Women in Baseball Week!

Claire Schillace

A native of Melrose Park, Illinois, Schillace was attending Northern Illinois University and played softball in a Chicago league, being a member of the Illinois state and Chicago city championship teams. She impressed the AAGPBL scouts with her speedy baserunning and fielding skills. After receiving a tryout invitation, she became one of the first four players signed by the league for its inaugural season, joining Ann HarnettShirley Jameson and Edythe Perlick.[2]

Schillace spent four years in the league, all with the Racine Belles. She had an outstanding rookie season, hitting a career-high .251 average, being selected to the All-Star Team, and as member of the 1943 Belles Championship Team. During her career, she posted a .202 average and stole 153 bases.[3]

Following her baseball career, Schillace completed her studies and earned a master’s degree in education. After being married, she changed her name to Claire Schillace Donahoe. She and her husband had four children, three boys and a girl. For many years she worked as an educator in Maryland.[4]