A League of Their Own (1992) Poster


For the famous split catch, Geena Davis had to have a stunt double slide into the split. Although Davis could do the splits, as shown, she couldn't slide into it.
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All of the injuries and bruises in the film were real injuries that the actresses received during filming.
The "strawberry" bruise Renée Coleman received on her thigh while sliding into a base remained for over a year.
The storyline was inspired by the career of baseball legend Dottie Collins. During World War II, Collins played for the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League, and pitched seventeen shutouts during her six-year career.
During filming of the World Series games, stars took turns entertaining the unpaid extras. Tom Hanks did puppet shows over the dugout, Rosie O'Donnell did stand-up comedy; and various actors pretended to be Madonna and sang her songs after the singer balked at performing for the fans.
Geena Davis joined the production as a late replacement for Debra Winger, a few days before filming was due to start. Davis's character was supposed to be one of the greatest female baseball players in America, and the cast had been doing baseball training for months. Within weeks, Davis had mastered the game, and was regularly beating all her co-stars.
The more mature Dottie and Kit are played by Lynn Cartwright and Kathleen Butler, but their voices are dubbed by Geena Davis and Lori Petty.
Actresses auditioning for the film had to prove they could play baseball. All the actresses cast in the film, apart from Geena Davis, did their own baseball stunts. None of the performers wanted stunt doubles.
Tom Hanks gained thirty pounds in preparation for his role. He attributed the weight he gained to a nearby Dairy Queen. All during filming, Penny Marshall encouraged Hanks to keep on eating. Meanwhile, she also told Rosie O'Donnell to eat as little as possible.
In 2012, the film was selected by the U.S. Library of Congress for preservation in the National Film Registry archives.
Lori Petty was, in reality, a faster runner than Geena Davis, and had to run slower while appearing she was running at full speed.
Dolores 'Pickles' Dries, the lady in the Cooperstown bleachers who referred to Dottie as "the best player in the league", was a pitcher for the Rockford Peaches in 1952, '53, and '54.
The characters at the Baseball Hall of Fame, and seen playing as the credits roll, are real original players from the league portrayed in the film.
The film portrays the league as initially unpopular and unprofitable, until demeaning gimmicks are used to attract male audiences. In reality, the league was popular and profitable from the start, largely because it played in towns in the upper Midwest that had no way of watching a live baseball game. Eventually, the league grew into a ten-team two-division league. The advent of televised baseball games in the early fifties, however, would lead to the demise in the popularity of the league.
Lori Petty and Rosie O'Donnell were the two best players and had hitting competitions. Both could hit the fences at major-league parks.
Director Penny Marshall cast her daughter Tracy Reiner as Betty Spaghetti and her brother Garry Marshall as Walter Harvey. Garry was cast at the last minute because Penny couldn't afford her original choice for the part, Christopher Walken. She also cast her niece, Kathleen Marshall, Gary's daughter, as 'Mumbles' Brockman-outfield.
The movie's line "There's no crying in baseball." was voted as the #54 movie quote by the American Film Institute (out of 100).
Jon Lovitz had a more substantial role in the film's initial cut. During the extensive post-production editing and screening process, the filmmakers used only his meanest comments and most obvious punchlines and found the audience was roaring with laughter at everything he said. They decided to focus on those moments, cut out extraneous material, and ended up with one of the most popular elements of the final film.
After league tryouts were completed, all of the players were sent to "Charm and beauty school". This is factual, as the real AAGPBL players were sent to the Helena Rubenstein Beauty Salon to be made over, and they attended Helena Rubenstein's Evening Charm School after afternoon practices where proper etiquette, hygiene and the leagues dress code were taught and reinforced.
Rosie O'Donnell can actually throw two balls at the same time.
Lori Petty was the only girl on a boys' team growing up.
Farrah Fawcett really wanted to take part and was physically able to play the game but according to Penny Marshall she was slightly too old.
When the Rockford-Racine World Series game was filmed, it was over 100 degrees outside.
The Racine Belles home games were filmed at Bosse Field in Evansville, Indiana. They retrofitted the entire stadium to look as it did in that era. "Support the Racine Belles" signs are still on display. The stadium is now used by the Evansville Otters, a Frontier League baseball team, and the ball girls wear the Belles uniforms.
Rosie O'Donnell's character, Doris, asks "What are you a Genius?" to Dottie. Geena Davis actually has an IQ of 140. Having an IQ of 140 is actually considered the starting point for the "Genius" level.
Brooke Shields was offered the lead female role, but after the writer's strike in 1988, Shields was written out, to be replaced by Debra Winger. However, Winger also backed out, and the part then went to Geena Davis.
The studio wanted Jimmy and Dottie to get together. There was even a kiss at one point. But Penny Marshall didn't want to distract audiences with a love story, so it was cut.
