My Favorite Movies #61 – A League of Their Own

A League of Their Own - Poster.jpgA League of Their Own

1992

Directed by Penny Marshall

Netflix says… Two small-town sisters join an all-female baseball league formed when World War II brings professional baseball to a standstill. As their team hits the road with its drunken coach, the siblings find troubles and triumphs on and off the field.

  • Remember how I’m doing Whole30 this month? Remember how I just started a few days ago? Remember how the first few days are the hardest?
  • Well… that nearly prevented this post from happening. Because I really didn’t feel like watching a movie. My head felt like it was constantly exploding and imploding. Wasn’t comfortable.
  • I might quit Whole30… but that’s a post for another time…
  • We open on an elderly Dottie Hinson, who’s hesitant about traveling to Cooperstown to celebrate the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League being inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame.
  • When I was a kid, I swore this was Geena Davis made up to look older. At the time, I didn’t realize that they could dub Davis’ voice over the older actress’ lines.
  • Anyway, her daughter convinces her to go and when she arrives, she’s overcome with memories.
  • The rest of the film is a flashback.
  • World War II is on and it’s threatening to shut down baseball in the U.S.
  • That prospect doesn’t sit well with team owners. So Walter Harvey (stand-in for Wrigley) comes up with the idea of having women play professional baseball.
  • Somewhere in Oregon, Dottie and her little sister Kit play for the local dairy’s softball team.
  • Right off the bat, it’s evident that Kit has a severe inferiority complex. Good thing, too, otherwise there’d be no drama in this movie.
  • A scout sees Dottie win the game with a walk off home run and visits the farm to try and convince her to try out for the new pro teams in Chicago.
  • Kit’s ready to sign up, but the scout doesn’t want her… since she struck out when she was at bat.
  • The scout tells her that if she can convince Dottie to come, she can try out, too. Worst case scenario, she stinks and they lose the cost of a train ticket.
  • On the way to Chicago, they stop to look at another potential recruit: Marla Hooch.
  • She’s a brilliant player and swings a powerful bat. But she’s not the prettiest girl in the world.
  • The scout wants to leave her behind, because part of the appeal of having female players in a sexist world is that they’ll be pretty and guys will want to come see them slide into home wearing cute mini-skirts.
  • Dottie and Kit refuse to get back on the train if he doesn’t take Marla, too.
  • In the end, all three of them make it to Wrigley Harvey Field for try outs.
  • Here we meet two more players: Doris and “All the Way” Mae.
  • And, I’m sorry… they’ll recruit Rosie O’Donnell but not Marla? I don’t buy it.
  • Sorry… brief moment of objectification on my part. Back to the movie…
  • Dottie and Kit make the cut and are a part of the Rockford Peaches, along with Marla, Doris, and Mae.
  • At the first official league meeting, Ira Lowenstein lays down the law. The women of this league will wear the skirts as uniforms, there will be no smoking, no drinking, no men, and they will each take regular courses in charm and beauty school.
  • Sounds like a great deal. If you’re a dude watching the games.
  • At the home of Walter Harvey, we meet Jimmy Dugan (Tom Hanks).
  • He’s got a real drinking problem, but Harvey offers him a management job anyway. Harvey doesn’t expect him to do much. He’s just hiring him because he’s a name in the world of baseball.
  • Dugan shows up to the first game hammered. I’ll leave it at that.
  • Good first impression.
  • The girls are definitely on their own to kick off the season.
  • Lowenstein’s interaction with Jimmy after the first game is pretty hilarious.
  • Attendance at the games doesn’t seem to be increasing as the season progresses. More like what you’d see at a single A minor league game.
  • Evelyn, an outfielder for the Peaches, asks permission to bring her son on away games because her deadbeat husband can’t handle him.
  • Turns out, she can’t either. Kid’s a brat. Nearly crashes the bus. If I was the bus driver I’d have quit, too.
  • As the movie goes on, we see that Dottie has a habit of saving Kit whenever she’s in trouble. When she doesn’t step up, Kit blames Dottie for all her woes.
  • Meanwhile, Jimmy slowly begins to show interest in his players and gets involved with being an actual manager.
  • Jimmy caring about the games leads us to, arguably, the most well-known scene in this movie.
  • “There’s no crying in baseball!”
  • About midway through the season, Lowenstein visits the Rockford dugout to let the team know there are a couple of guys from Life magazine in the stands. He wants them to do a story on Dottie Hinson, aka The Queen of Diamonds.
  • Reason being, since the league isn’t proving to be profitable, Harvey and the other owners are thinking about closing it down.
  • He’d like them to give the reporters something exciting.
  • But… it’s baseball.
  • I mean, I like baseball as much as the next guy, but you have to admit that the game is mostly seven players standing around doing nothing for three hours.
  • This, however, leads to a montage of the game getting more and more exciting, drawing more and more spectators.
  • Jimmy and Dottie become friends; Dottie and Kit become enemies… It’s all very thrilling.
  • Eventually, Kit is traded to Racine after a big fight with Dottie after a game.
  • Dottie’s husband returns from Europe, injured by a sniper, and she quits the team, ready to go home to Oregon.
  • But Rockford is facing Racine in the World Series, so Dottie returns in time for game seven.
  • I’ve always wondered… How is there a World Series for this league? There are only four teams. They talk about the playoffs. What playoffs? Are there more teams that we just don’t see in the movie? And the two teams in the series just happen to be two teams that we’ve followed throughout the movie?
  • Anyway, game seven becomes Dottie versus Kit.
  • Racine wins when Kit charges home plate and Dottie drops the ball.
  • Remember how I said earlier there’s a clear pattern of Dottie saving Kit’s butt on the regular?
  • There’s not a person in this world who can convince me that Dottie accidentally dropped that baseball.
  • Back in the present (early 90s) Dottie gets reacquainted with her old teammates. She only played for Rockford for one season, but the league continued on without her.
  • Inside the Hall of Fame, everyone tours the exhibit.
  • Kit and her family show up and she embraces Dottie like they haven’t seen each other since the end of game seven all those years ago.
  • But one of Kit’s grandkids says, “Hi, Aunt Dottie!” as if they’re actually pretty close.
  • So confusing…

Oh well… Come back next week for a movie that I don’t think I’d have expected to be in my top 100 back when I first saw it – Love Actually. Strange that it’s not Christmas…

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4 thoughts on “My Favorite Movies #61 – A League of Their Own

  1. Pingback: Versatile Blogger Award – Strikeouts + Sprinkles

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