Philip K. Wrigley began the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League (AAGPBL) in 1943, as many male athletes were fighting in World War II. The AAGPBL was at the forefront of women’s professional sports.
The Rockford Peaches were one of the teams that operated during the first year of the league and played at Beyer Stadium, nicknamed the “Peach Orchard.” Although the league disbanded in 1954, Rockford won four league championships including the first “three-peat” in 1948, 1949, and 1950.
Beyer Stadium was used for several other local events and by the Rockford High School football team. The stadium fell into a state of disrepair in the 1980s and was demolished in the 1990s.
Thanks to the movie, A League of Their Own released in 1992, interest in the Rockford Peaches revived. Local restaurants and shops began carrying Peaches themed merchandise, and in 2010, a new baseball diamond was dedicated on the site of Beyer Stadium. Several living AAGPBL members threw out a few ceremonial pitches.
Today, visitors can walk along the diamond, pass through the original gatehouse, read the historical plaques, and sit in dugouts with pictures of AAGPBL players as they were back in the original stadium. On some Saturdays, visitors can even catch a free game by the Rockford Starfires women’s baseball team.
Know Before You Go
Parking along Seminary St. is easier than parking along 15th. The best way to get to Beyer Park from outside of town or from the East Side hotels is to take US Bypass 20 to ILL 2/S. Main St. From there, cross the river at Marchesano/15th St Bridge. Beyer Park will be about a half-mile east on the south side of the street.