Born: May 15, 1933
Died: January 11, 1997
Town: Midland Park, New Jersey
Carol Habben was born May 15, 1933 in Midland Park. She was one of two girls in the family; her sister’s name was Jane. Carol played baseball on the sandlots of Rahway and at 14 was invited to join the Garfield Flashettes. She also played softball for Pompton Lakes High School after the family moved to Passaic County.
In the spring of 1951, Carol tried out for the All American Girls Professional Baseball League and was offered a $250 contract to play for the Rockford Peaches. Carol took her final exams early and joined the Peaches in time to play in 10 games as an outfielder.
Carol played her way into the starting lineup in 1953 and batted .194. The Peaches made it to the playoffs but lost in the opening round to Grand Rapids. In 1954, the final season for the AAGPBL, Carol played for the Kalamazoo Lassies. The Lassies were basically a .500 team, but they had a power-packed lineup. Carol had 15 homers in 95 games, finishing fifth on the team in that category. Catcher Jean Lovell led the club with 21 homers. Carol and another slugger, Chris Ballingall, were known as the Home Run Twins.
The Lassies caught fire in the playoffs, defeating South Bend in the first round and Fort Wayne in the finals to win the championship. Carol homered once in each series. After the league folded, Carol returned to New Jersey and played fast-pitch softball, mostly in Linden, for the next 20 years. She also made a few dollars as a softball umpire in men’s and women’s leagues.
Carol worked for Merck beginning in the lat 1950s and retired in 1994. She was on hand at Cooperstown in 1988 when the AAGPBL exhibit opened up. Carol passed away at age 63 on January 11, 1997 in Ringwood.