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A League of Their Own

Theatrical release poster
Directed by Penny Marshall
Produced by Elliot Abbott
Robert Greenhut
Written by Story:
Kim Wilson
Kelly Candaele
Screenplay
Lowell Ganz
Babaloo Mandel
Starring Geena Davis
Tom Hanks
Madonna
Lori Petty
Rosie O'Donnell
Music by Hans Zimmer
Cinematography Miroslav Ondricek
Editing by George Bowers
Adam Bernardi
Distributed by Columbia Pictures
Release date(s) July 1, 1992 (US)
Running time 128 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $40 million
Gross revenue $132,440,069[1]

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, Tom Hanks, Madonna, Rosie O'Donnell, and Lori Petty. The screenplay was written by Lowell Ganz and Babaloo Mandel from a story by Kim Wilson and Kelly Candaele.

A television series[2] based on the film aired on CBS in April 1993, with Garry Marshall, Megan Cavanagh, Tracy Reiner, and Jon Lovitz reprising their roles. It was quickly canceled.

Contents

Plot

The film opens in 1988 with an elderly, widowed Dottie Hinson reluctantly attending the induction of the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League (AAGPBL) into the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York. Dottie was once one of the league's greatest players but, although she loved baseball, she never really considered it a big part of her life. Upon her arrival at Cooperstown's Doubleday Field, Dottie is reunited with former teammates and friends. This prompts a flashback to how the league was started back in 1943.

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 of public relations and scout Ernie Capadino (Jon Lovitz) is sent out to recruit players.

Capadino likes what he sees in catcher Dottie Hinson (Geena Davis). She is a terrific hitter and "kind of a dolly" likely to attract male fans. He offers her a tryout, but the married woman is content where she is, working in a dairy and on the family farm in Oregon while her husband is fighting in war. He is less impressed with her younger sister, pitcher Kit Keller (Lori Petty), who loves the game passionately but is overshadowed by Dottie. He finally lets her come along when she persuades Dottie to give it a try for her sake. Along the way, he also checks out Marla Hooch (Megan Cavanagh), a great switch-hitting slugger. However, the blunt scout finds her too homely and rejects her. Dottie and Kit refuse to continue on without her, forcing Ernie to reluctantly give in.

When the trio arrive at the tryouts in Chicago, they meet Doris Murphy (Rosie O'Donnell) and Mae Mordabito (Madonna), two tough-talking New Yorkers. They are assigned with 11 others to form the Rockford Peaches, while 48 others are split up between the Racine Belles, Kenosha Comets, and South Bend Blue Sox. The Peaches are managed by alcoholic former baseball great Jimmy Dugan (Tom Hanks). Jimmy initially treats the whole thing as a joke, leaving the managerial duties to Dottie. However, he takes over when he clashes with Dottie over whether or not to let their best hitter, Marla, swing away, a decision which proves him to be a smarter manager than he has shown. Meanwhile, the players have to attend mandatory etiquette classes to maintain a "lady-like" image, even though they are also required to wear very short (by 1940s standards) skirts as part of their uniforms.

The league attracts little interest at first. Lowenstein tells the Peaches that things are so bad that the owners are having second thoughts about keeping the league going beyond the 1943 season. 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, catching it while doing a split. The resulting photograph makes the cover of the magazine. Jimmy is (predictably) disgusted, while the opposing manager and catcher are stunned. More and more people show up and the league becomes a success.

The sibling rivalry between Dottie and Kit intensifies as the season progresses: Kit has a massive inferiority complex because Dottie is a better player, a better hitter, more beautiful, and favored by their parents. After Kit gets upset when Dottie supports Jimmy when he replaces her for a relief pitcher, Dottie tells Lowenstein she is thinking of quitting. Lowenstein, who had been publicizing the photogenic Dottie as the "Queen of Diamonds", has Kit traded to Racine. An enraged Kit blames her sister for getting her traded.

The two meet again in the championship game of the AAGPBL World Series. In the top of the ninth inning, Dottie hits Kit's pitch over her head, scoring two runs for Rockford. Kit comes up to bat with her team trailing in the bottom of the inning. Although Dottie gives the pitcher advice on Kit's weakness for chasing high fastballs, Kit hits the ball into the outfield and rounds the bases, ignoring a stop signal from the third base coach. Dottie catches the ball and blocks home plate, but Kit runs into her hard. She drops the ball (it is unclear whether she does so intentionally or not) and Kit scores the winning run. Dottie quits baseball to be with her husband Bob (Bill Pullman), who has returned from the war, but she and Kit reconcile before she leaves.

The film moves back to the present day. Dottie and Kit, who haven't seen each other in a while, are reunited, along with many other former players, at the opening of the women's section of the Baseball Hall of Fame. Many of the older women shown in the final scenes were actual AAGPBL players.

