February 3, 2004  
Volume 97, Issue 68  

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SPORTS

Once Upon a Time...
A League of Their Own


By Alison Stolz

Gazette Staff

“Your country needs you” — to play baseball and look pretty.

A League of their Own is about the very first all-American women’s baseball league. It takes place during WWII, when most men were drafted to fight overseas. Professional sports had to live on, and since baseball’s biggest stars were defending their country, women filled the gloves left behind.

Released in 1992, the Penny Marshall-directed movie focuses on Dottie Hinson (Geena Davis) and her younger sister Kit (Lori Petty). The movie was one of the first feature films to recognize the role of women in sport.

Dottie is the star of her hometown women’s baseball league — Kit has also looked up to her sister, but is jealous of her sibling’s fame. For once she just wants to be noticed as an individual instead of Dotties’ kid sister.

A baseball scout requests that Dottie tryout for the women’s baseball league as a catcher. She hesitantly agrees, but makes one condition: that Kit is able to tryout as well, as a pitcher.

Both Dottie and Kit become members of the Rockford Peaches, along with 14 other women including May (Madonna) and Doris (Rosie O’Donnell). The team is coached by Jimmy Dugan (Tom Hanks).

While all the women are eager and excited to play ball, they are not as keen about their mandatory lady school enrollment. The ball players are forced to learn their table manners, practice proper posture, speak like ladies and perfect their physical appearance.

In attempts to earn greater revenue, all of the women are forced to become eye candy for the male spectators — playing ball in short dresses. “I can’t play in that, its barely half a dress; plus my husband will kill me,” exclaims one woman.

On top of this tactic, a new marketing strategy is used — catch a foul, get a kiss. This brought in more men readily waiting with their ball gloves to win a peck.

Halfway through the season, Dottie and Kit get into an argument. Dottie (aka, the Queen of Diamonds) becomes the star of the league, but is ready to give up baseball and help her sister find herself. Coach Dugan manages to convince her to stay, but Dottie asks for a transfer to another team. The next day is a shock when Kit is transferred to the Belles and Dottie stays on the Peaches.

In a tense final game, the sisters meet again but this time against each other. The bases are loaded and Kit is up to bat. The Peaches are up 2-1, but if Kit gets a good swing, it could mean a first place win for the Belles.

Kit hits on her third attempt and charges around the bases heading for home plate. However, she is tagged by Dottie and the two collide and fall back. Dottie can’t hold onto the ball, making Kit the star of the game and the league.

 

 

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