A League of Their Own Movie Poster

Trivia for A League of Their Own

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  • 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).
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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."
  • 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.
  • Lori Petty was, in reality, a faster runner than Geena Davis, and had to run slower while appearing she was running at full speed.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Ellie Cornell had originally landed a role in the film but had to back out after learning she was pregnant.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Singer k.d. lang was supposed to be in the film, but backed out due to her recording schedule.
  • Geena Davis auditioned in Penny Marshall's backyard.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.)
  • 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.
  • The "strawberry" bruise Renée Coleman received on her thigh while sliding into a base remained for over a year.
  • Moira Kelly was originally signed on to play the role of Kit, but she hurt her ankle while filming The Cutting Edge (1992) .
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 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.
  • When the Rockford-Racine World Series game was filmed, it was over 100 degrees outside.
  • All of the injuries and bruises in the film were real injuries that the actresses received during filming.
  • Although she is left-handed, Bitty Schram throws and bats right-handed in the film.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Tom Hanks' character, Jimmy Dugan, is loosely based on real-life baseball sluggers Jimmie Foxx and Hack Wilson.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Molly Ringwald was considered for the role of Kit.
  • 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).
  • Kelly McGillis was considered for the role of Dottie.
  • Ally Sheedy was considered for the role of Dottie.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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
  • 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.
  • 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 cap. The uniforms were based on 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • When Bill Pullman's character shows up in uniform, he is wearing the "T" patch of the 36th Division from Texas. That's consistent with Dottie telling Jimmy her husband was in Italy, which is where the 36th Division fought.
  • During initial development, Jim Belushi was set to play Jimmy Dugan, and Laura Dern was cast in the role of Dottie Hinson.
  • Jennifer Jason Leigh turned down the role of Dottie Hinson.
  • In 2012, the film was selected by the U.S. Library of Congress for preservation in the National Film Registry archives.
  • 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.
  • Rosie O'Donnell's character, Doris, asks Dottie, "What are you, a genius?" Geena Davis is said to have an IQ of 140, considered the starting point for the "Genius" level.
  • When Jon Lovitz found out Madonna had checked into their hotel under a pseudonym, he registered under one too: 'Edna Poo-a-dee-doo'.
  • 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."
  • Lindsay Frost was the original choice for "All the Way" Mae, but couldn't take the part when her television pilot got picked up.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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."
  • The character of Jimmy Dugan was originally in his 60s.
  • Jim Belushi was originally cast as Jimmy Dugan.
  • David Anspaugh was the original choice for director.
  • 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.
  • Rosie O'Donnell can actually throw two balls at the same time.
  • The film seems to suggest that both the American and National League had shut down during the war, but this is far from fact. Both leagues filled their rosters by signing lifelong minor league players and retired players, and, in some cases, high school players. Some of the minor leagues were affected by the war, and many were forced to shut down for lack of players (many players had been declared 4F by the military). The majority of the minor leagues never resumed play once the war was over.
  • 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 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.
  • 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).
  • 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.
  • Penny Marshall, a life long baseball fan, was inspired to develop the film after seeing a PBS documentary about the AAGPBL.
  • Lori Petty was the only girl on a boys' team growing up.
  • Before he became an actor, David L. Lander (the announcer) was a scout for the major leagues.
  • Tom Hanks, Rosie ODonnel and Bill Pullman worked together again in Sleepless in Seattle (1993).
  • Bill Pullman took the role of Bob as a favor to Penny Marshall.
  • Paul Newman was considered for the role of Walter Harvey.
  • In the 110-degree heat, the actresses wore authentic uniforms that were mostly wool.
  • One scene was filmed in FitzGerald's bar near Chicago. Filmmakers closed down the bar for three weeks to film the five-minute sequence.
  • According to Penny Marshall, Hans Zimmer didn't know anything about baseball.
  • Tom Hanks was honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame the same week the movie premiered.
  • On the set, Geena Davis wanted to take Lori Petty "under my wing and be the big sister."
  • 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.
  • People always ask Geena Davis how she caught the ball. She says, "It's the movies."
  • Tom Hanks says it was a male fantasy to "have all my teammates be a bunch of chicks."
  • The screenwriters wrote the part of Ernie Capadino especially for Jon Lovitz.
  • 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 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."
  • Rosie O'Donnell was nervous about meeting Madonna, but they bonded quickly and remain good friends to this day.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 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.
  • The studio wanted Dottie to save Jimmy from his drinking. So Penny Marshall had her give him a soda.
  • Lori Petty and Rosie O'Donnell were the two best players and had hitting competitions. Both could hit the fences at major-league parks.
