Happy Birthday To My ‘Belle of the Ballpark,’ Author/Fan/Best Friend Diana Star Helmer

Do me a favor, please. Before you read the rest of this blog, before you check the baseball standings or search for more stamps and envelopes, say thanks.

Not to me. Thank your hobby MVP. There’s someone near you who’s made a difference in your life as a baseball fan and autograph collector. Whether it’s a child, parent, sibling, spouse or even pet, someone has been patient with you. Despite all those baseball games and trips to the mailbox, they still love you.

My hobby MVP is my wife, Diana Star Helmer.

She’s learned to love the sport, because she loves me. Diana even wrote a sensational book about baseball (the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League), Belles of the Ballpark. This out-of-print title is worth being searched for, in libraries or used bookstores.

Her work is even more stunning, considering that she corresponded with and interviewed worried old women. The production company responsible for the movie A League of Their Own intimidated former players, warning them that doing interviews of any kind before the movie’s release would jeopardize the film’s success. (In other words, director Penny Marshall’s gang wanted an exclusive.)

Hollywood couldn’t stop Diana, who won over the AAGPBL alums one by one, all due to her knowledge and passion for their history.

Diana owns one of the greatest autographed items ever. At a reunion, former players passed around Diana’s book. They autographed pages where their names were mentioned. They wrote in margins. They spotted their names in the index and signed there.

She’s earned my gratitude, admiration and love. Happy birthday!

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