25 years ago, a movie hit the big screen that spotlighted a little talked about time in American history: when women ruled baseball. During World War II, women were drafted into the fields typically occupied by men, since their husbands and brothers were sent to war. It was a very different time, and A League of Their Own sought to showcase just how the game was played when the ladies took to the baseball diamond.
Inspired by real events, A League of Their Own followed the Rockford Peaches as they pitched and hit their way to a World Series game. The cast featured a mix of lesser known actors just getting their feet in Hollywood and big names from the late ’80s and early ’90s in the mix. The movie would remind audiences that “there’s no crying in baseball” and just how important the pastime was to the country.
There was an attempt to recapture the success of the film on television, as a series based on the show was ordered, with many of the original cast reprising their roles. Six episodes were initially filmed, but only five were aired before the series was cancelled.
In honor of the film’s anniversary, we’ve got the skinny on just what the Rockford Peaches, and some of the men who surrounded them, have been up to since in Where Are They Now: The Cast of A League of Their Own.
15. Rosie O’Donnell – Doris Murphy
In A League of Their Own, Doris Murphy was the loud and opinionated native New Yorker manning the hot corner over at third base. A bouncer before joining the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League, she’s a powerhouse on the field. The character was named for Doris Sams, one of the real life women who played in the league from 1946 to 1953. The real Doris pitched a perfect game, was named player of the year twice, and ended up on the all-star team five times. That’s a big name to live up to!
Rosie O’Donnell brought Murphy to life just as her acting career was taking off. The comedic actress went on to host her own daytime talk show in between roles, and she’s most recently been one of the co-hosts of The View and appeared in numerous TV projects. She’s had a recurring role on The Fosters and appeared in the ABC miniseries When We Rise, chronicling the Civil Rights Movement.
14. Madonna – Mae Mordabito
“All The Way Mae” was a taxi dancer before trying out to play in the league. She played center field, which was perfect for her, since she was always ready to be the center of attention. The first to pose for pictures and sign autographs, Mae was the life of the party.
Madonna went into A League of Their Own with a few movies under her belt, like Desperately Seeking Susan and Dick Tracy, though she was primarily known as a pop superstar at the time. She followed up her role as Mae with the musical Evita, and she’s done sporadic acting work ever since.
These days, she’s primarily focused on making music and giving back. She recently had the single “Ghost Town” drop, and her music has been featured heavily on RuPaul’s Drag Race. She also funded the construction of a children’s wing at a Malawi hospital.
13. Bitty Schram – Evelyn Gardner
Soft-spoken and a little timid, Evelyn played right field for the Peaches, but she had to bring her son along for the ride. Little Stillwell accompanied the ladies to their games, annoying nearly everyone. It’s Evelyn’s tears at messing up a play that prompt the infamous, “there’s no crying in baseball!” line from Tam Hanks’ Jimmy Dugan.
Bitty Schram was an active character actress in the ’90s, but her work has slowed down significantly over the last decade. Mystery fans will remember her as the always exasperated assistant to Adrian Monk (Tony Shalhoub) on the USA comedy Monk. Following the show’s end, Schram spent some time out of the spotlight before appearing as a police officer in Moments of Clarity with Lyndsy Fonseca.
12. Garry Marshall – Walter Harvey
Walter Harvey, the man behind the fictional chocolate Harvey Bars and the owner of baseball’s Cubs, is the one who starts it all, persuading other baseball team owners to fund a women’s league. Garry Marshall appears in the film (in a relatively small role overall) not just because he loved baseball, but because his sister Penny Marshall directed the piece. The two famously cast family members in small roles in their films. Garry Marshall, of course, was a huge writer/director in his own right, known for romances like Pretty Woman and The Princess Diaries.
His last three films were the holiday themed trio of Valentine’s Day, New Year’s Eve, and Mother’s Day. While he directed the first two, he also took on writing duties for the latter. Marshall passed away due to complications from pneumonia less than three months after the release of Mother’s Day. He was working on developing a third chapter of The Princess Diaries at the time of his death. He was 81.
11. Tracy Reiner – Betty Horn
Betty “Spaghetti” Horn played left field for the Peaches and acted as the relief pitcher when needed. She also had one of the most memorable scenes in the film, as she received notice that her husband was killed in action in the locker room and opted to leave the team. It was a sobering moment in a largely fun ffilm.
