Once Upon a Time...
A League of Their Own
By Alison Stolz
“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
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.