Imagine you’re a little girl in the 30’s and 40’s. What do you play? Dolls, house, cook with Mom? Not Babe Didrikson. As a little girl she was playing basketball, softball, baseball, and other sports. In her life she played basketball, baseball, softball, tennis, track and field, bowling, diving and swimming, pool and volleyball. People looked at her as a tomboy and “unladylike.” She didn’t care. She once quoted, “Before I was even into my teens I knew exactly what I wanted to be when I grew up. My goal was to be the greatest athlete that ever lived.”
Born Mildred Ella, she was named Babe after hitting five home runs in one baseball game. A reporter once asked her, “Is there anything you don’t play?” “Yea,” she replied, “dolls.” She was just a natural. She loved playing sports. She was, however, a very poor student. She only passed enough classes to play sports. She had short hair and wore clothes like boys. "As far as I can remember I played with boys rather than girls," she once told a reporter. She remembered the boys teasing her and testing her ability. Most girls liked her, but were sometimes afraid of her roughness.
She played mainly basketball in her high school career. Her basketball team never lost when she played and she brought them to numerous state championships. After her junior year she dropped out and got a job in Dallas as a stenographer at the Employers Casualty Company which sponsored a basketball team named Dallas Golden Cyclones. She was selected all- American and led the Cyclones to a national title. In 1931 they won the national AAU championship. She scored 30 or more points in most games. After basketball season, she started track and field where she earned world, American, and Olympic records in five different events. She became a premier woman's track and field player in the nation!
After her Golden Cyclone career she was invited to the 1932 Olympics. She held the long...