A League of Their Own
|A League of Their Own|
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Penny Marshall|
|Produced by||Elliot Abbott
|Screenplay by||Lowell Ganz
|Story by||Kelly Candaele
|Music by||Hans Zimmer|
|Edited by||George Bowers|
|Distributed by||Columbia Pictures|
A League of Their Own is a 1992 American comedy-drama film that tells a fictionalized account of the real-life All-American Girls Professional Baseball League (AAGPBL). Directed by Penny Marshall, the film stars Geena Davis, Tom Hanks, Lori Petty, and Madonna. The screenplay was written by Lowell Ganz and Babaloo Mandel from a story by Kelly Candaele and Kim Wilson.
In 2012, A League of Their Own was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant".
In 1992, Dottie Hinson attends the opening of the new All-American Girls Professional Baseball League (AAGPBL) exhibit at the Baseball Hall of Fame. She sees many of her former teammates and friends, prompting a flashback to 1943.
When World War II threatens to shut down Major League Baseball, candy magnate and Cubs owner Walter Harvey persuades his fellow owners to bankroll a women's league. Ira Lowenstein is put in charge, and Ernie Capadino is sent to recruit players.
Capadino goes to an industrial-league softball game in rural Oregon and likes what he sees in the catcher, Dottie. He offers her a tryout, but she is content working in a dairy and on the family farm while her husband, Bob, fights in the war. However, Dottie relents, as her younger sister (Kit Keller) wishes to try out for the new league. After recruiting other members, the trio arrives at the tryouts at Chicago's Harvey Field. There they meet taxi dancer "All the Way" Mae Mordabito and her best friend, former bouncer Doris Murphy (both tough-talking New Yorkers), soft-spoken right fielder Evelyn Gardner, illiterate and shy left fielder Shirley Baker, and pitcher and former Miss Georgia Ellen Sue Gotlander. They and eight others are selected to form the Rockford Peaches, while 48 others are split among the Racine Belles, Kenosha Comets, and South Bend Blue Sox.
The Peaches are managed by Jimmy Dugan, a former marquee Cubs slugger who initially treats the whole thing as a joke. The league attracts little interest at first. With a Life magazine photographer attending a game, Lowenstein begs the players to do something spectacular. Dottie obliges when a ball is popped up behind home plate, catching it while doing a split. The resulting photograph makes the magazine cover. A publicity campaign draws more people to the ballgames, but the owners remain unconvinced.
As the Peaches establish themselves as the class of the league, the Dottie and Kit's sibling rivalry intensifies, which leads to Kit being traded to another team. Prior to a game, the Peaches' utility player, Betty "Spaghetti" Horn, is informed that her husband has been killed in action in the Pacific Theater. The same evening, Dottie's husband Bob appears, having been honorably discharged after being wounded in Italy. The following morning, Jimmy discovers that Dottie is returning to Oregon with Bob. He tells her she will regret her decision.
The team continues without Dottie and makes it to the World Series against Kit's Racine Belles. Dottie unexpectedly rejoins the team for the final game. After much hard work, the Belles win when Kit scores the final run, after Dottie drops the ball at home plate. The sellout crowd convinces Harvey to give Lowenstein the owners' support. After the game, the sisters reconcile before Dottie leaves to raise a family.
Back to the present (1992), Dottie is reunited with several other players, including Kit, whom she has not seen in several years. The fates of several of the characters are revealed: Jimmy, Bob, and Evelyn have died, while Marla has been married to Nelson, a man she met in a bar, for over 40 years. The original Peaches sing a team song composed by Evelyn and pose for a group photo.
