Boston Garden Celtics, Bruins, and Olympets

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In a time before A League of Their Own there were the Boston Olympets. The Olympets, or Pets as they were known, were a professional womens softball team who played ball inside the Boston Garden...

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  • Boston Garden Celtics, Bruins, & Olympets?

    02/27/2012

    By Cara Jordan

    In a time before A League of Their Own there were the Boston Olympets. The

    Olympets, or Pets as they were known, were a professional womens softball team

    who played ball inside the Boston Garden.

    Boston Garden c.1930 Photo courtesy of museumofthecity.org

    The Olympets were created by Boston Garden owner, Walter Brown, to draw crowds to

    the Garden during the summer off season. Starting in the late 1930s until 1943 the

    Olympets did just that. As team member Mary Pratt recalls about playing ball inside

    Boston Garden, They took the diamond and put it on a diagonal and they put a post

    down by first base and as a lefty you could quite readily hit into the stands, but that

    would only go for a single, but to hit it to left field was a long, long distance at the

    Garden.

  • Boston Olympets outfield brigade at the Boston Garden, photo courtesy of the Boston

    Public Library

    Olympets uniform top. MTS study collection.

    The Olympets uniform consisted of red satin shorts, a white and blue uniform top with

    red, white, and blue lettering. The team name "Olympets" was spelled out across the

    front of the uniform top and the players number was positioned on the back. The letter

    B was also positioned on one of the sleeves. Players footwear consisted of leather

    laced sneakers. The team also had yellow satin jackets that they wore for away games.

    The jackets had blue ribbing at the waist and cuffs and the team nickname PETS was

    spelled out in blue lettering across the back.

  • Olympets away jacket. MTS study collection.

    Many of the women from the Olympets went on to play in the AAGPBL, the All

    American Girls Professional Baseball League, formed in 1943. Some of the teams that

    became part of the AAGPBL, such as the Racine Belles and Rockford Peaches, were

    portrayed in the film A League of Their Own. Several of the women featured in this

    film got their start as Boston Olympets.

    Uniform shorts with no number. MTS study collection.

  • Camille Breeze was fortunate enough to obtain four pieces of an Olympets uniform to

    add to the MTS study collection. We are now in possession of an away jacket with the

    number 6, a pair of red shorts with the number 6, a pair of red shorts with no number,

    and a jersey with the number 14. According to the seller, Martha Stickney, the uniform

    belonged to Virginia MacCarthy of Wakefield, Massachusetts. A photograph of Virginia

    is known to exist. Martha, who graduated from Wakefield High School in 1981, had

    made some baseball history of her own by being the first girl to play on the boys

    baseball team.

    Hopefully, further research will shed light on who Virginia McCarthy was and when she

    played for the Boston Olympets.