Charlotte Armstrong (baseball)
|All-American Girls Professional Baseball League|
June 17, 1924|
|Died: November 24, 2008
|Earned run average||1.74|
Charlotte T. Armstrong (née Lubman) (June 17, 1924 – November 24, 2008) was a pitcher who played from 1944 through 1945 in the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League. Listed at 5 ft 7 in (1.70 m), 145 lb., Armstrong batted and threw right-handed. She was affectionately nicknamed Skipper.
A native of Dallas, Texas, Armstrong was one of two girls in the family of Wilhelm Lubman and Gladyse (née: Nicholson) Lubman. She was two years old when her parents moved to Phoenix, Arizona, and she lost her sister, Elizabeth, and her father at an early age.
Armstrong grew up in Phoenix, playing sandlot ball with the boys of her neighborhood when she was a little girl. "They stuck me in the outfield, so l had to learn to throw", she recalled. As a youngster, she was befriended by local big leaguer Hank Leiber, who taught her to pitch.
At the age of 14, Armstrong was scouted by the Phoenix professional softball team, the A-1 Queens, and began her sports career. Armstrong developed into a record-breaking pitcher as she toured with the Queens throughout the West, as well as Madison Square Garden and international tours to Mexico and Canada. Later, during World War II, she was recruited by Philip K. Wrigley to join the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League for the 1944 season.
During spring training in early years, the AAGPBL allocated the players to teams for the purpose of maintaining a competitive balance. Assigned to the South Bend Blue Sox, Armstrong became known as one of the league’s best overhand pitchers. She immediately formed part of a strong pitching staff that included Margaret Berger and Doris Barr.
In 1944, Armstrong posted a 21–15 record with a 1.51 earned run average, and the following season she went 18–22 with a 1.96 ERA. She later played for the Chicago Bluebirds of the National Girls' Baseball League, before returning to Phoenix, where she attended art studies at Phoenix College and played softball again for the Queens as a member of their national championship teams.
Armstrong showed her artistic talent at an early age, designing attractive uniforms for the Queens softball team, and then branching out into drawing and painting. She owned and operated one of the early shops in Old Town Scottsdale in the 1950s, The Paint Bucket, in which she sold everything from hand-painted blouses and boxer shorts to wastepaper baskets, handmade cards and invitations. At the time, her shop was a favorite of visiting guests from the Elizabeth Arden spa and Camelback Inn, including singer Peggy Lee, actress Alice Faye and polifacetic entertainer Phil Harris. Her work at the Paint Bucket attracted the owners of O'Brien's Art Emporium in Scottsdale, and with their encouragement, she began a career as a fine artist, creating Trompe-l'œil still life and wildlife images, landscapes and more. Her works were sold in art galleries and shown at the Phoenix Art Museum, being collected by art lovers across the Southwest. Her works appear in numerous corporate collections, including the old Valley National Bank collection.
Armstrong was a sober member of Alcoholics Anonymous for 42 years, sharing herself freely with people, opening her heart and her home to those who needed her help. Eventually, she counted more than 130 different people who lived in her home over the years, who received both her wisdom and her down-home cooking. She also was named a charter member of the Arizona Softball Association Hall of Fame and, since 1988, is a member of the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum in Cooperstown, New York, when the entire AAGPBL were inducted rather than any individual player.
Charlotte Armstrong died in Phoenix, Arizona at the age of 84.
- All-American Girls Professional Baseball League Player Page
- Encyclopedia of women and baseball - Leslie A. Heaphy, Mel Anthony May. Publisher: McFarland and Company, 2006. Format: Paperback, 438pp. Language: English. ISBN 0-7864-2100-2
- The Women of the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League: A Biographical Dictionary - W. C. Madden. Publisher: McFarland and Company, 2005. Format: Paperback, 295 pp. Language: English. ISBN 0-7864-3747-2
- The Deadball Era
- 1944 South Bend Blue Sox
- Baseball Historian
- O'Brien Galleries
- Valley National Bank Research Department Collection
- The Arizona Republic Obituary