- Tom Hanks – Jimmy Dugan (manager)
- Geena Davis – Dorothy "Dottie" Hinson (#8, catcher/assistant manager)
- Lori Petty – Kit Keller (#23, pitcher)
- Madonna – "All the Way" Mae Mordabito (#5, center field)
- Rosie O'Donnell – Doris Murphy (#22, third base)
- Anne Ramsay – Helen Haley (#15, first base)
- Megan Cavanagh – Marla Hooch (#32, second base)
- Freddie Simpson – Ellen Sue Gotlander (#1, shortstop/pitcher)
- Tracy Reiner – Betty "Spaghetti" Horn (#7, left field/relief pitcher)
- Bitty Schram – Evelyn Gardner (#17, right field)
- Renée Coleman (credited as Renee Coleman) – Alice "Skeeter" Gaspers (#18, left field/center field/catcher)
- Ann Cusack – Shirley Baker (#11, left field)
- Robin Knight – Linda "Beans" Babbitt (shortstop)
- Patti Pelton – Marbleann Wilkinson (second base)
- Kelli Simpkins – Beverly Dixon (#4, outfield)
- Connie Pounds-Taylor – Connie Calhoun (Outfield)
On MLB Network's Costas at the Movies in 2013, director Penny Marshall talked about her initial interest in Demi Moore for the part of Dottie Hinson, saying: "Demi Moore, I liked, but by the time we came around, she was pregnant."
- Jon Lovitz – Ernie Capadino, AAGPBL scout
- David Strathairn – Ira Lowenstein, AAGPBL general manager
- Garry Marshall – Walter Harvey, candy bar mogul and AAGPBL founder
- Julie Croteau – Helen Haley (baseball double for Anne Ramsay)
- Lynn Cartwright – Older Dottie
- Bill Pullman – Bob Hinson, Dottie's husband
- Janet Jones – Racine pitcher
- Téa Leoni – Racine first base
- Don S. Davis – Charlie Collins, Racine coach
- Eddie Jones – Dave Hooch, Marla's father
- Justin Scheller – Stillwell Gardner, Evelyn's obnoxious young son
- Mark Holton – Adult Stillwell Gardner. He attends the Peaches' reunion at the Baseball Hall of Fame on behalf of his mother who had died.
- Pauline Brailsford – Miss Cuthburt, Rockford chaperone
- Laurel Cronin – Maida Gillespie
- Alan Wilder – Nelson
Production and reception
Discussing the skirts they wore playing baseball in the film, Geena Davis said on MLB Network's "Costas at the Movies" in 2013, "Some of our real cast, from sliding into home, had ripped the skin off their legs. It was nutty."
The film was released on July 1, 1992 and was #1 by its second weekend (July 10–12). It was a commercial success, making $107 million in the United States (and an additional $25 million worldwide) on a $40 million budget, and was well received by critics.
A television series based on the film aired on CBS in April 1993, with Garry Marshall, Megan Cavanagh, Tracy Reiner, and Jon Lovitz reprising their roles. It was quickly cancelled.
With 2012 marking the 20th year since the film's release, A League of Their Own was released as a 20th Anniversary Edition Blu-ray on October 16, 2012.
Forty-seven former players of the AAGPBL reunited in New York to celebrate the film and the real women who inspired it. Events included a trip to Cooperstown for a special program at the National Baseball Hall of Fame, reminiscent of the film's final scene depicting members of the AAGPBL and family coming together to witness the honoring of the Women's Professional Baseball League. The reunion wrapped up with a game of softball held at Syracuse's Alliance Bank Stadium.
Former players also made an appearance at Bosse Field in Evansville, Indiana on June 6, 2012, where many of the film's game scenes were filmed. The event included an outdoor screening of the film as well as a scene-setting display of cars featured in the film. In addition to Bosse Field, the production aused Huntingburg, Indiana's League Stadium, another Southwestern Indiana field older than Bosse that was renovated for the film.
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- Kekis, John (September 23, 2013). "Women Remain in League of Their Own". The Chronicle Herald. Retrieved October 30, 2012.
- Prell, Jon (June 12, 2012). "A League Of Their Own Comes Home To Bosse Field On June 22". Evansville Courier & Press. Retrieved October 31, 2012.
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- "Filming Locations for A League of Their Own". Internet Movie Database. Archived from the original on January 9, 2012. Retrieved January 10, 2012.
- "Breakfast at Tiffany's added to film archive". BBC News. Retrieved December 19, 2012.
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