Inductee Details

  < Back

Elizabeth " Lizzie" Murphy

(1894-1964) ~ Inducted 1994

Ms. Murphy, a native of Warren was an outstanding athlete who was the first woman ever to play in Major Legue Baseball competition, and who starred for more than thirty years for otherwise all-male professional, semi-professional, and amateur baseball teams throughout New England and other Eastern states.


On August 14, 1922, Lizzie Murphy made history for being the first female baseball player to play against major league players. She was born to make history, showing a natural inclination for boys' sports growing up in Warren. If it was fast and exciting, she played it, much to the dismay of her mother. Her father encouraged his daughter's persuits, thinking it was a passing phase. Not so, however, and by the time Lizzie was 12 and had left school to work for the Parker woolen mill as a ring spinner, she continued to play whenever and wherever she could. She was so good that at 15 she she was playing with men on local business teams like the Warren Shoe Company and by 17 she was a professional ball player with a Warren semi-pro club. Her gender and good looks attracted a lot of male attention, garnering profits for the owner. When the team owner refused to pay Lizzie, she refused to play. She forced the team owner to pay her a five dollar flat rate every game from then on, plus a share of the collection.

She went on to play for the Providence Independents and, then for Ed Carr’s All-Stars of Boston, traveling across southern New England and into Canada and marketing herself as she went along. A shrewd businesswoman, Lizzie  would go into the crowd herself after games, selling picture postcards of herself in uniform for a dime. The first base woman wore the same uniform as the men, with the difference being her name emblazoned across the front rather than the name of the team. She got along well with her teammates, earning their respect with her athletic ability.

In 1928, she played on a National League all-star team (in a game against the Boston Braves), becoming the first person of any gender to play for all-star teams in both the American and National leagues. Lizzie was also the first woman to play in the Negro Leagues, when she played first base for the Cleveland Colored Giants when they came through Rhode Island. 

Lizzie Murphy retired in 1935 at the age of forty. She returned to Warrenwhere she spent the remainder of her life , passing away at the age of 70 in 1964.

She has been cited as a legend in her time by both the National Baseball Hall of Fame and the Rhode Island General Assembly.  Her 100th birthday was celebrated as a town-wide observance in Warren on April 13, 1994.


See more inductees in:

- Sports - Baseball
- Women

< Go back



Search Inductees
Browse through our collection of 750+ amazing Rhode Islanders:

Search by Name or Keyword:

Area of Accomplishment:

African Americans | Agriculture / Farming | Architects & Designers | Artists & Painters | Banking / Finance | Business / Entrepreneurs | Civic Leaders | Civil Engineer | Civil Rights / Abolitionists | Clergy | Craftsmen | Dance | Econonomics / Theory | Education & Universities | Entertainment Development | Explorers & Adventurers | Famous RI Families | Food / Culinary | Founders of Rhode Island | Government & Politics | Historians/Historical Accounts, Preservation | Immigrants: Chinese | Immigrants: Irish | Immigrants: Portuguese | Industry - General | Industry - Jewelry | Industry - Maritime | Industry - Textiles | Inventors & Inventions | Labor / Unions | Law / Legal Pioneers | Literature / Writers / Newspapers | Medicine & Health Care | Military | Music (Singers, Composers) | Native Americans | Olympic Athletes | Philanthropists | Religion & Churches | Retail Pioneers | Rogues | Sports - Baseball | Sports - Basketball | Sports - Football | Sports - Golf | Sports - Hockey | Sports - Other | Sports - Tennis | Sports - Track and Field | Technology & Science | Theater | TV & Radio | Women |

Browse Years of Induction: