Dove Porter, you’re not Jimmy Dugan.
Photo: Anne Marie Fox/Prime Video
Whether you first saw it on VHS, DVD, a streaming service or a theatrical release in the sweltering summer of 1992, A league apart holds a special place in the hearts of millions. The beloved baseball movie, which starred Tom Hanks, Geena Davis and Madonna, not only celebrates its 30th anniversary this year, it’s also the basis for Prime Video’s new TV adaptation.
Make no mistake: the stock version of A league apart is not a remake or reboot. Co-creators Abbi Jacobson (who also stars as Rockford Peaches wide receiver Carson Shaw) and Will Graham have provided their 2022 audience with a rich, layered new story featuring all of the original characters. More importantly, the series delves into the neglected stories of the 1943 film, namely those of LGBTQ and black female gamers.
But although Jacobson and Graham took A league of theirs in a more diverse direction, their love and respect for the film is still palpable. In addition to meeting Penny Marshall, the film’s director, before her death in 2018 to gain her blessing for their project, the co-creators also peppered the series with a series of callbacks to the film – so much so that League screenwriters Lowell Ganz and Babaloo Mandel are credited at the end of each episode. So we’ve compiled this episodic guide to all the references, nods, and nods this season Peaches gives to its ’92 predecessor.
Movie reference: Jump on a bandwagon to watch baseball tryouts
The TV series wastes no time getting to its movie Easter Eggs: In the movie, Oregon dairy farmers Dottie Hinson (Davis) and her sister Kit Keller (Lori Petty) have to hop on a train that’s already left to avoid Don’t miss the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League tryouts in Chicago. Carson Shaw (Jacobson) does the same during the opening sequence of the pilot episode.
Movie reference: The phenomenal black pitcher
Although the AAGPBL’s racist politics were relegated to a 15-second scene in the league of theirs movie, that quarter-minute is now the foundation for half of the show’s narrative. Max Chapman (Chanté Adams), as the unnamed black woman (DeLisa Chinn-Tyler) in the film, has an exceptional throwing arm, but given that this is 1943 America, she is forced to watch aside while white women (and black men) play ball.
Movie reference: Chicago Trials
What would be A league apart be without a voltage-generating trial sequence? The series is drawn from the film’s playbook several times here, beginning with Carson, Greta Gill (D’Arcy Carden) and Jo De Luca (Melanie Field) entering Baker Field in an approach from behind that echoes when Dottie , Kit , and Marla Hooch (Megan Cavanagh) walked Harvey Field for the first time. The show’s test edit is comparable to the movie’s as well, with plenty of jumping and toe touches.
Movie reference: Catch a baseball with a split
Geena Davis catching a baseball while doing a split is one of many memorable images from A league apart (it even landed his character on the cover of Life magazine!). The series honors this moment during the edit of the trials, when Maybelle Fox (Molly Ephraim) channels her very own Dottie Hinson.
Movie reference: Saskatchewan Represents!
The Rockford Peaches’ Canadian resident on the show, Jess McCready (Kelly McCormack), is from Saskatchewan. In the film, Alice “Skeeter” Gaspers (Renée Coleman) hails from the same province and, like Jess, was the Peaches’ only Canadian player. Jess and Alice are also the most superstitious peaches, believing it’s bad luck to change any clothing or routine throughout the team’s winning streaks.
Movie reference: An evening at the Suds Bucket
Upon arriving in Rockford, Illinois, the Peaches head to a local bar for a swing dance, evoking the noisy Suds Bucket truck stop scene from the film. So much so that glamorous Greta – whose look and style evoke Madonna’s Mae Mordabito – even does one of Mae’s dance moves.
Movie reference: Squatting in a skirt is a bitch
Especially if you’re playing catcher in the AAGPBL. When Carson complains about having to squat while wearing a skirted baseball uniform, pointy ears A league apart moviegoers will recall Dottie grumbling at Kit about the same thing.
Movie reference: Compulsory school of charm and beauty
The awkward charm school sequence is one of the many fun moments in the 1992 film – we love you, Marla Hooch! – which was also based on reality. But the show’s version takes a much darker turn, insinuating that player makeovers and etiquette lessons were a method of weeding out anyone who was, as Greta explains to Carson, “too queer.”
Movie reference: The chauvinistic troublemaker
In the movie and TV series, the Rockford Peaches’ first game is marred by an obnoxious male rowdy in the stands. Like in the movie, the Peaches receive sexist teasing for daring to be women and ball players, with Jo also being the target of vicious fatphobic comments.