Garry Marshall wasn’t the only family member to join in on the baseball fun, as Tracy Reiner is the daughter of director Penny Marshall. She’s been acting since she was a teenager in the ’70s, but most of her movie roles have been smaller parts in projects for Garry and Penny Marshall, or her adoptive stepfather, Rob Reiner.
She was one of the few cast members who reprised her role for the television series based on A League of Their Own, and she’s appeared in The Princess Diaries and Valentine’s Day. After an extended hiatus from acting, she’s set to play Mayo Methot, an actress and one of the wives of Humphrey Bogart, in Bogie and Bacall.
10. Anne Ramsay – Helen Haley
Helen might not as made as big of an impression as team members like All The Way Mae, but she was instrumental to the success of the Peaches at first base.
A League of Their Own was Ramsay’s first big role as most of her parts leading up to Helen were on screen for much less time than the Rockford infielder. Though she was athletic and a frequent volleyball player, Ramsay didn’t have much experience playing baseball, and she had to learn for the role.
Following A League of Their Own, she had a recurring role on the sitcom Mad About You, which is what most TV audiences will remember her for, and she’s since become a television staple. She’s appeared in Dharma and Greg, The L Word, Six Feet Under, Dexter, and Hart of Dixie. She’s also appeared in a few big screen projects, most notably, Planet of the Apes in 2001.
9. Megan Cavanagh – Marla Hooch
Second baseman Marla Hooch is one of the only team members the audience sees scouted outside of traditional tryouts. In fact, sisters Dottie and Kit travel to see her play with the scout that runs the tryouts, and recommend her for the league. The running joke is that she’s just not as pretty as the other players, making her one of the last picked for photo ops, but she’s far and away one of the best hitters in the league.
Cavanagh got her big break as a result of A League of Their Own, and she followed it up by reprising her role for the TV series before landing a role in Robin Hood: Men In Tights. She also appeared in sitcoms like Friends and Home Improvement, but voiceover work is where she’s really made her living.
In addition to voicing characters for The Real Adventures of Jonny Quest, Cavanagh has also provided numerous voices for the Jimmy Neutron franchise (including Judy Neutron), various video games, and most recently, Winx Club. She’s also been steadily working in theater and in national commercials.
8. Jon Lovitz – Ernie Capadino
The scout who sets out to find women to play in the league is Ernie Capadino. Most, if not all, of the women who end up on the Rockford Peaches are ones he set out to watch play ball in neighborhood games.
Lovitz was already well known as a comedian and actor before taking on the role of Ernie. He added more comedy to his resume following this hit movie, with the likes of City Slickers II and his continued work on Saturday Night Live. Lovitz has also been a frequent player in Adam Sandler movies like Little Nicky, The Wedding Singer, and The Ridiculous 6.
More recently, he’s made waves voicing characters for The Simpsons and appearing in the music video for Jessica Lowndes’ single “Deja Vu.” He’s got the movies Chasing the Blues and Bachelor Lions up next.
7. Ann Cusack – Shirley Baker
Left fielder Shirley Baker was a great ball player, but early on in her interactions with the other Peaches, the girls discovered she never learned to read. It was Mae who taught her – using romance novels.
Like many members of the cast, A League of Their Own was Ann Cusack’s big break. If you’re thinking her last name sounds familiar, yes, she is one of the Cusack siblings, and yes, like the other actors (John and Joan) in her family, she’s multitalented and has done a little bit of everything since. In addition to playing in a blues band, Cusack has continued acting in TV and film. She appeared in The Jeff Foxworthy Show in the ’90s, and played the title character in the series Maggie, as well as guested in soapier shows like One Tree Hill and Scandal. In the last year, you might have caught Cusack in Castle, Better Call Saul, or Grimm. She also appeared on the big screen in Sully and is set for the Stephen King adaptation Mr. Mercedes next.
6. David Strathairn – Ira Lowenstein
Ira Lowenstein was the man trusted to run the league for Mr. Harvey. It was Ira who was responsible for making sure the players got plenty of press, asking the girls to “do something interesting” when photographers were around, leading to Dottie doing a split as she caught a ball.
David Strathairn had already been in the business for two decades before he was cast in A League of Their Own, and he hasn’t slowed down in the two decades since. In the ’90s, he appeared in movies like Sneakers and L.A. Confidential, and the 2000s saw him take on more TV projects, like The Sopranos and Alphas.
Most recently, you might have caught him on the big screen in Godzilla or American Pastoral, or on the small screen in The Blacklist or Billions. Up next, he’s got several movies on the way, including November Criminals and An Interview With God.