During filming, Lori Petty threw more than most MLB pitchers do in an entire season.
In the 110-degree heat, the actresses wore authentic uniforms that were mostly wool.
When Jimmy first "meets" the Peaches, he strolls right through them and heads to the urinal for a bit of relief. The girls whisper to each other to time him; the actual time of the activity is 53 seconds.
Geena Davis auditioned in Penny Marshall's backyard.
Julie Croteau was a baseball double for actress Anne Ramsay, who played Helen Haley. Croteau was the first woman to play men's NCAA college baseball, for St. Mary's College of Maryland (Division III).
In Evansville, Indiana, where the Racine games and World series was filmed, Madonna was so rude to citizens, hotel and restaurant staff, and other locals, that her reputation is still tarnished there. She even spoke poorly of the city in interviews.
The studio wanted Dottie to save Jimmy from his drinking. So Penny Marshall had her give him a soda.
Not even Tom Hanks knew when he was going to be done "peeing." Penny Marshall was in a stall with a hose and a bucket making the noise.
The soldier who did most of the dancing with Madonna in the bar scene was a recurring character on director Penny Marshall's Laverne & Shirley (1976) television show. The actor, Eddie Mekka, was Shirley's boyfriend and his occupation was a dance teacher.
Lavonne Paire Davis, who died in February 2013 at age 88, served as an uncredited consultant to Penny Marshall, and was one of several real-life female ballplayers who helped inspire the fictional Dottie Hinson, played by Geena Davis.
Tom Hanks' character, Jimmy Dugan, is loosely based on real-life baseball sluggers Jimmie Foxx and Hack Wilson.
Marisa Tomei filmed an audition tape of her playing baseball, being coached by Joe Pesci, on the set of My Cousin Vinny (1992), but according to Penny Marshall, she just wasn't a ball player.
The red-orange house used as the team hotel (for the scene where Dottie leaves the team) is located in Henderson, Kentucky. It was on sale for 60,000 dollars when it was used for filming.
Coaches used a Slip 'n' Slide to teach the actresses how to slide. The first three girls got concussions. They tried different training methods after that.
The bar scene, where the girls sneak away for a night on the town, was originally going to be filmed at The Hornet's Nest, a bar/restaurant in Evansville, Indiana. The owners of the Hornet's Nest did spontaneous renovations in preparation for filming. The producers decided the changes didn't fit with the setting they were going for, and found a new location.
All scenes on the train and at the railroad depot were filmed at the Illinois Railway Museum in Union, Illinois. The passenger train in the film is part of the its collection.
When Jon Lovitz found out Madonna had checked into their hotel under a pseudonym, he registered under one too: 'Edna Poo-a-dee-doo'.
Bill Pullman took the role of Bob as a favor to Penny Marshall.
While the film seems to suggest that both the American and National League had shut down during the war, this is far from fact. Both leagues filled their rosters by signing life long minor league players, and retired players, and in some cases, teams brought in high school players as well. The only leagues that were affected by the wars were some of the minor leagues themselves, many were forced to shut down due to lack of players (many that were still around had been declared 4f by the military), and the majority of the minor leagues never resumed play once the war was over.
Penny Marshall, a life long baseball fan, was inspired to develop the film after seeing a PBS documentary about the AAGPBL.
The Peaches played at Beyer Stadium in Rockford, Illinois. No place in Rockford could be used for filming because of Beyer Stadium's state of disrepair. It was eventually condemned; all that remained for many years was the original archway and a sign about the Peaches. Since 2010, a community group "Friends of Beyer Stadium" has been rebuilding the site and renovating the field.
David L. Lander, who has an uncredited role as a game announcer, is a real-life baseball fanatic, who later became a scout for the Anaheim Angels. He is also a veteran of Penny Marshall's Laverne & Shirley (1976) series.
Madonna's stand-in was Melissa Totten, who has performed as a Madonna impersonator in the Las Vegas stage show Legends In Concert for many years.
Debra Winger was originally going to star in the film, but backed out when Madonna was signed. Winger also had suffered a back injury that forced her off the film. Lori Petty was cast with her resemblance to Winger in mind. When Geena Davis took over the part of Dottie, Petty's hair was dyed to match Davis' to make them look like sisters.
In the film, the AAGPBL's 1943 World Series is between the Racine Belles and the Rockford Peaches. The Belles actually played the Kenosha Comets in the '43 World Series.
According to a handwritten letter she wrote to photographer Steven Meisel, Madonna was miserable. "I cannot suffer any more than I have in the past month, learning how to play baseball with a bunch of girls (yuk) in Chicago (double yuk). I have a tan, I'm dirty all day, and I hardly ever wear make up. Penny Marshall, Lavern (sic), Geena Davis is a Barbie Doll, and when God decided where the beautiful men were going to live in the world, he did not choose Chicago. I have made a few friends but they are athletes, not actresses. They have nothing on the house of extravaganza. I wish I could come to N.Y."
