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

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.

when-women-form-a-league-of-their-own


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.

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.

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.

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"

This is a great sports film with a powerful cast :

Guestbook

Charito Maranan-Montecillo (author) from Manila, Philippines on September 05, 2015:

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!

Margaret Schindel from Massachusetts on September 04, 2015:

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. :)

Charito Maranan-Montecillo (author) from Manila, Philippines on August 01, 2015:

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!)

Mary Wickison from Brazil on August 01, 2015:

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.

MJ Martin aka Ruby H Rose from Washington State on April 10, 2015:

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.

June Campbell from North Vancouver, BC, Canada on September 13, 2014:

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

Charito Maranan-Montecillo (author) from Manila, Philippines on July 07, 2014:

@GardenHarbor: Thanks for stopping by!

Nikki Schilling from Pennsylvania on July 07, 2014:

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

MJ Martin aka Ruby H Rose from Washington State on June 09, 2014:

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.

Gabriel from U.S. on May 28, 2014:

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

SofyBelle on May 17, 2014:

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

asereht1970 from Philippines on May 08, 2014:

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

Tolovaj Publishing House from Ljubljana on April 28, 2014:

Sound like a great movie. Thanks for the recommendation!

Charito Maranan-Montecillo (author) from Manila, Philippines on April 08, 2014:

@Lynn Klobuchar: Thanks!

Charito Maranan-Montecillo (author) from Manila, Philippines on April 08, 2014:

@DeborahDian: Indeed!

Charito Maranan-Montecillo (author) from Manila, Philippines on February 15, 2014:

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

Tanya Jones from Texas USA on February 15, 2014:

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.

Lynn Klobuchar on February 15, 2014:

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

Deborah Carr from Orange County, California on February 09, 2014:

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

Charito Maranan-Montecillo (author) from Manila, Philippines on February 09, 2014:

@smine27: Thanks. Glad you appreciated it.

andreea22 on February 07, 2014:

I've never seen or even heard about it. I don't know how is this possible, but I think I'll give it a chance now. It sounds great and I have a passion for old-but-not-that-old movies. :)

Shinichi Mine from Tokyo, Japan on February 07, 2014:

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

Shelly Sellers from Midwest U.S.A. on February 05, 2014:

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

Cynthia Sylvestermouse from United States on February 03, 2014:

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

Charito Maranan-Montecillo (author) from Manila, Philippines on January 28, 2014:

@WinWriter: Thanks for stopping by!

WinWriter on January 28, 2014:

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. :)

Charito Maranan-Montecillo (author) from Manila, Philippines on January 26, 2014:

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

Charito Maranan-Montecillo (author) from Manila, Philippines on January 26, 2014:

@jennabeezer: Glad you liked it

eiramarie on January 26, 2014:

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

jennabeezer on January 25, 2014:

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.

Charito Maranan-Montecillo (author) from Manila, Philippines on January 12, 2014:

@esmonaco: Glad you like this film,

Eugene Samuel Monaco from Lakewood New York on January 11, 2014:

I love this movie, and all the history that it stood for, Thanks Great review

ahmlaw on January 07, 2014:

loved this film

Charito Maranan-Montecillo (author) from Manila, Philippines on January 04, 2014:

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

Hal Gall from Bloomington, IN on January 04, 2014:

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

Charito Maranan-Montecillo (author) from Manila, Philippines on January 02, 2014:

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

Pam Irie from Land of Aloha on January 01, 2014:

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

Charito Maranan-Montecillo (author) from Manila, Philippines on December 31, 2013:

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

Jordan on December 30, 2013:

I have never seen this movie!