One-piece bodysuit jerseys were a popular style of uniform at the time.
(They would stay tucked into shorts, even after a double play).
📷: Carmen Lujan on base, 1936. Courtesy of the Salazar Family
In the 1930s, Carmen Lujan was a young teen when she started playing for her Colton La Paloma barrio softball team, the Mercury Señoritas. For 5 years, she played second base for the Señoritas as they traveled to play other women’s barrio teams. ("Barrios” is Spanish for “neighborhoods” and often refers to Spanish-speaking communities across the United States).
Mexican American women’s teams gained popularity during the 1930s, when Latinas/os were often segregated in schools, work, neighborhoods, and in sports and recreation. Because of this segregation, Latinas/os across the country carved out their own spaces to play baseball and softball, giving rise to barrio teams that played on makeshift community diamonds every weekend. These teams formed networks for sports and cultural solidarity.
Notice how the Señoritas were sponsored by Norman’s Bakery, a local small business in San Bernardino, California? The support offered by churches and small businesses made barrio teams possible—and gave women and girls opportunities to compete in what was often a male-dominated sport.