San Antonio native Alva Jo Fischer was quite an athlete. At 5’9” she possessed a strong and trim body, which she maintained in perfect condition throughout her life. As a youngster she demonstrated remarkable talent in various sports, but it was on the diamond where she sparkled. In 1938, she was selected for the all-state team at first base. Incredibly she hadn’t yet reached her 12th birthday.
Alva Jo’s sports career took an interesting turn in 1945 when she was lured up north to play women’s professional baseball for the Rockford Peaches in the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League. In her first year Fischer’s pitching helped Rockford win the league championship. The next year she was assigned to the Muskegon Lassies, and won 11 games while also playing an excellent shortstop and hitting a hefty .309 in the pitching-dominant league. Fischer made her share of headlines during her career, including one July night in 1948, when she shocked the fans by refusing to be intentionally walked. After watching two wide pitches, Tex reached across the plate and tagged a base hit, driving in what proved to be the winning run.
1949 was Alva Jo’s last season in the AAGPBL. She finished with a career fielding percentage of .920, while also winning 34 games as a pitcher. Following the death of her father, the all-star pitcher-shortstop retired from the league and returned home to San Antonio, where she continued her legendary softball career. Her scrapbook is replete with accounts of no-hitters and low-hitters. Sandwiched between are stories of lusty hitting feats, which helped win local and state tournaments.
In her early 40s, although she still looked fit, Tex complained of great fatigue. “Old age is catching up with me,” she quipped. As she was to discover, it was something more deadly—leukemia. Telling no one, she battled the mortal enemy with the same gritty determination that she had reserved for diamond opponents.
Alva Jo Fischer died in 1973. Although she lived to be only 47 years old, she left a lot of spike prints in the sands of San Antonio diamonds. In 1975 the Alva Jo Fischer Softball Complex was dedicated in her name, forever serving to remind of her great talents, her competitive spirit, her sense of fair play, and the inspiring way she lived—and died. Alva Jo was inducted into the San Antonio Sports Hall of Fame in 1998, and we are honored to invite Tex into the Texas Baseball Hall of Fame.