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That statement is not entirely accurate. Fleitz was clearly the most famous mom on tour-but not the only one. Pat Todd also played after having kids, as did some less promnent women.
It is amazing I feel whenever a woman can combine tennis and motherhood. Plus in the fifties there must have been the social pressure to stop playing.
 

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Bev was first married to actor Scotty Beckett in Spetember of 1949. Anyone ever seen "Little Rascals"? He was a famous child actor who killed his own career by getting in drunken brawls.

This is from IMDB
God that was a narrow escape for her- he sounds like a borderline psychopath!!!:wavey:
 

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Speaking of not entirely accurate-I may have been wrong on the head to head. (There could be early California results that change things)

Currently what I have gives Mo a 3-2 edge

July 1950 FI East Hampton Baker d Connolly 6-4 9-7
July 1951 SF Penn State Connolly d Baker 6-4 6-3
Aug 1951 QF Manchester Connolly d Baker 9-7 6-2
Sept1951 FI PSW Connolly d Baker 9-7 6-4
MAR 1954 SF La Jolla Fleitz d Connolly 6-0 6-4

*The 6-0 6-4 was probably Mo's worst defeat after 1950.
What a defeat Rollo- 0 and 4? And even the Connolly wins were not easy.
 

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It just shows you what a champion and an athlete Brough was. To be at that stage of her career and still have the hunger to go training and maintain the drive is remarkable. From how I interpret it many people felt at the emergence of Connolly that she was finished at grand slam winning level. But you can never write a great player off- they tend to come back!!
Yes, but isn't there an asterisk against her 1955 Wimbledon title after the horrific accident to Mo Connolly in 1954?:devil:

Ah well, unlike some other people in some other threads I'm not going to claim I know what would have happened.;) :rolleyes:
 

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Pretty impressive Wightman Cup wins over Mortimer and Truman Chris.:worship:
To be quite honest the British team never really travelled very well and let's face it, for such a good player Angela Mortimer's WC record is frankly cr*p.
 

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Yes, but isn't there an asterisk against her 1955 Wimbledon title after the horrific accident to Mo Connolly in 1954?:devil:

Ah well, unlike some other people in some other threads I'm not going to claim I know what would have happened.;) :rolleyes:
That is exactly the point I have been making elsewhere Chris. It is not only Graf who has benefited in tennis history from the abscence of a rival!!!
 

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To be quite honest the British team never really travelled very well and let's face it, for such a good player Angela Mortimer's WC record is frankly cr*p.
I know I have never understood how she managed to have such a bad Wightman Cup record. It is so poor next to Jones, Wade, Truman and Barker.:confused:
 

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Speaking of not entirely accurate-I may have been wrong on the head to head. (There could be early California results that change things)

Currently what I have gives Mo a 3-2 edge

July 1950 FI East Hampton Baker d Connolly 6-4 9-7
July 1951 SF Penn State Connolly d Baker 6-4 6-3
Aug 1951 QF Manchester Connolly d Baker 9-7 6-2
Sept1951 FI PSW Connolly d Baker 9-7 6-4
MAR 1954 SF La Jolla Fleitz d Connolly 6-0 6-4

*The 6-0 6-4 was probably Mo's worst defeat after 1950.
If Mrs Fleitz had an h2h advantage over Maureen there probably were some victories at lesser Californian events in the late 40s/early 50s.

I love perusing h2h statistics but I do think they have to be treated cautiously as there is a certain superficiality to them.

Most players take several years to reach their optimum so an already established player can notch up a few victories over an upcoming one. In theory then this should balance out as the older player begins to decline but so often many players leave the game for whatever reasons while still relatively near the top so quite often only an in-depth examination of h2h stats can really tell the story.
 

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If Mrs Fleitz had an h2h advantage over Maureen there probably were some victories at lesser Californian events in the late 40s/early 50s.

I love perusing h2h statistics but I do think they have to be treated cautiously as there is a certain superficiality to them.

Most players take several years to reach their optimum so an already established player can notch up a few victories over an upcoming one. In theory then this should balance out as the older player begins to decline but so often many players leave the game for whatever reasons while still relatively near the top so quite often only an in-depth examination of h2h stats can really tell the story.
That as always from you is perceptive Chris. Bakers record against Connolly is superb. And full marks to her. But I guess it is safe to say that it was only in 52 that Connolly began to clearly define herself as an all time great. Therefore a few of the earlier results do not have quite the same weight as they would over the Connolly of 52-55. But no denying that Baker must have been some player!!
 

