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Ex-women's baseball star Kurys dies at 87

Feb. 25, 2013 at 9:03 PM   |   Comments

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz., Feb. 25 (UPI) -- Pioneering women's professional baseball player Sophie Kurys has died in Arizona, her niece said Monday. She was 87.

Kurys, who played in the 1940s for the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League, died Feb. 17 in a Scottsdale, Ariz., hospital following complications from surgery, niece Patricia Urchike told the Los Angeles Times.

A native of Flint, Mich., Kurys was nicknamed "the Flint Flash" because of her base-stealing prowess while playing for the Racine, Wis., Belles. She swiped 1,114 bases over eight seasons in the league, which was featured in the 1992 film "A League of Their Own."

The Times said Kurys set a record in 1946 for stealing 201 bases in 203 attempts -- a mark that remains unbroken in professional baseball.

After retiring from baseball in 1950 she spent nearly 30 years in Racine as a secretary at a machine parts company, eventually rising to become its vice president.

Kurys retired to Scottsdale in 1972, the newspaper said.

She is survived by nieces and nephews.

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