes of Garfield two years later. In the process, Habben played baseball at Pompton Lakes High School. At age 17, she attended to an AAGPBL tryout and signed a contract for $250 a month to play in the league. While still in high school, she had to take her exams early in order to make it for the start of the 1951 season.[2][3]

AAGPBL career

Habben entered the league with the Rockford Peaches. She was a late bloomer, but turned out to be a formidable slugger during the AAGPBL's last-ever season.

In 1951, Habben went 1-for-26 for a batting average of 0.38 as a rookie, and saw limited action the next season. In 1953, she hit .194 with a .238 on-base percentage in a utility role, playing in the outfield, catching, and also pitching in case of an emergency. Then she was dealt by Rockford to the Kalamazoo Lassies before the 1954 season.[4]

Habben showed how much power she had in her bat when the AAGPBL's ball was switched to 9 ¼ inches—the same size used in the Major Leagues.[5]

As an everyday center fielder in 1954, Habben hit a .276 average with a .363 OBP in 98 games, while slugging for a .445 average to become the second half of the called Home Run Twins, as she hit 15 home runs and Chris Ballingall belted 17 to power the Lassies to the Championship Title.[6][7]

Life after baseball

After the AAGPBL folded, Habben returned to New Jersey, competing in ASA fast-pitch softball in Linden until 1973, and also umpiring in men's and women's leagues.[3]

Habben lived in Ringwood and worked 37 years for Merck & Co. as a credit manager until her retirement in 1994. She is part of the AAGPBL permanent display at the Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum at Cooperstown, New York, opened in 1988, which is dedicated to the entire league rather than any individual player.[3]

Habben spent the last days of her life in Ridgewood, New Jersey, where she died of a long illness at the age of 63.[1]

Sources

  1. ^ a b "AAGPBL website – Carol Habben entry". Archived from the original on 2011-06-15. 
  2. ^ Encyclopedia of Women and Baseball - Leslie A. Heaphy, Mel Anthony May. Publisher: McFarland & Co., 2006. Format: Paperback, 438 pp. Language: English. ISBN 0-7864-2100-2
  3. ^ a b c "New York Times - Carol Habben obituary". The New York Times. January 14, 1997. 
  4. ^ The Women of the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League: A biographical dictionary - W. C. Madden. Publisher: McFarland & Co., 1997. Format: Paperback, 295 pp. Language: English. ISBN 0-7864-0304-7
  5. ^ AAGPBL Rules of Play Archived September 17, 2010, at the Wayback Machine.
  6. ^ Encyclopedia of Women and Baseball
  7. ^ AAGPBL website – June Peppas biography by Jim Sargent
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