In 1987, a short documentary about the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League (AAGPBL; 1943-1954) aired on television, catching the attention of producer and director Penny Marshall. The documentary inspired the making of the feature film A League of Their Own, which became a commercial and critical hit when it was released in 1992.
Behind the scenes, the cast members trained hard to convincingly portray baseball players, even suffering real injuries in the process. Many of the details in the film, such as the players being sent to charm school, having chaperones, and being forced to play in skirts, are based on the real experiences of the AAGPBL athletes.
While the film project hit some stumbling blocks along the way - the original studio placed it in turnaround and several of the actors originally cast dropped out or were replaced - the final film remains one of the most entertaining and inspirational sports movies in Hollywood history. In 2012, it was selected for inclusion in the National Film Registry. And in 2020, Amazon announced it had picked up a TV series version of the film; the show will follow a new set of characters as they attempt to become professional baseball players.
In the film, Tom Hanks's character memorably claimed, "There's no crying in baseball!" That may or may not be true, but what is true is that the making of A League of Their Own sounds as fun as the finished movie.
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