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When Girls Play Hardball in "A League of Their Own"

Updated on October 18, 2016
Charito1962 profile image

Ms. Charito is a Filipino based in Manila. She has worked as an executive assistant and a journalist. She is a widow with a grown-up son.


Now and then, I like watching a movie about women’s issues. Other times, I just watch if there's a good female cast like in Steel Magnolias, 9 to 5, The First Wives Club, The Women, Charlie’s Angels, and Mona Lisa Smile.

When I first heard that A League of Their Own was about baseball, I did not care to see it, since I have no interest in sports. But when I learned that Madonna was in the cast, I immediately bought the DVD, curious to see her acting. And she was not bad at all!

The story of A League of Their Own revolves around two sisters, Dottie Hinson (played by Geena Davis) and Kit Keller (played by Lori Petty), who, after being discovered, make their way to Chicago to try out for the women’s league. They pass, and later form part of a team called the Rockford Peaches that includes “All the Way” Mae Mordabito (played by Madonna) and Doris Murphy (played by Rosie O'Donnell).

Ernie Capadino (Jon Lovitz) invites Dottie (Geena Davis) to try out for the women’s league. Also in the scene is Kit (Lori Petty).

A modern bus with an art design commemorating the Rockford Peaches team.
A modern bus with an art design commemorating the Rockford Peaches team. | Source

Jimmy Dugan (Tom Hanks) pees in front of the ladies.

I saw much of feminine angst in this film, and I could relate to that. Having four sisters with different temperaments, I have been in a situation similar to the scene where Dottie and Kit break into a heated argument. Yet, mixed emotions and varied opinions are typical of women, causing much conflict among them.

And like the players, I have felt feminine disgust, as in the scene where the ladies watch the drunken team manager Jimmy Dugan (played by Tom Hanks) pee in front of them. (However, I was at once amused by Mae who was timing the duration of Jimmy’s peeing!)


I have also had my share of humiliations reminiscent of that scene where Jimmy berates Evelyn Gardner (played by Bitty Schram) who then breaks down. When he sees this, he yells “there’s no crying in baseball!”



"There’s no crying in baseball!"

Members of the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League (AAGPBL) play it rough in a male sport. A 1948 shot of player Marge Callaghan sliding into home plate.
Members of the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League (AAGPBL) play it rough in a male sport. A 1948 shot of player Marge Callaghan sliding into home plate. | Source

One of the scenes that moved me to tears was where Jimmy hands to pitcher Betty “Spaghetti” Horn (played by Tracy Reiner) a war telegram informing her of her husband’s death. This made me remember my own husband whom I lost to lung cancer in 2005. But the most touching scene for me was where Dottie and Kit, now in their old age, see each other at the Baseball Hall of Fame and end up in a warm – and forgiving – sisterly embrace.

Despite sympathizing with the characters, I also enjoyed some light moments in the film like the part where the sluggers sneak out one night to party, and Marla Hooch (played by Megan Cavanagh) gets drunk and sings with the band.

Girls’ night out!

 A 1948 photo showing the sluggers finding time to relax off the field.
A 1948 photo showing the sluggers finding time to relax off the field. | Source

But my favorite was the scene where the ladies undergo lessons at a charm and beauty school. (If I were the league organizer, I would definitely not require this!)

I also thought it inappropriate for the players to wear a dress for a jersey. It was just plain silly!

The ladies take lessons at a charm and beauty school.

But as always, I like films with a historical background (the setting was 1943), a flashback, and a great theme song. I was expecting to hear Madonna sing her usual pop tunes, but I was instead captivated to hear her sing This Used To Be My Playground. I also liked the idea of the Peaches writing their own team song with their battle cry, “Batter up, hear that call. The time has come for one and all...to play ball.” This just shows their oneness as a team.


Batter up, hear that call. The time has come for one and all... to play ball. We're the members of the All American League. We come from cities near and far. We've got Canadians, Irish ones, & Swedes. We're all for one, we're one for all, we're all American.

— Rockford Peaches

A League of Their Own is truly a film for women. I personally like rewatching it. And the next time I do, I will gather my friends with me so we could sentimentally sing along with Madonna, “This used to be our playground...this used to be our childhood dream.”

Madonna singing the theme song "This Used to Be My Playground"

After viewing the above scenes, what can you say?

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This is a great sports film with a powerful cast :

A League of Their Own
A League of Their Own

A good film for women who like sports!

 

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    • jc stone profile image

      Jordan 3 years ago

      I have never seen this movie!

    • Charito1962 profile image
      Author

      Charito Maranan-Montecillo 3 years ago from Manila, Philippines

      @jc stone: Try watching it. It's a good film.

    • Pam Irie profile image

      Pam Irie 3 years ago from Land of Aloha

      I alwas enjoy watching this movie. It's another "new classic".

    • Charito1962 profile image
      Author

      Charito Maranan-Montecillo 3 years ago from Manila, Philippines

      @Pam Irie: Yes, it is. Glad you like it.

    • vineliner57 profile image

      Hal Gall 3 years ago from Bloomington, IN

      One of my all time favorite lines is "There is no crying in baseball".

    • Charito1962 profile image
      Author

      Charito Maranan-Montecillo 3 years ago from Manila, Philippines

      @vineliner57: Ha, ha, ha! Okay. At least I know. Take care.

    • profile image

      ahmlaw 3 years ago

      loved this film

    • Charito1962 profile image
      Author

      Charito Maranan-Montecillo 3 years ago from Manila, Philippines

      @esmonaco: Glad you like this film,

    • profile image

      jennabeezer 3 years ago

      Our family saw this movie in the theater when I was 11. I had the same initial reaction as you - "a movie about baseball?" My parents practically dragged me to the show, but I ended up loving it! My husband and I own the DVD, and it's one of our favorites. Some classic scenes in this one.

