Women of Valor


Super Woman Athlete

Bobbie Rosenfeld, 1904 - 1969

A decade's worth of newspaper's sports sections are full of references to Rosenfeld, "undoubtedly the greatest all-around woman athlete in the world," and her "vast army of admirers." Whether "the super woman athlete" was playing defense for the Lakesides basketball squad, center for the North Toronto Ladies ice hockey team or short stop for the Hinde and Dauche softball club, Rosenfeld led them all to championships again and again. Just one example, from 1931: "Besides managing the [Maple Leafs softball] team, she played first base, and her fielding, hitting and 'fight' brought the Leafs from the cellar to the championship."

In 1924 she even won the Toronto Ladies Grass Courts tennis championship.

Constance Hennessey, one of the founding members of the Toronto Ladies Athletic Club, remembered Rosenfeld as, "not big, perhaps five-foot-five. She didn't look powerful but she was wiry and quick. Above all she was aggressive, very aggressive physically. No, I don't mean that she made a lot of noise or had a belligerent manner. She simply went after everything with full force....She was just the complete athlete and I am certain she would have been good at any sport. Certainly, she was as good as one could see in track and field, hockey, basketball and softball.

Or, more simply, in the words of one historian: "If any single individual epitomized women's sport in the 1920's, she did."

  1. "undoubtedly the greatest all-around woman athlete..." quote from "World’s Best Girl Athlete to Stop Running," Clipping from Bobbie Rosenfeld File, Heritage Toronto, nd.
  2. "vast army of admirers" quote from "Prominent Athlete Slightly Improved: Miss ‘Bobbie’ Rosenfeld Reported to Be Out of Danger," Globe and Mail 16 March 1933: 9.
  3. "super woman athlete" quote from "Call to Miss Rosenfeldt to Meet Miss Grosse," Globe and Mail 5 July 1924: 11.
  4. "Besides managing the team..." quote from "And No. 3..." Clipping from Bobbie Rosenfeld File, Heritage Toronto, 3 Jan. 1931.
  5. Constance Hennessey is quoted in Douglas Fisher and S.F. Wise, Canada’s Sporting Heroes (Don Mills, Toronto: General Publishing Company, 1974) 79.

How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Women of Valor - Bobbie Rosenfeld - Super Woman Athlete." (Viewed on April 20, 2014) <http://jwa.org/womenofvalor/rosenfeld/super-woman-athlete>.