5. Tea Leoni – Racine’s First Base Player
Such a small role in the film that she didn’t even have a name, Racine’s first base player appeared when the Peaches went up against the Belle’s in the World Series, pitting sister against sister.
Leoni only had two roles under her belt before appearing as a Racine Belle, and she appeared in several TV shows and movies following it, but Deep Impact was probably her biggest role. Since then, she’s appeared in a series of movies with varying degrees of acclaim, from Jurassic Park III to Fun With Dick and Jane and Tower Heist, but she’s been making her waves on the small screen these days. You can catch her starring in the CBS series Madame Secretary, which she also produces, which is set to return with new episodes in October.
4. Tom Hanks – Jimmy Dugan
The manager of the Rockford Peaches, Jimmy wasn’t interested in his job at first. A former ballplayer himself, he had a connection to Mr. Harvey since he used to play for the Cubs. He didn’t take the ladies’ game seriously, letting the Peaches run their own show until they started winning games, at which point he sobered up a bit and took notice.
Tom Hanks was already a star on the rise thanks to the likes of Splash and Big, but he wasn’t exactly America’s golden boy as Jimmy Dugan. He returned to playing lovable characters in Sleepless In Seattle, Forrest Gump, and Apollo 13 before doing thrilling dramas like The Green Mile and voicing Woody in Toy Story. Hanks has dabbled in nearly every genre on the big screen, and he’s taken on producing duties in recent years as well.
Most recently, he hit the big screen in Sully, Inferno, and The Circle. He has The Papers and Toy Story 4 on the horizon, but he’s also got several TV miniseries and documentaries on the way that he’ll be producing. Hollywood stars just don’t shine much brighter than Mr. Hanks.
3. Lori Petty – Kit Keller
Kit Keller was the younger sister to Dottie who didn’t actually get scouted for the league. Instead, her participation was contingent on getting her big sister to leave the farm life behind so she could make the big time.
Outside of her beloved turn as young Kit, Lori Petty is primarily known for her role as the title character in Tank Girl, a movie in which she requested her League costar Anne Cusack get a role in as well. Fans who caught her in that know that she also went on to voice Livewire in DC’s animated shows in the ’90s and appeared in Star Trek: Voyager. Since then, she’s mostly stuck to TV. Petty has been appearing to critical acclaim in the Netflix series Orange Is The New Black, but genre audiences also got to see her take on a Joker-like persona in an episode of Gotham this season as well. Up next for her is the drama Fear, Love, And Agoraphobia.
2. Bill Pullman – Bob Hinson
Bob doesn’t appear in the movie very much, but he’s the love of Dottie’s life, and one of the reasons she doesn’t initially want to join the league. He’s a soldier in the middle of the war, and when he’s finally able to come home, he’s ready to start up their happy life on the farm again, not hit the road and travel to baseball games.
Pullman might not have been the star of A League Of Their Own, but the ’90s were certainly kind to him. as he lined up Sleepless In Seattle, While You Were Sleeping, Independence Day, and Twister for a huge bump in his profile. He was also a main cast member on Torchwood in the 2000s, and he returned for the Independence Day sequel two decades later.
1. Geena Davis – Dottie Hinson
Dottie Hinson was living life on a dairy farm, waiting for her husband to return from the war and keeping her little sister out of trouble, when she was scouted for the All-American Girls Baseball League. Initially hesitant, she became the assistant manager and star catcher for the Rockford Peaches before her husband returned home and she backed out.
Davis already had such classics as The Fly, Beetlejuice, and Thelma and Louise on her resume before she became Dottie Hinson. If she wasn’t already in the spotlight, this movie squarely put her there. She later varied her portfolio with films like The Long Kiss Goodnight and Stuart Little before becoming the president on Commander in Chief.
Davis had a guest arc on Grey’s Anatomy recently, as well as a lead role in FOX’s Exorcist TV series. She won’t be returning for the second season of the show, however, choosing instead focusing on movies. She had Marjorie Prime release earlier this year, and up next is the Canadian film Don’t Talk To Irene.
A League Of Their Own might be 25 years old, but it’s still got its spot in pop culture relevancy. Everyone remembers that “there’s no crying in baseball,” and can hum the League’s official theme. The movie was added to the National Film Registry in 2012, and Geena Davis even organized members of the cast in 2016 at the Bentonville Film Festival, which she co-founded, for a reunion and a softball game, so there’s no way anyone is forgetting this film anytime soon.
Let’s just hope no one gets any remake ideas.
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