Film Friday: A League of Their Own

By Josie Rerecich

A League of Their Own is a 1992 sports film directed by Penny Marshall. The film tells a fictionalized account of the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League, focusing mainly on sisters Dottie Hinson and Kit Keller.  

In 1943, WWII is threatening the continuation of Major League Baseball. In an effort to raise baseball awareness, the AAGPBL is bankrolled, and a scout travels to rural Oregon. There he finds Dottie and tries to convince her to try out. Dottie does not want to leave the farm, as she is waiting for her husband Bob to return from serving in Italy. Kit, on the other hand, didn’t manage to impress the scout, but wishes to join the AAGPBL and make something of herself. Dottie agrees to try out, but only if Kit can too.

Dottie and Kit both make the AAGPBL, and become members of the Rockford Peaches. From there they set out on an adventure full of sexist men and ideals, and the pressure ultimately puts a major strain on Dottie and Kit’s relationship. When Kit ends up being traded to a team that Dottie wanted to be on, the two sisters must attempt to end their sibling rivalry while playing against each other in the AAGPBL World Series.  

Fun Facts:

  1. The costumes and props were made to be as authentic as possible. With the wool uniforms and lack of safety gear used in the 1940s baseball, the actors must have suffered for their art.
  2. The original cut of the film was four hours long. By the time the movie made it to theatres, nearly half of the original cut was scrapped.
  3. Some of the scenes that were scrapped included more backstory to the characters, including explaining Mae Mordabito’s nickname. Although the explanation was cut, it shouldn’t be too hard to figure out the origins of “All the Way” Mae’s nickname.  
  4. Some of the actors trouble mastering the baseball techniques they were taught. In real life, Mae Mordabito played third base. But the actor portraying her had to be moved to the outfield for being unable to field ground balls. On the other hand, there were actors that exceeded expectations. A stunt double was supposed to be used in the scenes where Dottie caught a pop up behind her back. But the actor turned out to be better at the trick catch than the double!
  5. The owner of the 1943 Chicago Cubs, and the founder of the AAGPBL, was not a candy bar magnate named Walter Harvey. The person actually responsible for the events portrayed in this film was named Philip K. Wrigley, and made his fortune in chewing gum.  

Personal Observations:

  1. I can kind of understand the skirts the female baseball players were forced to wear, but I do not see any logical reason why they were forced to take charm school classes.
  2. Why would they change founder of the AAGPBL from a chewing gum mogul to a candy bar magnate that might have never existed? The change does nothing for the plot, and I can’t find a Walter Harvey who made a fortune in candy on the Internet.
  3. The end of the movie has a sisterly reconciliation by Dottie and Kit. I understand that this film is based on real events, but I still think that the conclusion would be stronger if the screenplay went a different direction.
  4. I personally do not know much about baseball history, but the AAGPBL was obviously a publicity stunt.
  5. Even if he softened to the idea of female baseball players throughout the film, Jimmy Dugan was a jerk. Just saying.


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Women to Read

March 8, 2019