RPS Hall of Fame: Jean Cione didn’t know she was a pioneer

Feb 18, 2019 299

BY: Alex Gary

High school graduation is a big deal for the vast majority of people, but it wasn’t for Rockford’s Jean Cione. “She skipped it,” Cione’s sister, Linda Gillespie, said of the East High School graduation ceremony in 1946. “She took her finals, and then she left to play ball. It was spring training.”

Cione was one of the very youngest of the pioneers who powered the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League. The league that was immortalized by the 1992 movie "A League of Their Own" began in 1943. Cione tried out for the league in 1945 after her junior year at East High and was offered a contract at the age of 17. She stuck out as one of the league’s youngest members and starred in it until it folded at the end of the 1954 season.

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SOURCE: https://www.nytimes.com/

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