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Female baseball star dies at 84

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FORT WAYNE, Ind., Aug. 17 (UPI) -- Dottie Collins, who starred as a women's professional baseball pitcher in the 1940s, has died of a stroke in Indiana. She was 84.

Collins was known for her six seasons in the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League, which was created to provide entertainment during World War II while major league males were off at war. But she later became known for her contributions to recording the history of the women's games, The New York Times reported Sunday.

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Collins helped form an association of former All-American league players in 1987 that provided the Baseball Hall of Fame with memorabilia that led to a Women in Baseball exhibit.

"When I connected with Dottie, the ball started to roll," Hall of Fame curator Ted Spencer said. "If it wasn't for her, I don't know where it would have gone."

The Cooperstown exhibit then helped spark Penny Marshall's 1992 Hollywood movie "A League of Their Own," starring Tom Hanks, Geena Davis, Rosie O'Donnell and Madonna.

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