|A League of Their Own|
|Directed by||Penny Marshall|
|Produced by|| Elliot Abbott|
|Written by|| Lowell Ganz|
|Starring|| Tom Hanks|
|Music by||Hans Zimmer|
|Distributed by||Columbia Pictures Corporation|
|Release date(s)||July 1, 1992|
|Running time||128 min|
A League of Their Own is a 1992 film which tells a fictionalized account of the real-life All-American Girls Professional Baseball League (AAGPBL). It was adapted by Lowell Ganz and Babaloo Mandel from a story by Kim Wilson and Kelly Candaele, and was directed by Penny Marshall.
When World War II threatens to shut down Major League Baseball, candy manufacturing magnate Walter Harvey (Garry Marshall) decides to create a women's league to make money. Ira Lowenstein (David Strathairn) is put in charge and scout Ernie Capadino (Jon Lovitz) is sent out to recruit players.
He likes what he sees in catcher Dottie Hinson (Geena Davis). She's a terrific hitter and a "dolly", but does not "love" the game. He offers her a tryout, but the married woman is content where she is, working in a dairy and on the family farm. He's less impressed with her younger sister, pitcher Kit Keller (Lori Petty), who loves the game passionately, but appears to be less talented. He lets her come along when she persuades Dottie to give it a try. Along the way, he also checks out Marla Hooch (Megan Cavanagh), a great ambidextrous slugger, but the blunt-speaking scout sees too much of a resemblance to General Omar Bradley. Dottie and Kit refuse to leave without her, and Ernie reluctantly gives in.
When they arrive at the tryouts, they meet Doris Murphy (Rosie O'Donnell) and Mae Mordabito (Madonna). They are all assigned to the same team, the Rockford Peaches, which is managed by drunken, former baseball great Jimmy Dugan (Tom Hanks). Initially, Jimmy treats the whole thing as a joke, leaving the coaching duties to Dottie. But he eventually takes over, as he sees how hard and well his team is playing.
At first, the league attracts little interest. In one memorable scene, Lowenstein tells the Peaches that things aren't going so well and that the owners are having second thoughts. With a Life magazine photographer in attendance, he asks them to do something spectacular. Dottie obliges. When a ball is popped up behind home plate, she catches it while doing the splits; the resulting photograph makes the cover of the magazine. Jimmy is (predictably) disgusted, while the opposing coach and catcher are stunned. Gradually, more and more people show up and the league becomes a success.
When Dottie wants to quit, Lowenstein is alarmed. He had been publicizing the photogenic catcher as the "Queen of Diamonds". He mistakenly thinks it's because of a personality conflict with her sister, so he has Kit traded to another team, the Racine Belles. This exacerbates the already intense sibling rivalry between the two women. Kit has a massive inferiority complex; Dottie is a better player, a better hitter and much more beautiful. Kit blames her sister for getting her traded.
The two meet again in the championship game of the AAGPBL World Series. In the bottom of the ninth inning, Kit comes up to bat, with her team trailing. She hits the ball into the outfield and rounds the bases, ignoring the stop signal by the third base coach. Dottie catches the ball and blocks home plate, but Kit runs into her so hard she can't hold onto the ball and Kit scores the winning run. Dottie quits baseball to be with her husband Bob (Bill Pullman), but before she leaves, she and Kit reconcile.
Many years later, the two sisters, who haven't seen each other in quite a while, are reunited (along with many of their Peaches teammates) at the opening of a women's section in the Baseball Hall of Fame.
- Tom Hanks - Jimmy Dugan (manager). The character was loosely based on real-life Baseball Hall of Fame player Jimmie Foxx.
- Geena Davis - Dottie Hinson (catcher). Debra Winger was originally set to play the lead, but dropped out after Madonna signed on.
- Lori Petty - Kit Keller (pitcher)
- Anne Ramsay - Helen Haley (first base)
- Megan Cavanagh - Marla Hooch (second base)
- Rosie O'Donnell - Doris Murphy (third base)
- Freddie Simpson - Ellen Sue Gotlander (shortstop/pitcher)
- Tracy Reiner - Betty "Spaghetti" Horn (left field)
- Madonna - Mae Mordabito (center field)
- Bitty Schram - Evelyn Gardner (right field)
- Renée Coleman - Alice "Skeeter" Gaspers (left field/center field/catcher) (as Renee Coleman)
- Ann Cusack - Shirley Baker (left field)
- Jon Lovitz - Ernie Capadino
- David Strathairn - Ira Lowenstein
- Garry Marshall - Walter Harvey
- Bill Pullman - Bob Hinson, Dottie's husband
- Téa Leoni - Racine first base
- Don S. Davis - Racine coach Charlie Collins (as Don Davis)
- Eddie Jones - Dave Hooch, Marla's father
- Justin Scheller - Stillwell, Evelyn Gardner's obnoxious young son
- Mark Holton - Stillwell as an adult
- Pauline Brailsford - Miss Cuthburt, the Peaches' chaperone
- Madonna ("This Used to Be My Playground") and Carole King ("Now and Forever") contributed songs to the soundtrack.
- All of the actresses did their own baseball playing—they did not have stunt doubles. There was one exception: Davis could do the splits, but not while sliding at the same time to catch the ball.
- League Stadium, located in Huntingburg, Indiana, served as the homefield for the Rockford Peaches. Many game scenes were filmed at Bosse Field in Evansville, Indiana. It is the nation's third oldest ball park, and was depicted as the home of the Racine Belles. The scenes that take place in fictional "Harvey Field" were shot at Wrigley Field in Chicago, Illinois. As with his film counterpart, Chicago Cubs owner P. K. Wrigley was the original sponsor of the league.
- The movie 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 on a $40 million budget (and an additional $25 million worldwide), and was well received by critics.
- Although many players enlisted or were drafted into the military, Major League Baseball did not shut down for World War II. As mentioned in the film, President Franklin D. Roosevelt decided that keeping professional baseball and football active, even with the necessarily depleted talent pool, would be good for the morale of American soldiers overseas.
- Many of the older women shown in the film's final scenes had been actual members of the AAGPBL.
- Madonna, Rosie O'Donnell, Geena Davis, and Megan Cavanagh all guest starred on Will and Grace.
- "There's no crying! There's no crying! There's no crying in baseball!"—Jimmy Dugan, when his tirade against one of his players makes her break out in tears (#54 on AFI's 100 Years... 100 Movie Quotes list).
- "Hey cowgirls, see the grass? Don't eat it."—Ernie Capadino, dropping Kit and Dottie off at the tryouts at "Harvey Field".
- "This is our daughter Dottie, and this is our other daughter, Dottie's sister."—a resentful Kit "demonstrating" how her father introduces her.
- "It's supposed to be hard. If it wasn't hard, everyone would do it. The hard... is what makes it great."—Jimmy Dugan talking to Dotty about quitting the league.
- A League Of Their Own at the Internet Movie Database
- ESPN.com - Page 2 - Reel Life: 'A League of Their Own'