Cast

Rockford Peaches

  • Tom Hanks - Jimmy Dugan (manager). The character was loosely based on real-life Baseball Hall of Fame player Jimmie Foxx.
  • Geena Davis - Dottie Hinson (#8, catcher). A beautiful star player whose husband is fighting in Italy. Debra Winger was originally set to play the lead, but dropped out after Madonna signed on.[citation needed]
  • Lori Petty - Kit Keller (#23, pitcher). Moira Kelly was chosen to play the part, but suffered an injury during the filming of The Cutting Edge. Jennifer Jason Leigh was also considered but dropped out to do Single White Female. Daryl Hannah, Meg Ryan, Demi Moore, Isabella Rossellini, Anjelica Huston, Michelle Pfeiffer, Molly Ringwald and Julia Roberts were also considered.
  • Anne Ramsay - Helen Haley (#15, first base). Her baseball double was NCAA player Julie Croteau.
  • Megan Cavanagh - Marla Hooch (#32, second base) Initially disrespected for her plain looks, despite her great skill as a power hitter. Deeply shy and introverted, she is drawn out of her shell by her teammates and by her eventual husband.
  • Rosie O'Donnell - Doris Murphy (#22, third base)
  • Freddie Simpson - Ellen Sue Gotlander (#1, shortstop/pitcher). A former Miss Georgia.
  • Tracy Reiner - Betty "Spaghetti" Horn (#7, left field/relief pitcher). Betty's husband George is killed fighting in the Pacific during the season. Real-life daughter of director Penny Marshall and stepdaughter of Rob Reiner.
  • Madonna - "All the Way" Mae Mordabito (#5, center field). A heavy drinker, smoker, and fond of men. Doris' best friend.
  • Bitty Schram - Evelyn Gardner (#17, right field). Evelyn is forced by her husband to take their son Stillwell with her. She breaks into tears when Jimmy yells at her for messing up a play, prompting Jimmy to declare: "There's no crying in baseball!"
  • Renée Coleman - (credited as Renee Coleman) Alice "Skeeter" Gaspers (#18, left field/center field/catcher)
  • Ann Cusack - Shirley Baker (#11, left field). A bench player who could not read when she joined the team, but is later tutored by Mae using an erotic novel.
  • Robin Knight - 'Beans' Babbitt (shortstop)
  • Patti Pelton - Marbleann Wilkinson (second base)
  • Kelli Simpkins - Beverly Dixon (#4, outfield)

Others

  • Jon Lovitz - Ernie Capadino, AAGPBL scout
  • David Strathairn - Ira Lowenstein, AAGPBL general manager
  • Julie Croteau - Helen Haley (baseball double for Anne Ramsay)
  • Garry Marshall - Walter Harvey, candy bar owner and AAGPBL founder
  • Bill Pullman - Bob Hinson, Dottie's husband
  • Janet Jones - Racine pitcher
  • Téa Leoni - Racine first base
  • Don S. Davis - Charlie Collins, Racine Belles' coach
  • Eddie Jones - Dave Hooch, Marla's father
  • Justin Scheller - Stillwell, Evelyn Gardner's obnoxious young son
  • Mark Holton - Stillwell as an adult. He attends the Peaches' reunion at the Baseball Hall of Fame on behalf of his mother who had passed away
  • Pauline Brailsford - Miss Cuthburt, the Rockford Peaches' chaperone
  • Laurel Cronin - Maida Gillespie
  • David Lander - Racine Belles' play-by-play announcer
  • Eddie Mekka - Mae's Guy in Bar

Production

League Stadium, located in Huntingburg, Indiana, served as the home field for the Rockford Peaches. Many other game scenes were filmed at Bosse Field in Evansville, Indiana,[3] the United States' third oldest ball park and oldest minor league ball park; it served 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 real-life league.

The Soaper-Esser house (built 1884-87) in which the women lived is located at 612 North Main Street in Henderson, Kentucky, and is on the historic register. The roadhouse scenes were filmed at the Hornville Tavern in Evansville, Indiana and Fitzgerald's in Berwyn, Illinois. All scenes on the train and at the train stations were filmed at the Illinois Railway Museum in Union, Illinois. The Nebraska Zephyr, now part of the museum's collection, was prominently featured.

Madonna ("This Used to Be My Playground") and Carole King ("Now and Forever") contributed songs to the soundtrack. The video for the former was featured on the DVD.

