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||Kim Wilson
|Music by||Hans Zimmer|
|Editing by||George Bowers
|Distributed by||Columbia Pictures|
|Running time||128 minutes|
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, Lori Petty, Tom Hanks, Madonna, and Rosie O'Donnell. The screenplay was written by Lowell Ganz and Babaloo Mandel from a story by Kim Wilson and Kelly Candaele.
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 1988, an elderly, widowed Dottie Hinson reluctantly attends the opening of the new All-American Girls Professional Baseball League (AAGPBL) exhibit at the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown. 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 Chicago Cubs owner Walter Harvey creates a women's league to make money. Ira Lowenstein is put in charge and Ernie Capadino is sent out to recruit players.
Capadino likes what he sees in softball catcher Dottie. She is a terrific hitter and very attractive. 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. He is less impressed with her younger sister, pitcher Kit Keller, who is desperate to go. He lets her come along when she persuades Dottie to change her mind. He also checks out Marla Hooch, a great switch-hitting slugger. Because Marla is unattractive, he rejects her, but relents when Dottie and Kit refuse to go on without her and her father makes an impassioned plea.
When the trio arrive at the tryouts in Chicago, they meet taxi dancer "All the Way" Mae Mordabito and her best friend, 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 nine 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 lost his career due to alcohol. He treats the team as a joke, forcing Dottie to take on his duties. Jimmy takes over after clashing with Dottie over an in-game decision.
The league attracts little interest. Lowenstein tells the Peaches that the owners are having second thoughts. With a Life magazine photographer attending a game, Lowenstein begs them 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 cover of the magazine. A publicity campaign draws more people to the ballgames, but the owners remain unconvinced.
Meanwhile, the sibling rivalry between Dottie and Kit intensifies: Kit resents being overshadowed by Dottie. Things come to a head when Jimmy pulls Kit for a relief pitcher on Dottie's advice. After a heated argument between Dottie and Kit, Dottie tells Lowenstein she is thinking about quitting. Horrified at the prospect of losing his biggest star, Lowenstein promises to arrange a trade and sends Kit to the Belles, much to her dismay. She blames Dottie for the trade and has another argument with her before departing.
Prior to a game, the Peaches' utility player, Betty "Spaghetti" Horn, is informed that her husband has been killed in action in the Pacific Theatre; the same evening, Bob returns, 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 makes it to the World Series against Kit's Racine Belles. The Belles initially take a 3-1 lead in the series before the Peaches win twice in a row to force a deciding seventh game. Dottie unexpectedly rejoins the team for the game. Racine leads 1-0 going into the ninth inning when Dottie hits Kit's pitch and drives in two runs. Kit comes up to bat with her team trailing 2-1 in the bottom of the ninth with two outs. Dottie tells pitcher Ellen Sue about Kit's weakness for chasing high fastballs. After swinging at and missing the first two pitches, Kit hits a line drive and rounds the bases, ignoring a stop signal from the third base coach. Dottie fields the throw to the plate, but Kit slams into her, knocking the ball out of her hand to score the winning run. The sellout crowd convinces Harvey to give Lowenstein the owners' support. After the game, the sisters reconcile before Dottie leaves to raise a family.
In the present day, Dottie and Kit are reunited during the dedication ceremony of the Women's Professional Baseball League. The fates of several of the characters are revealed: Marla married Nelson, Jimmy and Bob have both died, and Dottie learns of Evelyn's passing. All the baseball players sing and take a group photo.
- Tom Hanks - Jimmy Dugan (manager)
- Geena Davis - Dottie Hinson (#8, catcher)
- Lori Petty - Kit Keller (#23, pitcher)
- Anne Ramsay - Helen Haley (#15, first base)
- Megan Cavanagh - Marla Hooch (#32, second base)
- Rosie O'Donnell - Doris Murphy (#22, third base)
- Freddie Simpson - Ellen Sue Gotlander (#1, shortstop/pitcher)
- Tracy Reiner - Betty "Spaghetti" Horn (#7, left field/relief pitcher)
- Madonna - "All the Way" Mae Mordabito (#5, center field)
- 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 - "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. So Bruce [Willis] literally screwed her out of the part."
- 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)
- 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
- David Lander - Racine play-by-play announcer
- Eddie Mekka - Mae's date in bar
- Robert Stanton - Western Union delivery man
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.
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.
47 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 induction 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 historic Bosse Field where many of the film's game scenes were filmed. The event took place in Evansville, Indiana on June 6, 2012, and included an outdoor screening of the film as well as a scene-setting display of cars featured in the film provided by the Tri-State Antique Car Club.
- King, Susan. "National Film Registry selects 25 films for preservation " Los Angeles Times (December 19, 2012)
- Penny Marshall, Costas at the Movies, MLB Network, January 28, 2013
- "A League of Their Own (1992)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 2008-10-02.
- "AFI's 100 Years...100 Movie Quotes". AFI.com. Retrieved 2011-09-01.
- ""A League of Their Own" (1993)". The Internet Movie Database. Retrieved 2008-10-02.
- Kekis, John (23 September 2013). "Women Remain in League of Their Own". The Chronicle Herald. Retrieved 30 October 2012.
- Prell, Jon (12 June 2012). "A League Of Their Own Comes Home To Bosse Field On June 22". Evansville Courier & Press. Retrieved 31 October 2012.
- "Breakfast at Tiffany's added to film archive". BBC News. Retrieved 19 December 2012.
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- A League of Their Own at the Internet Movie Database
- A League of Their Own at AllRovi
- ESPN.com - Page 2 - Reel Life: 'A League of Their Own'
- Movie stills