Movie reference: AAGPBL News
The fourth episode of the series opens with black and white news about the new AAGPBL. Just like in the film, this news shows how the players are both good at baseball and models of femininity — with several ladies knitting in the dugout, a la Betty “Spaghetti” Horn (Tracy Reiner) from the movie.
Movie reference: chewing tobacco
The film and TV series feature a key moment when the Peaches’ male coach (Jimmy Dugan of Hanks in the film; Dove Porter of Nick Offerman in the series) offers his star catcher chewing tobacco as a sign of respect. Although Dottie goes about it like a pro, Carson spits the thing out in disgust.
Movie reference: Side-by-side hand signals
Nothing says passive-aggressive like a baseball coach and his catcher confusing the hell out of their best hitter. Who could blame poor Marla for doing a tap dance while Jimmy and Dottie channeled their mutual disdain into an elaborate ballet of hand signals? Even though Carson and Lupe García (Roberta Colindrez) work together when they too engage in their own side-by-side hand signals, it’s obvious the film inspired this moment of collaboration.
Movie reference: “There’s no crying in baseball!”
I mean, you can’t have a TV show, call it A league apartand not include “There’s no crying in baseball!”, right? Kelly McCormack’s Jess (with effective help from Lupe) gets the honor of putting her own spin on Tom Hanks’ immortal line, chastising Carson for daring to shed tears during his stressful first practice as a coach. crew.
Movie reference: Rosie O’Donnell
As the only league of theirs cast member of the film to appear in the new series, Rosie O’Donnell makes the most of her one-episode appearance as Vi, the owner of Rockford’s underground LGBTQ bar and Carson’s benevolent guide to gay life in 1943. Vi’s Worlds Away from the Bouncer became third baseman Doris Murphy, the role played by O’Donnell in the 1992 film. Unlike Doris, whom O’Donnell first read as gay (although Penny Marshall insisted she wasn’t), there’s no doubt about Vi’s sexual orientation. Vi is the first person to suggest to Carson (who left her husband to join the Peaches) that a future with a same-sex partner isn’t just a fantasy. But O’Donnell’s cameo isn’t all sunshine and rainbows: Vi getting badly beaten in a raid on the bar is a stark reminder that being gay in 1990s America 1940 meant living in constant fear.
Movie reference: The Wizard of Oz
“Stealing Home” features countless nods to the classic 1939 film and its connection to the LGBTQ community: it plays at the Rockford Cinema, which is right next to Vi’s secret bar. Additionally, the accountant who serves as Vi’s front window screens potential clients by asking if they are a “friend of Dorothy”. But The Wizard of Oz also counts as a return to the league of theirs movie, because after drunkenly kissing chaperone Miss Cuthbert (Pauline Brailsford), Jimmy Dugan callously remarks, “By the way, I loved you in The Wizard of Oz.(We’re supposed to believe Jimmy confused Miss Cuthbert with Margaret Hamilton, who played the Wicked Witch of the West.)
Movie reference: A peach is exchanged
The characters are different, and so are the circumstances, but when Jo is traded to the South Bend Blue Sox after her arrest (she was caught in the bar raid), it’s hard not to remember a similar scenario. in the movie. Once the friction between Dottie and Kit becomes untenable, Kit is traded to the Root Belles, and his anger towards his sister extends all the way to the World Series.
Movie reference: Catch a fastball with bare hands
While Carson inherits many of Dottie’s characteristics from the movie (they’re both catchers, etc.), there’s one iconic Dottie moment that’s rightfully reserved for the show’s best ball player, Max Chapman. After spending most episodes ignored by the AAGPBL and the Rockford Tool and Screw baseball team (because, you know, racism and sexism), Max ultimately gets her time to shine as a backup pitcher for the Red Wright All-Stars, which she turns into a permanent spot. But not before he single-handedly snatched a clean fastball through the air.
Movie reference: AAGPBL “Song of Victory”
You know, this brings tears to your eyes: the song the movie Peaches sang just before Betty “Spaghetti” Horn received the devastating news that her husband had been killed overseas. This time around, the TV series Peaches sings the same “Victory Song” before their final game, but the moment is no less poignant. Fun Fact: The “Victory Song” dates back to the 1940s, written by two original AAGPBL players.
Movie reference: Catch a pop fly – backhand
Carson Shaw may not be able to catch a fastball barehanded or land a split, but there’s one skill she shares with her movie predecessor: she and Dottie are pretty good at catching. a fly in the back.