In 1943, Philip K. Wrigley (of chewing gum fame!) founded the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League (AAGPBL) in order to maintain sport and public morale during World War II, at a time when many eligible young men, including professional sportsmen, were drafted to fight overseas.
Whilst A League of Their Own is a mostly fictional account of the players and founders behind the AAGPBL, it still tells a story of the real-life resilience, spirit and tenacity of the young women involved, many of whom had husbands fighting in the war, coming together to provide entertainment and boost the morale of the nation through sport, despite the sexism and misogyny of the era.
Penny Marshall's 1992 movie remains my favourite, and dare I say it, the greatest sports movie of all time. A story of determination, sisterly love, sacrifice and friendship within the very real backdrop of World War II, when women could finally prove they were more than just potential housewives and mothers.
Geena Davis embodies the 40s starlet as the statuesque, seemingly perfect Dottie Hinson. Tom Hanks, playing against type as alcoholic ex-player-turned-manager Jimmy Dugan delivers most of the movie's iconic lines. Lori Petty as Kit Keller, just wants to step out of her older sister's perfect shadow and Madonna, in probably one of her most beloved screen roles, as "All The Way" Mae Mordabito, with a great on-screen comedic partnership with Rosie O'Donnell's brash Doris Murphy.
Even though the real AAGPBL was dismantled in 1954, its legacy lives on in this movie. It encapsulates a time in recent history that not many are still alive to tell the story of. Sadly, Mary Pratt, the last remaining member of that inaugural 1943 Rockford Peaches roster, passed away just before this episode was released. She lived to 101 and spent her life championing women's sport.
These women were inspirational, trail-blazing, legacy-creating and really were in a league of their own.
I would love to hear your thoughts on A League of Their Own! You can get in touch on
or you can email me general hellos, feedback or suggestions:
verbaldiorama [at] gmail [dot] com
Thank you to patrons Simon E, Sade, Jardiel, Claudia, Simon B, Laurel, Derek Jason and Kristin for supporting Verbal Diorama.
My website is at https://verbaldiorama.com
Thanks to the following for their contributions to this episode:
Theme Music: Verbal Diorama Theme Song
Music by Chloe Enticott - Compositions by Chloe Facebook
Lyrics by Chloe Enticott (and me!)
Production by Ellis Powell-Bevan of Ewenique Studios.
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