Jean Faut, Star Pitcher in Women’s Baseball League, Dies at 98

“I was a mathematical whiz in school, and I got to where I could remember the rotation that I pitched to the best hitters,” Faut said in the oral history interview, “and then I always changed it the next time they came up to bat, so there were little crazy things like that I used to do that gave me a little edge.”

She married Karl Winsch, a former minor league pitcher, in 1947, and had her first child, Larry, the next year, which caused her to miss part of that season. In 1951 — to her surprise, she said — her husband showed up at spring training as the new manager of the Blue Sox.

His presence was not agreeable to all. He was a disciplinarian, and he sparked lingering dissension when his suspension of one player late in the 1952 season for taking off her spikes during a game led several players to walk out, leaving the Blue Sox with only 12 for the rest of the season.

In a phone interview, Kevin Winsch said, “He created a problem because the team thought it was her and him against them.” Jim Sargent, the author of “We Were the All-American Girls: Interviews With Players of the AAGPBL, 1943-1954” (2013), said, also by phone: “I don’t think they resented her in particular, but she wasn’t one of them because if she sided with them, it would have made it worse. She was in between.”

Despite the problems, Faut’s performance was undiminished. She had her best season in 1952, when her record was 20-2, her E.R.A. was a meager 0.93 and she won the decisive Game 5 in the season’s playoffs, while also hitting two triples. But she retired after the next season, feeling that the tensions created by her husband, and their effect on her and the team, were too much to deal with.

She tried watching some home games in 1954, the league’s final year, “but I would cry in the stands because I wasn’t on the field,” she was quoted as saying in “We Were the All-American Girls.”

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