Fact versus fiction

Although the AAGPBL existed from 1943 to 1954, Marshall fictionalized many of the details that related to the league. Among them were:

  • The film shows the league players playing standard baseball in the league's 1943 season (overhead pitching, etc.) In reality, the initial season the AAGPBL game play mirrored a standard form of softball (underhand pitching and a large softball). In ensuing years, the league would adapt itself to a more standard form of baseball with overhand pitching and a standard sized baseball.
  • The film portrays the league as initially unpopular and unprofitable, until demeaning gimmicks are used to attract male audiences. In reality, the league was popular and profitable from the start, largely because it played in towns in the upper Midwest that had no way of watching a live baseball game[citation needed]. Eventually, the league grew into a ten-team two-division league. The advent of televised baseball games in the early fifties, however, would lead to the demise in the popularity of the league.
  • The Jimmy Dugan character is completely fictional. Marshall, however, based him on real life pro-baller Jimmy Foxx[citation needed].
  • The film shows the Rockford Peaches playing the Racine Belles in the league's 1943 World Series, with the Belles winning. In reality, the Belles played the Kenosha Comets in the '43 series; the Belles won the series.
  • Philip K. Wrigley, chewing gum magnate and Chicago Cubs owner who started and financed the league, was changed to "Walter Harvey," a candy bar magnate.

Deleted Scenes

According to the DVD extras narrated by by Penny Marshall many scenes had to be deleted from the film due to its long running time, nearly two and half hours. According to Marshall the cuts resulted in whole subplots being dropped from the film. Among the cuts were:

  • The film was originally to open in 1943 with Walter Harvey and the other baseball club owners meeting at Harvey's mansion in Chicago to discuss how to remedy the baseball situation with World War II raging on. Once it was decided to bookend the film with the former players meeting in Cooperstown, New York in 1988, this scene was relegated to a quick glimpse in a newsreel that opened Dottie's flashback sequence to 1943, explaining to the audience the possible shutdown of major league baseball with the war on.
  • Jon Lovitz's character of Ernie Capadino originally had a more substantial role early on in the film, but many of his scenes were cut out due to time. Two scenes that were cut were a scene in the dining car on the train to Chicago in which Capadino becomes disgusted by Marla Hooch's huge manly appetite, and a scene at Harvey Field which showed Capadino comically explaining to Dottie, Kit, and Marla how he started in baseball and how he met Babe Ruth.
  • Many small scenes that revealed the backgrounds of players were cut. Among them was a scene before the first game in which Marla receives a package from her father, who has spent a whole month's salary to buy a new glove for her. Another deleted scene later shows her mailing the money back to him. A scene involving Mae Mordabito explaining to Doris Murphy that she wishes her mother could see her play ends with Doris asking how many months her mother has before she is released (it's hinted that Mae's mother is a prostitute). Also there was scene in which Ellen Sue Gotlander described her beauty queen background and how her talent specialty was to throw around fire batons.
  • A major subplot in the film was to have revolved around an attraction between Dottie Hinson and Jimmy Dugan. At one point in the film Jimmy and Dottie share a passionate kiss which Dottie later regrets. This was to be followed by the scene in which Dottie decides to leave the league prompting Ira Lowenstein to offer her a trade to another team (Lowenstein assumes tension between Dottie and Kit as to the reason why Dottie wants to leave), eventually leading to Kit being traded to the Racine Belles. Marshall, however, felt that the subplot distracted from the film and in addition seemed to be out of touch with Dottie's character and the era of the film. She decided to cut all scenes hinting at an attraction between Dottie and Jimmy (all that was ever shown was a mutual respect towards each character's ability to play baseball). Likewise, the scene involving Dottie wanting to leave the league was re-edited as to indicate that it was her tensions with Kit that prompted her wanting to quit.
  • Later in the film Marla Hooch is shown returning to the league after her honeymoon, now as a member of the Racine Belles. This sequence came after the scene in which Betty "Spaghetti" Horn learns her husband was killed in action. As some of the Peaches welcome her back, Marla tells them she is pregnant but not to reveal it to league officials as they will make her resign. The girls promise Marla that they will not slide into second base as to protect her stomach. Later while Dottie is on first base she gets into an argument with Jimmy over the kiss they had in the ultimately deleted subplot. So distracted is Dottie that she ignores the third base coach Evelyn Gardner's sign not to slide into second. When the ball is hit Dottie goes sliding into second base hitting Marla in the stomach, prompting her being taken to the hospital (this whole scene was deleted from the film). A distraught Dottie is shown in the next scene crying in her bedroom (she finds out that Marla is okay but remains filled with guilt) only to be interrupted by her husband who has returned home from the European front (this scene remains in the film). Marshall re-edited the whole sequence as to show Dottie's grief being caused by her fear of losing her husband as Betty did, rather than the guilt of sliding into Marla.

Reception

The film was released on July 1, 1992, and was #1 by its second weekend (July 10-12).[4] 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.

The Jimmy Dugan proclamation, "Are you crying? There's no crying! There's no crying in baseball!" was rated 54th on the American Film Institute's list of the greatest film quotes of all time.