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This is a good account of the Fleitz-Brough 1955 Wimbledon singles final. It's taken from a July 1955 of "Sports Illustrated":

Louise Brough entered the hall of Wimbledon fame today. She drew on every shot in her memory book and improvised a few more on the spur of the moment to defeat Mrs. Beverly Baker Fleitz of Long Beach, Calif. 7-5, 8-6, for the all-England women's tennis championship.

This singles match will live long in Wimbledon tradition. It rang on a high note from the first serve and enthralled a crowd of nearly 20,000.

Mrs. Fleitz was the favorite. She had smothered Doris Hart in straight sets to reach the final, and she had beaten Louise four times in a row around the world. She was rested and confident, faster afoot and infinitely better on ground strokes.

Louise played her the only way. She sliced one shot, drove another, always trying to break the lovely rhythm of Beverly's two-handed game. She used lobs and drop shots. She even went to the net, but that proved damaging. Bev passed her with consummate ease. Quickly in stride, Louise broke service and held hers. She was 3-1 when Bev double-faulted twice, and Louise dumped a teaser just over the barrier.

Then slugging little Beverly found her range. She barreled the ball down one side, put away the return on the other. Her shots were faster and deeper and all at once she led 4-3 and again at 5-4 after Miss Brough unaccountably hit a short volley far over the base line.

Louise took measures. She won her serve immaculately and then pulled the drop shot out of her repertoire. Mrs. Fleitz simply cannot handle the short ball and Broughie, biding her time, kept rallying from the deep court and suddenly pushed in a couple of floaters for outright winners. She had broken service at love.

In a tremendous rally Beverly fell down and then, unsettled, banged the next shot into net. Louise had the set.

In the ascendancy now, Louise mixed every wile and stratagem she has picked up in the 15 years since she was the American girls' champion.

A crisis came in the sixth game, Miss Brough serving. Five times Mrs. Fleitz had advantage, eight times in all the game went to deuce and finally Louise ripped a beautifully sliced backhand down the tape to lead 4-2.

Mrs. Fleitz merely hit the ball harder. No woman could stand against her pace now. She won 10 points in a row on a brilliant barrage that left Louise shaking her head helplessly as the shots thundered by. The audience roared as Beverly reached 5-4.

Louise took her own serve, broke her rival's but then the 25-year-old mother fired four rockets down the lines and it was 6-6 and anybody to win. Louise was clearly tired now. She was resting between points and having difficulty throwing the ball into the air for service. Miss Brough finally struggled up to advantage on Mrs. Fleitz's service. Then came the shot of the match.

A Fleitz drive down the left-hand side was weakly returned and Mrs. Fleitz hammered it down the other. Across court raced Louise. She lunged desperately and pulled off a gorgeous stop volley that just trickled over the net. It was, as she said later, a "determined bit of stretching."

That shot did it. It was Louise to serve and 7-6. She was 40-15, faltered long enough to double-fault and then leaped in the air as Bev weakly netted.

"I couldn't have gone on any longer." said Louise later. "The heart was there but the legs were gone."

The Duchess of Kent went to the court to present the large silver plate. "Wonderful tennis," she said. "Finest I have seen in years."
 

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Bev was first married to actor Scotty Beckett in Spetember of 1949. Anyone ever seen "Little Rascals"? He was a famous child actor who killed his own career by getting in drunken brawls.

This is from IMDB
To me that IMDB is lazy research. Scotty started acting when he was three years old. He was the bread winner of the family because his dad died. Ironically, he was discovered by a casting director when Scotty was visiting his ailing father at the hospital. He made over 75 films (lot of them uncredited) by the time he was 14, he did sacrifice and worked hard. Unfortuntately what he sacrificed was social skills and other skills that would cost him later in life. As a teen, he got introduced to drugs and ultimately that is what killed him and what Beverly saw. I seen this with adults as well and lot of them are professional in those respected fields of lawyers, doctors, and so on.
 

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To me that IMDB is lazy research. Scotty started acting when he was three years old. He was the bread winner of the family because his dad died. Ironically, he was discovered by a casting director when Scotty was visiting his ailing father at the hospital. He made over 75 films (lot of them uncredited) by the time he was 14, he did sacrifice and worked hard. Unfortuntately what he sacrificed was social skills and other skills that would cost him later in life. As a teen, he got introduced to drugs and ultimately that is what killed him and what Beverly saw. I seen this with adults as well and lot of them are professional in those respected fields of lawyers, doctors, and so on.
It is actually a very sad story re this man. Drugs are and were such a curse and if this was superimposed on a mind that was already troubled and we are guaranteed almost certain mental illness. Also it sounds like he was over worked as a child.
 

