Vintage Footage Shows Real-Life Rockford Peaches Amazing Baseball Skills – No Movie Magic Here [Video]
One of the most memorable scenes from the 1993 movie The Sandlot is when the sandlot crew (the good guys) is confronted by the (for lack of a better word) 'preppy' kids. The main meanie gets into a back-and-forth exchange of insults with good guy Hamilton Porter. Basic name-calling, like jerk, idiot, and moron - escalates to scab eater, butt sniffer, and puss licker. Neither kid is really affected by the verbal jabs, that is until Porter puts an end to the duel by delivering the famous line "You play ball like a girl!" The look on everyone's face and the dead silence that follows tell us everything we need to know about that granddaddy of all insults.
The scene is good for a laugh, and I'm sure there was a time in my life when that kind of challenge to my pre-teen manliness would have really ticked me off. But since then I've seen enough really talented women playing softball and baseball that I would have no problem being compared to 'a girl.' Matter of fact, I found some footage of some really impressive 'girls' that played baseball at the highest level.
The ballplayers featured in this clip, and a bunch more like them, were the inspiration for the 1992's A League of Their Own, a film that showcased the real All-American Girls Professional Baseball League (AAGPBL) from the early 1940s.
[FYI: A good portion of the movie was filmed in Evansville and other areas around southern Indiana. Hundreds and hundreds of locals were able to help fill the stands as extras for the baseball scenes.]
The main characters in A League of Their Own played for the Rockford Peaches, one of the original four teams from the AAGPBL. The movie characters were made up, but they were inspired by real women, who could really play baseball - and I don't mean they "played pretty well for a bunch of girls," I mean they were good baseball players. Period. I'll shut up now and let the video speak for itself. Here are some of the Peaches taking infield, looking just as smooth and athletic as any man doing the same thing. Would a "You Go Girl!" be appropriate here?