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Claire Donahoe (Schillace)

Claire Donahoe (Schillace)

Claire Donahoe

Schillace
Clara
Melrose Park, IL  US
03/29/1921
01/17/1999
Left
Right
Player
Center Field
All Star Team (1943), Racine Belles (1943, 1944, 1945, 1946)

Claire Donahoe Seasonal Batting Record

Year G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB BB SO AVG
1943 102 350 65 88 7 3 1 38 40 50 18 .251
1944 112 374 65 78 3 3 0 30 58 68 16 .209
1945 105 357 31 66 3 4 1 26 34 61 27 .185
1946 98 310 40 50 2 4 0 18 21 47 31 .161

Profile Biography

One of the first four players to sign a contract with the league in 1943, Claire was selected for the All-Star team during the first season of play. After four years in the league covering the outfield for the Racine Belles, Claire set out to cover the world.  She taught in Germany, Iran, Ethiopia, and Bolivia. While in Iran and Bolivia, she even managed little league teams!

Clalire Schillace: email from her nephew:3/11/05
Claire married my father's cousin Joe Donahoe somewhere in the late 40s and went into the foreign service with him. I believe she taught P.E. They retired and returned to the US sometime in the early 80s, living in the DC area (Silver Spring MD, as I recall). Joe died a few years back, as did Claire. Joe's sister Mary Catherine is still alive, though we last heard from her after my father died in the fall. She may be the best source of info on Clarie. One obit for Claire is still on the web and mentions an exhibit on the AAGPBL at the Babe Ruth Museum in Camden Yards that she evidently helped set up. There is no mention of that on the website currently.

One story I can remember right off is that when she was heading up for the filming of that scene at the end of "A League of their Own" she was told to bring her glove so she went to buy one and was asked by the clerk if she was getting it for her grandson. She just looked at him and said, "No, it's for me".

Beloved Baseball Star Claire Donahoe Dies

Claire (Schillace) Donahoe was one of the first four women drafted to play in the All American Girls Professional Baseball League in 1943, and played for four seasons as a center fielder for the Racine, Wisconsin Belles. 

The women's league was established during World War II, when the major leagues were suffering a shortage of players due to the wartime effort. 

Donahoe earned an undergraduate degree from Northern Illinois University and a master's degree in physical education from New York University. She married U.S. Agency for International Development employee Joseph Donahoe and traveled with him to Germany, Ethiopia, Bolivia and Iran. She taught in those countries and helped out with Little League and volunteered as a youth counselor. 

The Donahoes later settled in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area, where Claire taught at Kensington Junior High School and was an active member of the All-American Girls' alumnae association. Donahoe also lent her experience and expertise to the creation of a Babe Ruth Museum exhibit that will preserve memorabilia, pictures, and stories from All-American Girls League players for generations to come. The Babe Ruth Museum is located within Camden Yards in Baltimore, Maryland. 

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