Local group still aiming to bring International Women’s Baseball Center to Rockford

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ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) — A group is trying to make a women’s baseball museum here in the Forest City a reality.

We caught up with the International Women’s Baseball Center president. They say the museum would be important since women have been apart of the game since the beginning.

With baseball season upon us, one local organization is working on a project to show people how women have transformed America’s pastime.

“To me, that, that bringing the pioneers of the past together with the pioneers of the future, that’s what this is about,” said Kat Williams, the President of the International Women’s Baseball Center.

With Beyer Stadium in Rockford, Stateline area sports fans can appreciate women’s role in growing the game of baseball. Williams says they are creating a place to recognize that history.

“Having a physical place is so important. The only place where women’s baseball history will be literally and figuratively concretely celebrated is in Rockford, Illinois and that is huge. That is huge,” described Williams.

The center is an $8 million project that will include batting cages, an educational center, an outdoor museum, and more. Maybelle Blair, a former All-American Girls professional baseball player, believes it makes sense for the center to be built in Rockford.

“We want Rockford especially because everybody associates Rockford with the Rockford Peaches from ‘A League of Their Own.’ Where else but the home for women’s baseball but in Rockford right across the street from Beyer stadium,” Blair said.

Williams says the pandemic has set their timeline back for when they expect to have the center built, but her motivation to complete the project is stronger than ever.

“Leaving this for the thousands of girls who currently play and want to umpire, and for the generations to come, it means everything,” Williams said.

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