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Discussion Starter #33
Thanks to Wolbo for bringing the passing of this one of kind player and person to our attention.

http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/dailybreeze/obituary.aspx?pid=170903510

Beverly Joyce Fleitz

Obituary | Condolences







Beverly Joyce Fleitz

Beverly Joyce Fleitz, the daughter of Frank and Pauline Baker, passed away peacefully at her home in Long Beach, California on April 29, 2014 at the age of 84. She was born March 13, 1930 in Providence, Rhode Island. Her father taught her to play tennis at an early age in Santa Monica. Since she experienced difficulty reaching backhands, her father taught her to hit left-handed forehands instead. The ambidextrous young player captured many junior titles beginning in 1942 and won the U.S. Junior Girls crown in 1947. She continued at the professional level winning over 60 national and international singles titles. During her career, she married her beloved John in 1951, consistently ranked in the top six, and reached number one in 1959. After taking the winners crown at the Pacific Southwest tournament in Los Angeles, she announced her retirement from singles tournaments. John and Beverly were longtime residents of Long Beach and continued to play mixed doubles tournaments together. During the last eight years of her career, she was the only mother on the tennis circuit.

She was a cherished wife, devoted mother, generous grandmother, and friend whose presence would light up a room. For those of us lucky enough to have known Beverly personally, her passing has created a void that will never be filled. She will be missed each and every day. She was completely dedicated to her family and husband John, caring for him during his battle with Alzheimer's disease, which lead to his passing in 2011. She was a woman of integrity whose actions personified her values and a great sense of humor that always greeted you with a smile. May she now rest in the arms of her Heavenly Father, in peace at last.

Beverly is the mother of four children and many grandchildren and one great grandchild: Kimberly Duarte-Fleitz, Julie (Kris) Kazarian, Lisa Wetherell, Jamie Phillips, Kristen (Leith), Jeffrey (Anastassia), Brittany, Jonathan, Katie, Jackson, Daniel, Courtney, Irene and Mitchell, and great granddaughter Riley.

Beverly will be laid to rest Monday May 5th in a private ceremony at Green Hills Cemetery. The family has asked that in-lieu of flowers, donations may be sent to Sanctuary Hospice at www.sanctuaryhospiceca.com or the American Cancer Society at www.cancer.org. Please sign the guest book at www.presstelegram.com/obits and www.dailybreeze.com/obits.


Published in Daily Breeze on May 3, 2014



- See more at: http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/dailybreeze/obituary.aspx?pid=170903510#sthash.CTMtrWpn.dpuf
 

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Discussion Starter #34
This link to a press caption and photo sums up her values:

http://outlet.historicimages.com/products/dfpa04009



[February 26, 1958]
Caption: Tennis star Beverly Baker Fleitz admits she'd like very much to win the Wimbledon title but only if it doesn't interfere with her family life. "I wouldn't trade my children for all the trophies in the world," says Beverly when talking about her two youngsters. They're 5-year old Kim (left) and 1-year old Julie Ann. "You can't compare children to a cold trophy," adds Beverly..
 

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Speaking of not entirely accurate-I may have been wrong on the head to head. (There could be early California results that change things)

Currently what I have gives Mo a 3-2 edge

July 1950 FI East Hampton Baker d Connolly 6-4 9-7
July 1951 SF Penn State Connolly d Baker 6-4 6-3
Aug 1951 QF Manchester Connolly d Baker 9-7 6-2
Sept1951 FI PSW Connolly d Baker 9-7 6-4
MAR 1954 SF La Jolla Fleitz d Connolly 6-0 6-4

*The 6-0 6-4 was probably Mo's worst defeat after 1950.
Connolly 5 (10 sets) (94 games)
Baker Fleitz 4 (9 sets) (96 games)

They played only one 3-set match, won by Connolly. Four of their 19 sets went to 9-7. Baker Fleitz bageled Connolly twice. Connolly.never bagled Baker Fleitz.

In Connolly's 5 match wins, the game count was 73-45 (14.60-9.00).

In Baker Fleitz's 4 match wins, the game count was 51-21 (12.75-5.25).

