Out at the Plate: The Dot Wilkinson Story (Hardcover)
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It’s not simply that Dot Wilkinson was one of the most decorated women’s softball players, bowlers, and athletes of all time and one of the original players from the three-time-world-champion PBSW Phoenix Ramblers softball team (1933–1965). Nor was it the length of her time here on Earth—over a century—although any of these things by itself would be impressive.
The magic of Dot’s story is in the details. It’s the tale of a childhood spent in poverty, an indomitable, unbreakable spirit, a determination to be the very best to play whatever sport she undertook, the independence to live her personal life on her own terms, and her tremendous success at all of it.
Over more than a decade of countless conversations and interviews, Dot shared all of it with her dear friend, author Lynn Ames. Dot held nothing back. Out at the Plate, told through the lens of Dot and Lynn’s friendship, is the story of a forgotten era in women’s history and sports, and one extraordinary woman’s place at the center of it all.
“Dot Wilkinson was an absolute treasure. As Out at the Plate attests, she lived her life on her terms, crushing every challenge encountered along the way. Whether as a two-sport hall of fame athlete, life partner, or friend, Dot supported, encouraged, and inspired generations of women.” —Nona Lee, former executive vice president and chief legal officer, Arizona Diamondbacks
“Dot Wilkinson was the best catcher I’ve ever known. There was no way that you could slide into home and be safe. Dottie had it blocked. Ask me, I paid the price! Dot was an athlete’s athlete—one of a kind. She was also a great human being. If you care about the history of the game and the women who played it, Out at the Plate is the book for you!” —Maybelle Blair, pitcher for the Peoria Redwings of the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League and the inspiration for the Amazon Prime series, A League of Their Own
“Once I started reading Out at the Plate, I couldn’t put it down. I lived with Dot and Ricki for a time as a teenager during the 1960s and stayed with them often when I played professional golf tournaments in Phoenix. Lynn Ames has done a wonderful job bringing Dot, Ricki, and their experiences to life. I have read and loved all of Lynn’s books and this is one of her very best.” —Bonnie Bryant, women’s professional golfer
“Dot Wilkinson was the greatest female catcher ever to play softball. A bold, pioneering athlete, she refused to let others define her and instead defined herself. Her story is an inspiration to people everywhere.” —Billie Jean King, sports icon and champion for equality
“Out at the Plate is a fabulous read for any softball fan. A wonderful story of a sports legend who I became aware of as my career in softball began in the early 1980s. People admired this wonderful athlete and spoke about her phenomenal career in fast-pitch softball. Dot was regarded as the gold standard for her toughness on the field and her generosity and friendliness off the field. A Hall of Fame inductee in softball and bowling says it all about this athletic royalty. So blessed to have met her and shared her legacy!” —Mike Candrea, former head coach, University of Arizona, USA Olympic Team 2004 and 2008
“I played softball at the top level for twenty-three years, with and against some of the best players of the era. Our team, the Orange Lionettes, was in the same league as the Phoenix Ramblers, both powerhouses in the fast-pitch world. The most notable player on the Ramblers was their unforgettable catcher, Dot Wilkinson. She was a left-handed power-hitting, tougher-than-nails catcher who was named to the ASA All-American team nineteen times during her career. Dot was arguably the best at her position during her era and many would say, ever. In this delightfully written book, Dot’s very good friend, famed author Lynn Ames, has captured the magic of the heyday of women’s softball and Dot’s role at the center of it all. A must-read.” —Carol Spanks, National Softball Hall of Famer, USA Women’s National Softball team coach, 13-time All-American, and 4-time World Champion
"This an essential title for sports and LGBTQ collections. Readers drawn to A League of Their Own, will enjoy this look at a softball trailblazer." — Booklist