Did you know that there is a member of the All American Girls Professional Baseball League and National Women's Baseball Hall of Fame inductee among the School Sisters of St. Francis? On June 6, Sister Toni Ann Palermo will be joining two other League members at Wrigley Field to sing “Take Me Out to the Ball Game” as part of a historical 1940s celebration. Good luck Sister Toni!SSSF
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We are going to spot light an original player from the AAGPBL. She was at the Alverno game on August 11th and was featured on the TMJ4 news that night. Here is a little about her.
Toni Ann Palermo, the daughter of Fred and Elvira, grew up in Forest Park, Illinois, which was known as "Little Italy." It was very similar to the Madison Greenbush neighborhood where families lived together in harmony and celebrated with food, dance and music.
At the young age of 11, Toni was invited to travel to Cuba for spring training with the All American Girls Professional Baseball League. A few years later she became a member of the All American Girls Baseball League as a short stop. She also played professional softball with the Parichy Bloomer girls. Toni was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, PA and Elgin, Il. She was also recognized by the Baseball Association of Chicago for "Excellence as an AAGPBL Player, Educator and Leader." A documentary was made and presented for the public to honor athletes for the Chicago Historical Museum. It included Toni (AAGPBL). a gold medal boxer, a roller derby star (who was deaf), and a former men's Professional baseball player.
Sister Toni was named "Who's Who" of her high school class and recently nominated for "Business Who's Who Registry" in Madison. She was a dance performer/choreographer, author and guest speaker in the state of Wisconsin and Illinois.
Sister Toni had another "calling" into religious life as a School Sister of St. Francis in Milwaukee. She earned a Bachelor of Science degree in English, History and Math from Alverno College. Toni taught grade school and high school. She then continued her education and earned three Master Degrees and a Doctor of Philosophy Degree from the University of Wisconsin. Toni taught in the Physical Education Department and School of Social Work at the University. She was a member of the Pi Lambda Theta Honorary Society and was invited as a "People to People Ambassador- a women's delegation to China and Russia.
Sister Toni became a member of the IAWC. She has been a vibrant part of our club proudly wearing her red, white and green to our public events such as Festa Italia, Bayview Ethnic Fest and the International Festival. She exudes Italian pride. Sister Toni's gracious support to club members and their families during difficult times is a testament of her compassion for others. Her sense of humor and her exquisite talent for calling numbers at corn parties has provided many enjoyable memories. Tonight we honor Sister Toni Ann Palermo, PhD as Woman of the Year to recognize her dedication to our club's mission, her inspirational knowledge and her friendship.