'A League of Their Own'
Source: Columbia Pictures

Play Ball! Are the 'A League of Their Own' Film and Prime Video Series Based on a True Story?

Bianca Piazza - Author
By

Aug. 8 2022, Published 2:40 p.m. ET

Madonna (Desperately Seeking Susan), Rosie O'Donnell (Sleepless in Seattle), Geena Davis (Thelma & Louise), Tom Hanks (Cast Away); what more can you possibly want from a cast? Director Penny Marshall's 1992 sports comedy flick A League of Their Own follows the hardships, stigmas, and successes faced by the the Rockford Peaches — aka the first professional women's baseball league — during World War II circa 1943.

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Known for its subtle campiness, impressive casting, and undertones of queerness, A League of Their Own is a cult classic, and it's becoming an Amazon Prime Video series! From creators Will Graham and Abbi Jacobson, A League of Their Own the show will similarly follow the baseball team while further delving into social issues. "A League of Their Own evokes the joyful spirit of Penny Marshall's beloved classic, while widening the lens to tell the story of an entire generation of women who dreamed of playing professional baseball, both in and outside of the AAGPBL," the official press page states.

"The show follows Carson (Abbi Jacobson) and Max (Chanté Adams) and a new ensemble of sharp and hilarious characters as they carve their paths toward the field, along the way finding their teams and themselves," the statement continues.

Considering much of the story is rooted in 1940s history, is A League of Their Own based on a true story?

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'A League of Their Own'
Source: Prime Video

Is 'A League of Their Own' based on a true story?

Yes, both A League of Their Own the movie and the show are based on the true story of the women who played for the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League. The film certainly took some liberties with the truth, though the time period and the league itself are otherwise historically accurate.

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The film's character Dottie (Geena Davis) was the only character based on a real person — outfielder Dorothy “Kammie” Kamenshek — and the Rockford Peaches didn't even compete in the 1943 championship. According to GoRockford.com, the Rockford Peaches actually won " the league championship of 1945, 1948, 1949, and 1950."

See, it was the the Kenosha Comets that lost to the Racine Belles in 1943, and the Rockford Peaches came in last that year. And according to Screen Rant, Dorothy “Kammie” Kamenshek only struck out 81 times out of a whopping 3,736 time at bat.

Screen Rant also detailed that the movie featured overhand pitching, but that style of pitching didn't reach the AAGPBL until 1948. In 1943, most players still pitched underhand, as many came from those girly softball leagues.

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AAGPBL player Maybelle Blair just came out of the closet at 95 years old.

Considering the A League of Their Own Series will feature women-loving-women relationships (no queer-baiting here!), we thought it was the perfect time to shed a light on 95-year-old former Peoria Redwings player Maybelle Blair. The talented old broad (just kidding) was a pitcher for the team in 1948 before moving on to play for a professional softball league. Listen, we know it's a stereotype that women softball players are super queer with their spiky cleats and turned-around baseball caps, but Maybelle actually is queer.

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In fact, she spontaneously announced it during the premiere of Prime Video's A League of Their Own series, per LX News.

“The most meaningful, now this is a terrible thing to say, but at age 95 I came out and told everybody that I was a queer,” she told LX News. “But I call it gay because I like that word better. But that was my most meaningful thing in my life because it gave me … really the most pressure in my whole life was when I told that I was gay.”

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Even she was surprised that she publicly came out, because it was a spur-of-the-moment decision, one she felt it was time to finally make.

“I couldn't believe it because I knew my family might disown me. I didn’t know what would take place, but I thought it was my self respect that I do tell, and that these young little girls and boys shouldn't have to hide what they feel and how they are, to have to go through what I had to go through in my day.”

It's truly a beautiful story, and we're beyond happy that the A League of Their Own series puts queerness front and center. In 2022, we don't have time for queer "undertones."

A League of Their Own premieres on Friday, Aug. 12, 2022, on Prime Video.

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