    • eiramarie profile image

      eiramarie 3 years ago

      I've seen this movie in HBO and it was one of my favorite movies made by Geena Davis. Thanks for the review.

    • Charito1962 profile image
      Author

      Charito Maranan-Montecillo 3 years ago from Manila, Philippines

      @jennabeezer: Glad you liked it

    • Charito1962 profile image
      Author

      Charito Maranan-Montecillo 3 years ago from Manila, Philippines

      @eiramarie: You're welcome! Thanks for dropping by.

    • profile image

      WinWriter 3 years ago

      This is a great film. I've watched it several times. Like you, the scene with the war telegram had me teary-eyed. Great review and I hope more people get to see it. :)

    • Charito1962 profile image
      Author

      Charito Maranan-Montecillo 3 years ago from Manila, Philippines

      @WinWriter: Thanks for stopping by!

    • Sylvestermouse profile image

      Cynthia Sylvestermouse 3 years ago from United States

      It has been a while since I have watched this movie, but I definitely enjoyed it! Thanks for the reminder and the great review!

    • shellys-space profile image

      Shelly Sellers 3 years ago from Midwest U.S.A.

      Gosh, I haven't seen a League of Their Own for ages! It is a great movie and I have seen it multiple times.

    • smine27 profile image

      Shinichi Mine 3 years ago from Tokyo, Japan

      I remember seeing this movie because I am a big fan of Madonna. Great review of the movie.

    • Charito1962 profile image
      Author

      Charito Maranan-Montecillo 3 years ago from Manila, Philippines

      @smine27: Thanks. Glad you appreciated it.

    • DeborahDian profile image

      Deborah Carr 3 years ago from Orange County, California

      I loved this movie ... a real classic for women to watch!

    • Lynn Klobuchar profile image

      Lynn Klobuchar 3 years ago from Minneapolis, Minnesota

      Even the men here like this movie. "There's no crying in baseball." Great review.

    • Arachnea profile image

      Tanya Jones 3 years ago from Texas USA

      I can see you really enjoy watching movies. Your reviews are very interesting and informative as well. I hadn't heard of this movie before, but will put it on my list of movies to watch as a result of reading this lens.

    • Charito1962 profile image
      Author

      Charito Maranan-Montecillo 3 years ago from Manila, Philippines

      @Arachnea: You won't regret it, I assure you!

    • Charito1962 profile image
      Author

      Charito Maranan-Montecillo 3 years ago from Manila, Philippines

      @DeborahDian: Indeed!

    • Charito1962 profile image
      Author

      Charito Maranan-Montecillo 3 years ago from Manila, Philippines

      @Lynn Klobuchar: Thanks!

    • TolovajWordsmith profile image

      Tolovaj Publishing House 3 years ago from Ljubljana

      Sound like a great movie. Thanks for the recommendation!

    • asereht1970 profile image

      asereht1970 3 years ago

      I have seen this movie and liked it a well. Great lens.

    • SofyBelle profile image

      SofyBelle 3 years ago

      My mother and I love watching this movie together. It has a wonderful cast and it always makes us cry.

    • ShadowSphereOT profile image

      Gabriel 3 years ago from U.S.

      I liked this movie also, Tom Hanks and Geena Davis have some really funny scenes together.

    • MJ Martin profile image

      MJ Martin aka Ruby H Rose 3 years ago from Washington State

      Yes, this is a great movie. I haven't seen it in a long time. You ignited some great memories. I too was curious to see Madonna in action. I wasn't disappointed. Baseball wasn't my favorite sport, although I did enjoy playing it for fun.

    • GardenHarbor profile image

      Nikki Schilling 2 years ago from Pennsylvania

      I love, love, love this movie!! Great choice and great review.

    • Charito1962 profile image
      Author

      Charito Maranan-Montecillo 2 years ago from Manila, Philippines

      @GardenHarbor: Thanks for stopping by!

    • junecampbell profile image

      June Campbell 2 years ago from North Vancouver, BC, Canada

      I remember seeing this movie at the theatre. I enjoyed it. Thanks for the memories.

    • MJ Martin profile image

      MJ Martin aka Ruby H Rose 2 years ago from Washington State

      A great movie review I must say. I haven't seen this one in a long time. I know we have it on DVD somewhere. So off to my bookshelves filled with movies to find it and watch it again with my granddaughter. I too love movies based on true events.

    • Blond Logic profile image

      Mary Wickison 23 months ago from Brazil

      I can't believe I have never heard of this movie. I must find it. I am not sure if my husband will watch it as it might not be this cup of tea. I love the cast though.

      Having two sisters, I think it is one, I too can relate to.

    • Charito1962 profile image
      Author

      Charito Maranan-Montecillo 23 months ago from Manila, Philippines

      Hi, Ms. Mary! Yes, I hope you enjoy the film. It's a sisterhood kind of movie.

      Guess you'll appreciate it more if you like baseball! (Ha, ha, ha!)

    • Margaret Schindel profile image

      Margaret Schindel 21 months ago from Massachusetts

      Hi Charito! I saw this movie years ago and loved it. Your review is terrific and really captures the essence and heart of this wonderful film. Now I want to watch it again. :)

    • Charito1962 profile image
      Author

      Charito Maranan-Montecillo 21 months ago from Manila, Philippines

      Hello, fellow ex-squid Margaret! So nice of you to stop by! Yes, I never tire rewatching this film. I find it wholesome, and I love the theme song sung by Madonna.

      Warm regards!

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