Walter Harvey was based on Chicago Cubs Owner Phillip Wrigley, the real life founder of the AAGPBL. The Harvey chocolate bars were a parallel to Wrigley's chewing gum manufactured by Phillip Wrigley.
The Rockford Peaches home games were filmed in Huntingburg, Indiana. The stadium was completely renovated, and named League Stadium after the movie crews left. In the movie, a barn is in the background. It is two-sided, and covered a water slide.
Moira Kelly was originally signed on to play the role of Kit, but she hurt her ankle while filming The Cutting Edge (1992) .
New York state trooper David Harding played one of Kit's adult sons in the Hall of Fame scene. Within months of the shooting, he was indicted for falsifying evidence in several cases, including a 1989 multiple murder in Ithaca.
The AAGPBL uniforms were originally designed by Mrs. Wrigley, art director Otis Shepard and softball star Ann Harnet. The uniform consisted of a one piece flared skirted tunic with silk shorts, knee high baseball socks and a baseball cap. The uniforms were based off figure skating, field hockey and tennis costumes of the period. The new uniform was later modeled to the new league players by Ann Harnet herself who was signed as the first player to join the league.
During initial development, Jim Belushi was set to play Jimmy Dugan, and Laura Dern was cast in the role of Dottie Hinson.
Tom Hanks thought he was too young to be believable as Jimmy Dugan. But Penny Marshall said Dugan wasn't supposed to be old; he was just injured and washed-up.
When announcing the game the Peaches announcer (David L. Lander) uses the phrase "Oh Doctor!" during an exciting play. This phrase was made popular by 1940s and 50s Brooklyn Dodgers announcer Red Barber.
To lighten the mood on the set in between takes, Geena Davis suggested that the cast perform songs from "Jesus Christ Superstar". Tom Hanks was assigned the role of Caiaphas.
The filmmakers reworked Rosie O'Donnell's part to fit her personality. Doris was originally going to be another sexpot, like Madonna's character.
Jon Lovitz was so into one scene that he didn't notice a cow giving birth (off camera) while filming. The farm named the cow after Marshall.
The older actresses watched videotape of their counterparts to imitate their movements.
The famous line, "There's no crying in baseball" has some basis in fact. According to author Daniel Okrent, Rogers Hornsby (to whom Tom Hanks refers) was chewing out a line of minor league hitters he was instructing, when Ron Santo (toward the end of the line) was quoted as saying, "If he says that to me, I'll cry."
To cast the movie, Penny Marshall held baseball tryouts for 2,000 actresses. Even big stars were there because if you couldn't play ball you couldn't be in the movie.
When Bill Pullman's character shows up in uniform, he is wearing the "T" patch of the 36th Division from Texas.
Megan Cavanagh and Tracy Reiner reprised their roles as Marla Hooch and "Betty Spaghetti" Horn in the short-lived A League of Their Own (1993) television series.
In her autobiography "My Mother Was Nuts" Penny Marshall recounts that Lori Singer would have been cast if she hadn't insisted on getting a bigger part.
Sean Young and Demi Moore were both considered for Dottie. Demi had to back out because she became pregnant. Penny Marshall remarked that "Bruce literally screwed her out of the part."
Although she is left-handed, Bitty Schram throws and bats right-handed in the film.
Only a few weeks before the movie was to begin filming in June 1990, 20th Century Fox studio chairman Joe Roth withdrew its funding. Columbia subsequently picked up the movie, and filming began in July 1991.
The screenwriters wrote the part of Ernie Capadino especially for Jon Lovitz.
Lori Petty related to her character, Kit, because Petty was "new to moviemaking." Petty was just trying to hold her own working with Geena Davis.
Madonna co-wrote the theme song for the film "This Used To Be My Playground" for which she was nominated for a Golden Globe Award.
Harvey's house in Illinois, is an actual house that was originally owned by Robert R. McCormick, a colonel in the Big Red One, the first Infantry, in World War I. He was also the owner and publisher of the Chicago Tribune for decades. His home is now a museum, along with a museum dedicated to the Big Red One.
As the Peaches leave the locker room for the final game of the World Series, Jimmy says to the replacement catcher, "You're killing me, Alice, you're killing me." Tom Hanks is paraphrasing one of the most famous sports quotes, "They're killing me, Whitey, they're killing me," said by Denver Broncos coach Lou Saban to an assistant. (Saban actually said, "They're killing me out there, Whitey," but the quote is frequently repeated with "out there" omitted.)
To get enough footage, Penny Marshall had the girls play unscripted innings.
