Road Trip Flicks: ‘A League of Their Own’

Twenty-five years have passed since “A League of Their Own” debuted on movie screens.

Director Penny Marshall’s beloved baseball classic deals with heavy topics like sexism, sibling rivalry and casualties of war, while managing to keep its humor at an uplifting pace.

The film about female baseball players is no doubt the reason you’ve heard the phrase “There’s no crying in baseball,” countless times during the last quarter century.

Let’s look back on this cinematic classic as it celebrates its 25th birthday.

Written by Kim Wilson and Kelly Candaele, the movie takes place during World War II. Professional baseball is struggling to maintain attendance numbers and teams are losing players to the war effort. A well-known businessman, Walter Harvey (Gary Marshall) proposes the idea for a female professional baseball league.

Dottie Hinson (Geena Davis) and Kit Keller (Madonna) are sisters and the film’s protagonists. They compete over everything and Kit feels she is always in Dottie’s shadow. Dottie plays catcher for the local softball team and Kit is a starting pitcher. Kit desperately wants out of Oregon and sees baseball as her ticket to freedom.

Though the movie brings laughs from start to finish, it’s not without its moments of heaviness. One particularly gripping scene sees the team pull together after a player’s husband is killed overseas.

A scout (Jon Lovitz) recruits Dottie, but the catcher refuses to play for the league unless her sister can play, too. Tom Hanks plays Jimmy Dugan, a former player who’s now a stumbling alcoholic. Dugan doesn’t take his task seriously at first and continues drinking on the job. Dottie

Film facts:

  • “A League of Their Own” earned two nominations for Golden Globes. One for best performance by an actress in a comedy or musical (Geena Davis) and best original song (Madonna and Shep Pettibone, “This Used to Be My Playground”)
  • Tom Hanks won an American Comedy Award for Funniest Actor in a Motion Picture.
  • Rosie O’Donnell and Jon Lovitz were both nominated for Funniest Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture.
  • According to the Independent Film Channel, Penny Marshall had the actresses play real games with multiple cameras in order to get enough footage for montages. Players didn’t go easy on one another, either. Injuries during filming included jammed shoulders, sprained fingers and one nearly broken nose. The giant strawberry bruise Alice earns while sliding was a real injury actress Renee Coleman sustained.