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Memorable Manitobans: Olive Elizabeth Bend Little (1917-1997)

Athlete.

Born at Poplar Point on 7 May 1917, daughter of Annie Ada Wilson (1887-1978) and John Pigott “Jack” Bend, she was educated at a teacher’s college. She pitched for the CUAC Blues and the Moose Jaw Royals women’s baseball teams in seasons in which both teams won provincial championships. She turned professional in 1940, and played for the Rockford (Illinois) Peaches during the war years when women’s baseball was so popular. She was a league all-star and pitched a number of no-hit games. She also pitched softball, and was elected to the Canadian Softball Hall of Fame in 1983 and the Manitoba Sports Hall of Fame in 1985. She was selected posthumously as a Manitoba Women Trailblazer.

Sources:

Birth registration, Manitoba Vital Statistics.

“Olive’s success traced to father,” Winnipeg Free Press, 3 February 1984, page 46.

Dictionary of Manitoba Biography by John M. “Jack” Bumsted, Winnipeg: University of Manitoba Press, 1999.

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.

Page revised: 1 February 2021

Memorable Manitobans

Memorable Manitobans

This is a collection of noteworthy Manitobans from the past, compiled by the Manitoba Historical Society. We acknowledge that the collection contains both reputable and disreputable people. All are worth remembering as a lesson to future generations.

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