Oklahoma has long been known for producing its fair share of exceptional baseball talent. The list of diamond heroes is lengthy and most impressive, including:
” Bullet Joe Rogan,
” Lloyd and Paul Waner,
” Mickey Mantle,
” Johnny Bench and
” Earlene Risinger.
You don’t remember Earlene “Beans” Risinger, the hard-throwing hurler from Hess?
Well, you obviously don’t know your baseball history like you should, especially when it comes to Oklahoma’s favorite sons, or in this case, favorite daughter.
Although Risinger is the first to admit she was never a superstar, her six seasons as a professional baseball player etched her place in Girls Professional Baseball League history.
“Playing baseball was the best thing that ever happened to me. It changed my life in so many ways,” said Risinger, now 81. “I was never a great, great pitcher, but I never missed a turn and when I had my best stuff, I could be pretty tough to beat.”
In 1988, the GPBL was inducted in the Baseball Hall of Fame at Cooperstown ” a proud moment for players like Risinger. A few years later, she was hired to help consult on the set of the movie “A League of Their Own,” which told the GPBL’s story.
“Cooperstown ” that’s hard to top,” Risinger said. “To be a part of that, well, I guess it’s not too bad for a girl from Hess, Oklahoma.” “Jay C. Upchurch