R.I.P. to Joyce Steele, who for one season was a first baseman/outfielder for the Kalamazoo Lassies of the AAGPBL. She died on April 21 at the age of 82. Along with playing in the ALl-American Girls Professional Baseball League in 1953, she was involved in numerous other competitive sports and activities and owned several businesses.
Joyce “Lucky” Steele was born on December 25, 1935 in Wyalusing, Pa. She was involved in numerous sporting activities throughout her life, so it seemed like a natural jump to join the AAGPBL. She saw limited action with the Lassies in 1953. Unfortunately there are no statistics available from her season on the league’s official website, but it does report that she was a switch-hitter and threw left-handed.
Steele did not return to the AAGPBL’s final season in 1954. She instead turned to softball, which she played through 1988. She played for teams throughout the Northeast, including Binghamton, N.Y. and Sayre, Pa. In addition to that, she was a member of the Women’s Dart League in Bradford-Sullivan County for 35 years and started a ring-toss league in 1972 with her father.
Along with sports, she worked at Fairway Spring in Elmira-Horseheads for over 20 years. She also ran several businesses, including Steele’s Tavern (with her sister), the Lovelton Hotel (with Millie Farr) and the Colley Pub.
Steele’s obituary, which she seems to have written at least in part, is linked below. If you do not read it, I would like to reprint this last line: “To my soul mate, I shall love you forever. See you later in the silver lining. I never gave up and I shall love you forever.“