Eleanor Margaret Knudsen Callow
- Bats Both, Throws Right
Outfielder Eleanor Callow was one of the top power hitters in the history of the AAGPBL. She was the league's all-time leader in homers (55) and triples (55) and made three All-Star teams in seven seasons. Her 407 RBI are third-best in the AAGPBL's span. She also had the best fielding percentage of any outfielder in 1952.
Breaking in with the '47 Peoria Redwings, Callow split the 1948 season between the expasion Chicago Colleens and the Rockford Peaches, with whom she would spend the remainder of her career. Callow hit .251 that year, but tied for second with 6 homers (one behind Connie Wisniewski) and leading the circuit with 15 triples, one more than Audrey Wagner.
Callow repeated as the triple queen with 11 in '49. The Canadian slugger tied for the home run title in 1950, matching Sophie Kurys. Eleanor was 7th with 58 RBI and won her third triple title, with 11 once again. In 1951 she made her first All-Star squad after improving in several stats - she hit .326, 67 points ahead of her prior best mark, clubbed 16 doubles (her best yet), stole a career-high 40 bases, drew 49 walks (an improvement of 16 over her prior best), cut her strikeouts to 23 (her fewest since becoming an everyday player), scored 66 runs (19 more than her prior best) and drove in 84, 28 more than her previous top year. She finished fourth in batting, was part of a 3-way tie for the home run lead (4), was second to Betty Foss in total bases (172), led in RBI (16 more than Lib Mahon), was 4th with 124 hits, 4th in doubles and claimed her fourth triple title in a row.
Callow slipped in '52, but still finished third in home runs (8), fifth in total bases (151), 9th in RBI (49) and steals (39), 8th in runs (56) and tied for 4th in triples (6). Her triple title run was broken by Foss and Eleanor had returned to her mediocre-average, high-power form of the past. She still made the All-Star team.
In 1953 Eleanor hit .303 (6th in the AAGPBL), hit 8 homers (tied for second, one behind Wilma Briggs, acquired 172 total bases (4th), drove in 58 (9th), stole 37 (8th), banged out 117 hits (tied for 7th), scored 58 (tied for 8th) and led the league in doubles for the first time, with 23.
Callow returned to the All-Star team in '54. With a new lively ball, her .326 would only have qualified for 9th had she had enough at-bats to finish among the leaders. Despite limited time, she cracked 20 homers, fifth in the league and also finished among the leaders in total bases (160, 7th), RBI (58, tied for 7th) and steals (23, 8th). Along with Joanne Weaver she became one of only 20-20 players in the AAGPBL's 12-year history.
- Gary Belleville: "August 28, 1951: RBI machine Eleanor Callow propels Rockford to victory over Kalamazoo," SABR Baseball Games Project.