From an early age, Houstonian Marie “Red” Mahoney was an accomplished athlete. Her quickness and agility were a natural fit in softball, basketball, and other sports. After graduating from San Jacinto High School, she continued her excellence on the diamond as she became a perennial Texas state ASA All-Star, who led her teams to several state championships.
Marie started out as a pitcher, and after a brief stint at third base she found her permanent home in the outfield. Opponents soon realized that hitting the ball in Red’s direction was a losing proposition.
During her softball career, Red played against teams throughout the state of Texas, including San Antonio, home of fellow Texans Alva Jo Fischer and Ruth Lessing. In 1947, thanks to a recommendation by fellow softballer Mary Baker, Marie received an invitation to spring training in Havana, Cuba with the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League.
Mahoney joined the South Bend Blue Sox that year, and became the only Houston native to play in the AAGPBL. In 1948, Red showcased her base-running skill and ability to patrol the outfield while playing for South Bend as well as the Fort Wayne Daisies. That year she made only two errors and was named to the AAGPBL All-Star team.
Like many of her fellow All-Americans, Red played professional baseball for the love of the game. The AAGPBL was a chance to compete at the highest level while getting paid to do something she loved. It wasn’t about making a statement—except for the one she made on the field.
After her retirement, Marie moved back to Houston and resumed her softball career. She worked at Kodak for 32 years, and was an accomplished bowler for 30 years. Red still resides in Houston and now works part time at a local golf course. She continues to serve as an ambassador for the AAGPBL and the game of baseball, and has been instrumental in making the 2006 reunion in Houston a great success. Red Mahoney embodies the “all for one and one for all” spirit of the AAGPBL, and we are proud to welcome her into the Texas Baseball Hall of Fame.