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As It Was: Baseball Hall of Fame Recognizes Charlene “Shorty” Pryer

All-Star baseballer Charlene “Shorty” Pryer of Medford, Ore., learned to play in California from her father.  After high school, she joined the Marine Corps Reserve and became a vocalist with the Dick Jurgens Orchestra, entertaining troops and working as one of the first female DJs in the country.

Major league baseball was put on hold as men and women went to war in the 1940s, so Pryer joined the Muskegon Lassies in the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League.  From 1946-1954, the league played a hybrid mix of softball and hardball that became the subject of a film titled “A League of their Own.”  Five-foot-one-inch Pryer was nicknamed Shorty.  One of the fastest baserunners in the league, she also led outfielders in fielding, stolen bases, was an All Star at second base and a member of two championship teams. 

In 1952, Pryer married Jack Mayer and moved to Medford, Ore., where they raised a family and she worked for the Medford schools for 25 years.  The Wilson Elementary School field is named for Shorty Pryer.

In 1988, the Baseball Hall of Fame recognized Pryer and other professional female players.


Sources: “Charlene Pryer." Wikipedia. 2018, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charlene_Pryer. Accessed 15 May 2018; Nordquist, Helen. "Mayer, Charlene "Shorty" Pryer." All-American Girls Professional Baseball League, edited by Bob Hubbard, AAGPBL, 30 Mar. 2016, www.aagpbl.org/index.cfm/articles/mayer-charlene-shorty-pryer-9-24.6./337. Accessed 14 May 2018; Fidler, Merrie A. The Origins and History of the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League. Mc Farland, 2013, pp. 302-03. Accessed 14 May 2018.

Luana (Loffer) Corbin graduated from Southern Oregon College, majoring in Elementary Education.  The summer after graduation she was hired to teach at Ruch Elementary, where she taught for 32 years. After retiring, Corbin worked for Lifetouch School Photography and then returned to Ruch as an aide helping with reading instruction and at the library.  More recently, she has volunteered at South Medford High.