Tom Hanks was honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame the same week the movie premiered.
Kelly Candaele was one of the writers for this movie. His mother played in the league portrayed in the movie. Also, Kelly's brother, Casey, was a major league infielder from 1986 through 1997. His best season was 1991 (right before the movie was released) when he collected 121 hits and 50 RBIs for the Houston Astros as their usual starting second baseman.
Rosie O'Donnell was nervous about meeting Madonna, but they bonded quickly and remain good friends to this day.
Tom Hanks says it was a male fantasy to "have all my teammates be a bunch of chicks."
Before he became an actor, David L. Lander (the announcer) was a scout for the major leagues.
One scene was filmed in FitzGerald's bar near Chicago. Filmmakers closed down the bar for three weeks to film the five-minute sequence.
Geena Davis can do a split but couldn't fall into one. So a male double did it for her.
The character of Jimmy Dugan was originally in his 60s.
The tryouts scene was filmed at Wrigley Field, home of the Chicago Cubs. But when mentioned in the film it is given the name Harvey Field.
People always ask Geena Davis how she caught the ball. She says, "It's the movies."
On the set, Geena Davis wanted to take Lori Petty "under my wing and be the big sister."
Jennifer Jason Leigh turned down the role of Dottie Hinson.
The opening day lineup for the Rockford Peaches: 1) CF-#5-Mae Mordabito 2) 3B-#22-Doris Murphy 3) C-#8-Dottie Hinson 4) 2B-#32-Marla Hooch 5) LF-#11-Shirley Baker 6) 1B-#15-Helen Haley 7) SS-#1-Ellen Sue Gotlander 8) RF-#17-Evelyn Gardner 9) P-#23-Kit Keller
Molly Ringwald was considered for the role of Kit.
Lindsay Frost was the original choice for "All the Way" Mae, but couldn't take the part when her television pilot got picked up.
Ellie Cornell had originally landed a role in the film but had to back out after learning she was pregnant.
Ally Sheedy was considered for the role of Dottie.
When Mr. Harvey is offering Jimmy Dugan (Tom Hanks) a job, he tells Jimmy he would still be playing if he "would have laid off the booze", hinting at Mickey Mantle's career, even mentioning a knee injury was to blame, as Mantle suffered.
Jim Belushi was originally cast as Jimmy Dugan.
The original cut of the movie was four and a half hours long, so the editor wanted to cut one scene. Penny Marshall wouldn't let it go, saying that the family moment "made the movie."
Hillary Clinton is a fan of this movie and quoted a line in a graduation speech.
Paul Newman was considered for the role of Walter Harvey.
Kelly McGillis was considered for the role of Dottie.
Singer k.d. lang was supposed to be in the film, but backed out due to her recording schedule.
According to Penny Marshall, Hans Zimmer didn't know anything about baseball.
Tom Hanks, Rosie ODonnel and Bill Pullman worked together again in Sleepless in Seattle (1993).
David Anspaugh was the original choice for director.
Jon Lovitz asks the girls when they're milking cows, "Doesn't that hurt them?" "Well it would bruise the hell out of me." A hilarious coincidence saw Jon Lovitz star in The Benchwarmers (2006) later in his career, in which he shows his highly bruised nipples after suffering a 'tittie-twister' from an old bully.
There are four actors in this who also did at least one Disney movie: Jon Lovitz in The Brave Little Toaster (1987), Tom Hanks in Toy Story (1995) and its sequels, Rosie O'Donnell in Tarzan (1999), and Garry Marshall in Chicken Little (2005).
Glenna Sue Kidd, one of the women the movie is based on, is from Choctaw (Clinton), Arkansas.
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The trivia items below may give away important plot points.

The scene where Betty Spaghetti learns her husband died took three days to film.
During the final scene in the film at the baseball hall of fame, older Dottie walks past a billboard honoring Jimmy Dugan. It reads, "Jimmy Dugan Hits 58 Home Runs in 1936. When Jimmy Dugan hit his 58th home run, he set a new record for his beloved Chicago Cubs. The club had not seen a similar hitting streak for two decades and Dugan's thrilling performance that season helped invigorate the team and set a new attendance record at Harvey Field as well. Jimmy Dugan's greatest year was also marked by his appearance at 3rd base in the 1936 All-Star Game, where he hit a low slider out of the park driving in the winning run. Born 1906, Died 1987."
In the film's climactic World Series game seven, there is an egregious strategy error: When the Peaches have runners on second and third with two outs, Dottie Hinson (the best player in the league) strolls to the plate. In any professional baseball league, the opposing team would intentionally walk the best player to load the bases and pitch to the next batter. Instead, Racine opts to pitch to Hinson and she delivers a go-ahead, two-run single up the middle.

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