The Greater Cincinnati region has been home to many outstanding baseball players – men and women – for decades. Any baseball fan’s visit to the area is likely to include stops at the Crosley Field marker, Great American Ball Park, and the Cincinnati Reds Hall of Fame and Museum. Across the Ohio River, however, fans will find sites related to an all-star athlete whose story may not be as familiar. Patricia Ann “Pat” Scott was a pitcher in the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League (AAGPBL) and called parts of Kenton and Boone Counties home for most of her life. Scott’s long and varied career resulted in many unique and noteworthy experiences and yet, her short time as a baseball player is commemorated at two locations, a field named in her honor and her final resting place, detailing the history of Northern Kentucky’s “Mound Ace” of girls’ baseball.
For those unfamiliar with Pat Scott’s participation and contributions to baseball, she was born in 1929 and grew up near Burlington, KY on her family’s farm that featured a baseball diamond. Barnstorming and semi-pro teams would often use the field and young Pat took advantage, working out with the teams and developing into a fine athlete. Becoming a standout softball player in her teenage years first got her noticed by AAGPBL scouts and she was recruited to play for the Springfield (Illinois) Sallies in 1948. Just weeks into her first season, Scott left the league to care for her ill mother and would eventually decide to put any baseball career on hold in favor of attending college, traveling, and working.
Three years later, when the league was in short supply of solid overhand pitchers, Scott was again contacted by the league and offered a roster spot with the Fort Wayne (Indiana) Daisies. For the next three seasons, she would shine with the Daisies, winning an average of 16 games and leading Fort Wayne to the league playoffs each year. Scott’s life after baseball was just as remarkable, earning a degree in zoology, working as a medical technologist for years, training horses, becoming an accomplished artist in painting and wood carving, and competing in the Senior Games.
Located 25-30 minutes south of Cincinnati proper, Walton Community Park is easily found just off of I-75. The park features ample green space, a playground, basketball and tennis courts, a soccer field, and next to the parking lot, the ball field. Approaching the parking lot from the center drive, visitors are met with a large sign that reads “Pat Scott Field” – letting them know they’re in the right place. The sign has changed over the years with the current version including a photo of Scott, taken from newsreel footage from the early 1950s when the Daisies spent spring training in Alexandria, Virginia. This particular newsreel is now in the public domain and can be viewed on the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) website or by searching any number of video hosting sites such as YouTube.
The opposite side of the sign is an enlarged replica of Scott’s 1995 Larry Fritsch Cards baseball card and provides an educational bonus for visitors. Listed are both pitching and batting statistics for Scott’s three complete seasons in the league as well as a brief biographical text that includes her pitching the winning game against Rockford that gave Fort Wayne its first pennant in 1952. The field, named for Scott in 2002, is a small, standard field, but well maintained. Fencing surrounds an irregularly configured outfield and a dirt infield. The field is visible in a 2008 episode of Kentucky Life, a series produced by Kentucky Educational Television exploring culture and community throughout the Bluegrass State. During her segment, Scott spends the afternoon with host Dave Shuffett playing catch on the field that bears her name.
Approximately seven miles southeast of Walton lies Saint Patrick’s Cemetery, the final resting place of Pat Scott. The small cemetery is accessible from Verona-Mudlick Road, halfway between the small community of Verona and I-71. The rural location lends itself to a quiet and peaceful atmosphere – surrounded by green fields in warmer months. The small cemetery is bisected by a driveway and Pat Scott’s marker can be found near the rear right (west) corner. Scott’s headstone is quickly recognizable. A black marble stone bearing her name at the top and “Beloved Sister and Aunt” at the bottom. The center focus of the marker consists of an elaborate and thoughtful engraving, highlighting Scott’s career as a professional baseball player. The view is that of sitting behind home plate, a baseball speeding toward you, and Scott further back in a pitcher’s follow through stance. The image is based on a photo of Scott in her Fort Wayne Daisies uniform. The AAGPBL logo is featured to the right of
Pat Scott’s grave site marker is a fitting memorial, but also offers visitors more about the significance of her baseball career. First, there is the educational aspect of the imagery featured on the marker. Imagine a person seeing the marker who may have no knowledge of women’s professional baseball in the 1950s. The potential for educational exploration exists when presented with the image of a skirted ballplayer pitching overhand as well as the unique AAGPBL logo. Second, after such an accomplished life full of athletic, scientific, and artistic achievements, it is her time as a professional baseball player that is forever featured on Scott’s marker.
Memorial efforts and recognition for Pat Scott’s athletic career continue and her name can be found in the St. Henry District High School Hall of Fame, the Northern Kentucky Sports Hall of Fame, and listed with other All-Americans in the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum. Pat Scott Field at Walton Community Park and Saint Patrick’s Cemetery both truly honor her individual athletic accomplishments and provide visitors with an opportunity to celebrate and learn more about her unique baseball career.