References

External links


Quotes

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikiquote

A League of Their Own is a 1992 film which deals with a fictionalized account of the formation of the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League (AAGPBL) during World War II, as seen through the eyes of two players, sisters Dottie Hinson (née Keller) and Kit Keller. It starred Tom Hanks, Geena Davis, Lori Petty, Madonna and Rosie O'Donnell.

Contents

Jimmy Dugan

  • Are you crying? There's no crying! There's no crying in baseball!
  • [trying to persuade Dottie Hinson not to quit the team] It's supposed to be hard. If it wasn't hard, everyone would do it. The hard...is what makes it great.
  • [to the Peaches' homely chaperone] By the way, I loved you in the Wizard of Oz.
  • [to an umpire] Did anyone ever tell you, you look like a penis with that little hat on?
  • [after the umpire throws him out for making the above comment] I can't believe nobody ever called you that before!
  • Rogers Hornsby was my manager and he called me a talking pile of pig shit - and that was when my parents drove all the way down from Michigan to see me play the game. And did I cry?
  • "Here's a job for you, Jimmy. Managing girl ballplayers. Just go out there, wave your little hat around - but don't drink." Ah! Why would I wanna drink? I'm a goddamn Peach! [Hits a ground ball] Ah, double play! Now I'm hitting like a girl. "But be nice to them, they're good ballplayers." [Hits a deep fly ball] Ah! Catch that, blondie! Ha, ha!
  • Ball players?! I haven't got ball players, I've got girls! Girls are what you sleep with after the game, not what you coach during a game!

Kit Keller

  • [resentfully explaining how her father introduces his two daughters] This is our daughter Dottie, and this is our other daughter...Dottie's sister.
  • They should've just had you and bought a dog!
  • Why do you have to be so good?
  • I'll end it right here. I'll strike this turkey out.

Ernie Capadino

  • Hey cowgirls, see the grass? Don't eat it.
  • [to Marla Hooch, when she is reluctant to board a train] Are you coming? See, how it works is, the train moves, not the station.
  • You know, if I had your job, I'd kill myself. Sit here, let me see if I can dig up a pistol.
  • [while being surrounded by chickens] Get these wild animals away from me. Haven't you ever heard of a leash?
  • What happened? Did you promise the cows you'd write?
  • So long, milkmaids.
  • Get out there, show 'em what you got, don't embarass me.
  • I'm just going home, grab a shower and a shave, give the wife a little pickle-tickle, and I'm on my way.
  • [on why he wants to reject Marla] You know General Omar Bradley? Well, there's too strong a resemblance.
  • I hate it when they get attached to me like that!

Dialogue

  • Jimmy Dugan: Evelyn, could you come here for a second? Which team do you play for?
  • Evelyn Gardner: Well, I'm a Peach.
  • Jimmy: Well I was just wonderin' why you would throw home when we got a two-run lead. You let the tying run get on second base and we lost the lead because of you. Start using your head. That's the lump that's three feet above your ass.

[Evelyn starts to cry.]

  • Jimmy: Are you crying? Are you crying? Are you crying? There's no crying! There's no crying in baseball!
  • Doris Murphy: Why don't you give her a break, Jimmy?
  • Jimmy: Oh, zip it, Doris! Rogers Hornsby was my manager and he called me a talking pile of pig shit - and that was when my parents drove all the way down from Michigan to see me play the game! And did I cry?
  • Evelyn: (inbetween sobs) No, no, no ...
  • Jimmy: Yeah, no! And do you know why?
  • Evelyn: No ...
  • Jimmy: Because there's no crying in baseball. There's no crying in baseball--no crying!

[Jimmy signs a baseball for a young fan.]
Little boy [reading the inscription]: Avoid the clap, Jimmy Dugan.
Jimmy Dugan: Hey, that's good advice!


Kit: [Trying to convince Dottie to try out for the league so she can as well] Come on, Dottie. You've got the whole rest of your life to hang around here. Never go anywhere, never do anything...
Dottie: Look, I'm married, I'm happy. That's what I want, so let's not confuse things.
Kit: Okay...But can't you do this first? Just so you can say you once did something? Something special? Huh?
Mrs. Keller: For goodness sake, Kit! Keep your voice down! Your father's listening to the radio!
Kit: Please, Dottie. I gotta get outta here...I'm nothing here.


[League song]

Batter up.
Hear that call?
The time has come,
For one and all,
To play ball.

We are members of the All-American League.
We come from cities near and far.
We've got Canadians, Irish ones, and Swedes.
We're all for one, we're one for all, we're all Americans.
Each girl stands,
Her head so proudly high,
Her motto "Do or die",
She's not the one to use or need an alibi
Our chaperones are not too soft,
They're not too tough,
Our managers are on the ball.
We've got a president who really knows his stuff,
We're all for one, we're one for all,
We're All-Americans!

Cast








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