1948: Colorado State Championships, Denver (unknown surface) Final: Baker 6-0, 6-3
1948: Pacific Northwest Sectional Championships, Tacoma, Washington (hard) Final: Baker 6-2, 6-1
1950: Southern California Sectional Championships (hard) 3R: Connolly 6-2, 6-3
1950: Coronado, California (hard) Final: Connolly 6-2, 7-9, 6-2
1950: Maidstone Invitational (grass) Final: Baker 6-4, 9-7
1951: Pennsylvania & Eastern Districts Championships (grass) SF: Connolly 6-4, 6-3
1951: Essex County Club Invitational (U.S.) (grass) QF: Connolly 9-7, 6-2
1951: Pacific Southwest Championships (hard) Final: Connolly 9-7, 6-4
1954: La Jolla, California (hard) SF: Baker Fleitz 6-0, 6-4
 

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Baker Fleitz 0, Pauline Betz 0

Baker Fleitz 7, Louise Brough 6 (0-3 at Grand Slams: 1947 U.S. 3R, 1949 U.S. QF, 1955 Wimbledon FN)

Baker Fleitz 3, Maria Bueno 0 (1-0 at Grand Slams: 1958 U.S. QF)

Baker Fleitz 15, Dorothy Bundy Cheney 1 (0-0 at Grand Slams) (Bundy Cheney's worst record against anyone; second worst was 1-8 against Alice Marble)

Baker Fleitz 4, Maureen Connolly 5 (0-0 at Grand Slams)

Baker Fleitz 3, Shirley Fry 5 (0-0 at Grand Slams)

Baker Fleitz 3, Althea Gibson 1 (2-1 at Grand Slams: 1951 Wimbledon 3R, 1955 U.S. 3R, 1958 U.S. SF won by Gibson)

Baker Fleitz 7, Darlene Hard 0 (0-0 at Grand Slams)

Baker Fleitz 1, Doris Hart 8 (1-2 at Grand Slams: 1950 U.S. SF, 1951 Wimbledon SF, 1955 Wimbledon SF) (in Hart's last career singles match at Wimbledon, Baker Fleitz finally showed how devastating she could be during a 6-3, 6-0 rout)

Baker Fleitz 2, Karen Hantze 0 (0-0 at Grand Slams)

Baker Fleitz 0, Ann Haydon Jones 0

Baker Fleitz 0, Billie Jean Moffitt King 0

Baker Fleitz 1, Angela Mortimer 0 (0-0 at Grand Slams)

Baker Fleitz 3, Margaret Osborne duPont 3 (2-1 at Grand Slams: 1948 U.S. QF won by Osborne duPont, 1951 Wimbledon QF, 1958 U.S. 3R)

Baker Fleitz 0, Sarah Palfrey Fabyan Cooke 0

Baker Fleitz 0, Nancy Richey 0
 

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I haven't finished researching Baker's singles record in 1951, but I'm estimating it at close to 80-18 spread over 28 tournaments, 7 of which she won.

This year in particular illustrates her problems on clay, especially in Europe. She started the year in Florida where she split 4 clay court matches with Shirley Fry followed by a loss on clay to Doris Hart in Havana.

She went to Europe in March and did not return to the U.S. until after Wimbledon. A series of losses on clay marred her tour:

* Monte Carlo, lost R16 to Barbara Scofield
* Nice, lost SF to Fry 6-1, 4-6, 6-2
* Italian National Championships, defaulted QF to Thelma Coyne Long
* Palermo, Italy, lost SF to Fry 9-7, 6-1
* Paris (at Roland Garros but not the GS event), lost SF to Hart 6-0, 0-6, 6-3
* Bournmouth, lost SF to Jean Walker Smith
* Hurlingham, won the tournament, defeated Katherine Tuckey (later Maude) in the final
* Birmingham, won the tournament, defeated Nancye Wynne Bolton in the final
* French International Championships, Paris, #5 seed, lost QF to #4 seed Walker Smith 3-6, 6-4, 6-1

Switching to grass:
* Manchester, lost the final to Hart 8-6, 6-3
* Bristol, won the tournament, defeating Beryl Nicholas Bartlett in the final and Angela Mortimer in SF 6-3, 6-2
* Queen's Club, lost QF to Nancy Chaffee
* Wimbledon, #5 seed, lost SF to #3 seed Hart 6-3, 6-1 after defeating unseeded Althea Gibson in 3R 6-1, 6-3 and #2 seed Margaret Osborne duPont in QF 6-1, 4-6, 6-3. To have won the tournament, she would have had to defeat the 2, 3, and 4 seeds in succession.

The remainder of her year, all in the U.S., was notable for 3 losses to the rapidly-becoming-invincible Maureen Connolly and an upset loss at Forest Hills:
* U.S. Clay Court Championships, lost SF to Dorothy Head
* Pennsylvania and Eastern Districts Championships, lost SF to Maureen Connolly 6-4, 6-3
* Maidstone Invitational, lost the final to Patricia Canning Todd
* Essex County Club Invitational, lost SF to Connolly 9-7, 6-2
* U.S. National Championships, #6 seed, lost 3R to #3 foreign seed Tuckey. This was the start of Connolly's domination of Grand Slam tournaments.
* Pacific Southwest Championships, lost the final to Connolly 9-7, 6-4
 
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