Ruth Hanford Morhard

Ruth Hanford Morhard

Ruth Hanford Morhard was memorizing the batting and earned run averages of Major League baseball players and reading baseball books when most young girls were playing with dolls. A native of Connecticut, she grew up a rabid fan of the Boston Red Sox, changing her allegiance to the Cleveland Indians when she moved to Ohio, ever hopeful of a long-awaited World Series win! She lives in Chardon, Ohio, with her husband Al, son of the Mrs. Morhard of the book title.


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Ruth Hanford Morhard's Books

Mrs. Morhard and the Boys cover

MRS. MORHARD AND THE BOYS: ONE MOTHER'S VISION, THE FIRST BOYS' BASEBALL LEAGUE, AND A NATION INSPIRED (2019): As the Great Depression brought America to the brink of disaster, a devoted single mother in Cleveland, Ohio, wrestled triumph out of adversity by creating a community activity that would inspire the nation. Mrs. Morhard and the Boys tells, for the first time, the remarkable story of the woman who changed childhood for millions of Americans.

Josephine Morhard never waited for something to happen. At twelve years old, fiercely independent Josephine left her family's Pennsylvania farm to start a new life. Coming of age during one of the most devastating times in America, and weathering two bad marriages, Josephine put her personal problems aside to insure a productive future for her daughter and son. But Junior was a volatile boy of eight—until his mother came upon a novel sports idea to encourage discipline, guidance, and self-worth in her son. Out of a dream, an empty lot, and the enthusiasm of other neighborhood kids, Josephine established the first boys' baseball league in America. Her city—and the country—was watching.

Beyond all expectations, the Cleveland Indians rallied behind her project. Indians legends Bob Feller, Jeff Heath, and Roy Weatherly helped hone the boys' skills; renowned sports reporter Hal Lebovitz became an umpire; and they were given permission to play in historic League Park. All the while, as Josephine's Little Indians graduated into the Junior American and Junior National Leagues, and finally a Little World Series, she instilled in her boys strong values, good sportsmanship, and an unprecedented sense of accomplishment. Some of them, like Ray Lindquist and Jack Heinen, would become Minor League players. Not one of Mrs. Morhard's boys would ever forget her.

In this stirring biography of an unsung American heroine, Josephine Morhard's daughter-in-law recounts the extraordinary life and accomplishments of a resilient, selfless, and determined woman. Her inspiring true story—a long time coming—is something to cheer for.

32nd Annual
Buckeye Book Fair
November 2, 2019
9:30 to 4:00
Fisher Auditorium Wooster, Ohio
$2 Admission
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