Baseball in War Time
Imagine Albert Pujols, Derek Jeter, Matt Cain, being drafted off to war in midst of their season. Baseball was and still is one of Americas greatest past times. During World War II the United States lost about 500 players to the service, the question that haunted the baseball fans was, would baseball survive the war? The players were trading in their major league uniforms to fight for another team. The war claimed talents like Joe DiMaggio, Ted Williams, and Bob Feller. Team owners come up with a solution to halt a shut down.
A League of Their Own, directed by Penny Marshall and released July 1, 1992, was a portrayal of the baseball debacle that happened during World War II. Columbia Pictures Corporation casted top names like: Tom Hanks, Geena Davis, Lori Petty, Madonna, and Jon Lovitz. While the men were fighting over seas most of the jobs were left unworked. In this absence the jobs were soon filled by women. The baseball teams were soon filled with women when the men went overseas. Dottie Hinson, a fast pitch softball player catches the eye of the scouts and is approached. Dottie does not accept but her sister, Kit wants to get out of Oregon, and Dottie agrees in her sisters behalf. The sisters end up on the same team, The Rockford Peaches. Their team manager Jimmy Dugan is a former player. Dottie soon steps up and takes over most of his duties. He sobers up and the team starts to show some promise. The team ends up competing in the World Series and proves to America that baseball is only one example of what women can change.
The film historically was quite accurate. Gai Ingham Berlage, author of the novel Women in Baseball tells a similar story. The story was vague because of the lack of information on the history of women in baseball. Berlage writes about the history of the players, owners, and the teams and how they were affected by the war. Very few people are aware that women were active in baseball in the United States, both...
Bibliography: Berlage, Gai. Women in Baseball: The Forgotten History. Westport, CT: Praeger, 1994.
Blum, John Morton. V Was for Victory: Politics and American Culture during World War II. New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1976.
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