A League of Their Own (1992)


A League of Their Own is a 1992 American comedy-drama film that tells a fictionalized account of the real-life All-American Girls Professional Baseball League (AAGPBL). Directed by Penny Marshall, the film stars Geena Davis, Lori Petty, Tom Hanks, Madonna and Rosie O'Donnell. The screenplay was written by Lowell Ganz and Babaloo Mandel from a story by Kim Wilson and Kelly Candaele.


In 1988, an elderly, widowed Dottie Hinson reluctantly attends the induction of the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League (AAGPBL) into the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York. Dottie was one of the league's greatest players, but while she loved baseball she never considered it a large part of her life. At Cooperstown's Doubleday Field, Dottie is reunited with former teammates and friends, prompting a flashback to the league's start in 1943. When World War II threatens to shut down Major League Baseball, candy manufacturing magnate Walter Harvey (Garry Marshall) creates a women's league to make money. Ira Lowenstein (David Strathairn) is put in charge of public relations and scout Ernie Capadino (Jon Lovitz) is sent to recruit players. Capadino likes what he sees in catcher Dottie Hinson (Geena Davis). She is a terrific hitter and likely to attract male fans. He offers her a tryout, but the married woman is content where she is, working in a dairy and on the family farm in Oregon while her husband fights in the war. He is less impressed with her younger sister, pitcher Kit Keller (Lori Petty), who loves the game but is overshadowed by Dottie. He lets her come along when she persuades Dottie to join the league for her sake. Capadino also checks out Marla Hooch (Megan Cavanagh), a great switch-hitting slugger. The blunt scout finds her too homely and rejects her, but Dottie and Kit refuse to continue without her, forcing Ernie to accept her. When the trio arrive at tryouts in Chicago, they meet hopefuls including taxi dancer hall bouncer and third baseman Doris Murphy (Rosie O'Donnell) and her best friend, center fielder "All the Way" Mae Mordabito (Madonna), tough-talking New Yorkers. They also encounter soft-spoken right-fielder Evelyn Gardner (Bitty Schram), illiterate and shy left-fielder Shirley Baker (Ann Cusack), and pitcher and former Miss Georgia Ellen Sue Gotlander. They are assigned with nine others to form the Rockford Peaches, while 48 others are split between the Racine Belles, Kenosha Comets, and South Bend Blue Sox. The Peaches are managed by alcoholic former baseball great Jimmy Dugan (Tom Hanks). Jimmy initially treats the whole thing as a joke, leaving the managerial duties to Dottie. He takes over after clashing with Dottie over whether to let their best hitter, Marla, swing away, a decision that proves him to be a smarter manager than he has shown. The league attracts little interest at first. Lowenstein tells the Peaches that the owners are having second thoughts about keeping the league going beyond 1943. With a Life magazine photographer attending a game, he asks them to do something spectacular. Dottie obliges when a ball is popped up behind home plate, catching it while doing a split. The resulting photograph makes the cover of the magazine. A huge publicity campaign ensues, drawing more people to the ballgames. The league becomes successful. The sibling rivalry between Dottie and Kit intensifies: Kit has an inferiority complex because Dottie is a better player, a better hitter, and better-looking. After Kit gets upset over Dottie supporting Jimmy when he replaces her for a relief pitcher, Dottie tells Lowenstein she is thinking about quitting as she does not want to be blamed for her sister's unhappiness. Lowenstein trades Kit to Racine. An enraged Kit blames her sister for getting her traded. Prior to the beginning of a crucial game to the World Series run-up, the Peaches' utility player Betty 'Spaghetti' Horn (Tracy Reiner) learns that her husband George was killed in action in the Pacific Theatre; the same evening, after an emotional breakdown, Dottie's husband Bob (Bill Pullman) arrives, having been honorably discharged after being wounded in Italy. The following morning, Jimmy discovers that Dottie and Bob are driving back to Oregon. He resents her decision, warning her that if she quits, she will regret it. The team continues without Dottie until the championship game, where Dottie appears to play a final game against her sister's team. In the top of the ninth inning, Dottie hits Kit's pitch over her head, scoring two runs for Rockford, making Kit panic that she has let her team down. Kit comes up to bat with her team trailing in the bottom of the inning. Although Dottie gives the pitcher advice on Kit's weakness for chasing high fastballs, Kit hits the ball into the outfield and rounds the bases, ignoring a stop signal from the third base coach. Dottie catches the ball and blocks home plate, but Kit runs into her hard. She drops the ball and Kit scores the winning run, finally achieving the respect and adoration she has been seeking. After the game Dottie confronts her sister; the two reconcile before Dottie returns home with Bob to raise a family. In the present day, Dottie and Kit, who have not seen each other in a long time, are reunited, along with other former players. They take a picture of the original Rockford Peaches team from 1943.