  • During filming, Lori Petty threw more than most MLB pitchers do in an entire season.
  • The older actresses watched videotape of their counterparts to imitate their movements.
  • Hillary Clinton is a fan of this movie and quoted a line in a graduation speech.
  • To get enough footage, Penny Marshall had the girls play unscripted innings.
  • Geena Davis can do a split but couldn't fall into one. So a male double did it for her.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Glenna Sue Kidd, one of the women the movie is based on, is from Choctaw (Clinton), Arkansas.
  • Michael J. Fox were considered for the role of Jimmy Dugan.
  • Sally Field were considered for the role of Dottie Hinson.
  • Holly Hunter were considered for the role of Kit Keller.
  • Jodi Benson were considered for the role of Mae Mordabito.
  • Isabella Rossellini were considered for the role of Doris Murphy.
  • Max von Sydow were considered for the role of Walter Harvey.
  • Liam Neeson were considered for the role of Bob Hinson.
  • Danny DeVito were considered for the role of Ernie Capadino.
  • Bryan Cranston were considered for the role of Jimmy Dugan.
  • Nicole Kidman were considered for the role of Dottie Hinson.
  • Jodi Benson were considered for the role of Kit Keller.
  • Courteney Cox were considered for the role of F Mae Mordabito.
  • Julia Roberts were considered for the role of Kit Keller.
  • Anjelica Huston were considered for the role of Doris Murphy.
  • Michael J. Fox was considered for the role of Jimmy Dugan.
  • Sally Field was considered for the role of Dottie Hinson.
  • Courteney Cox was considered for the role of Kit Keller.
  • Michelle Pfeiffer was considered for the role of Mae Mordabito.
  • Isabella Rossellini was considered for the role of Doris Murphy.
  • Liam Neeson was considered for the role of Bob Hinson.
  • Max von Sydow was considered for the role of Walter Harvey.
  • Danny DeVito was considered for the role of Ernie Capadino.
  • Bryan Cranston was considered for the role of Jimmy Dugan.
  • Nicole Kidman was considered for the role of Dottie Hinson.
  • Jodi Benson was considered for the role of Kit Keller.
  • Barbara Hershey was considered for the role of Mae Mordabito.
  • Anjelica Huston was considered for the role of Doris Murphy.
  • Robert De Niro was considered for the role of Bob Hinson.
  • John Candy was considered for the role of Ernie Capadino.
  • James Coburn was considered for the role of Walter Harvey.
  • Her role as Marla was the debut film for Megan Cavanagh. She would reprise the role in the TV series.
  • The Rockford Peaches had 16 women on their roster but are represented by 18 actresses. Some of the film's promotional photos show all 18 actresses while most others only show 16. When counting players by position, there were: 3 pitchers, 2 catchers, 1 first baseman, 3 second basemen, 2 shortstops, 1 third basemen, and 9 outfielders. (The number exceeds 18 because some actresses played two positions.) An actual team would likely have had more pitchers/infielders and fewer outfielders.
  • David L Landers plays the play by play announcer for the Peaches. Landers and director Penny Marshall's friendship went back several years to the seventies, when Landers played the role of Squiggy on Marshall's show, Laverne and Shirley.
  • Penny Marshall was the first female director to have a movie earn over 100 million at the box office, after originally being told by the studio they weren't considering her for the role of director because she was a woman, and she wouldn't be able to handle the complexities of being a director, according to Garry Marshall.
  • Another former co-star of director Penny Marshall from "Laverne & Shirley," Eddie Mekka, (Carmine /"The Big Ragu") played the soldier that Mae (Madonna) makes out with in the bar.
  • Rance Howard appears briefly as Dottie and Kit's father while they're setting the dinner table. Rance is the father of Oscar winning director,Ron Howard who is well connected to director Penny Marshall, her brother Garry Marshall, and Penny's daughter, Tracy Reiner (Betty Spaghetti) from their days on 'Happy Days' and 'Laverne and Shirley.'
  • Dottie and her husband weren't going to get very far very fast driving from Illinois to Oregon with an "A" gasoline ration stamp, which was displayed on the front windshield of their car. During World War II an "A" ration entitled the holder to 4 gallons of gasoline per week.
  • According to Rosie O'Donnell, her part was supposed to be much smaller than what was ultimately filmed, but because she readily understood director Penny Marshall's strong Bronx accent on set when others did not, Marshall would occasionally give her additional scenes to play.
  • Prior to marrying Donald Trump, actress Marla Maples auditioned unsuccessfully for this film.
  • Lori Petty auditioned 8 times for the role of Kit, including once at director Penny Marshall's apartment.
  • Madonna worked at least as hard as everyone else, but still struggled with some of the more technical aspects of the game. Her character, Mae, had to be moved from third base to the outfield because she couldn't master fielding ground balls.
  • Geena Davis really does catch a pop up behind her back. It was supposed to be done by a stunt double, but the double was having trouble. So Davis gave it a go and, well, you've seen the result.
  • Madonna's character catches a ball in her hat in one scene, but technically, that wouldn't have counted as an out. Rules specifically state that for a fly ball to be an out, it has to be caught in the glove or hand.
  • Madonna wasn't exactly a team player. To say the Material Girl was a bit of a handful during the shoot is an understatement. In addition to refusing to perform for the extras and ignoring requests for autographs, she often complained about coming into the film a star but being relegated to the background. According to costar and friend Rosie O'Donnell, Madonna brought a boombox to set the first day and warned everybody that if they broke it, they'd have to buy her another one. She also wrote a somewhat scathing letter about her experiences to a friend, calling Geena Davis a "Barbie Doll" and lamenting the lack of "beautiful men" in Chicago.
  • Lori Petty caused herself to bleed during her scenes with Jon Lovitz because she had to constantly bite her tongue to stop herself from laughing so hard at his comedic acting.

Spoilers

  • 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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