Almost 24 years ago to the day this movie was released in theatres (24 years and one week to be exact). During this time I was planning a 50’s theme party at a youth group here in Sussex. I was part-time youth pastor / part-time secretary that summer. I didn’t get to see the film in theatres, but I heard about how great it was and watched it soon after it was released on VHS. Like most of you reading this, I love this movie! Here are some great pieces of trivia about the film that I think you’ll enjoy:
- Tom Hanks actually didn’t even know himself how long he would end up peeing. He just stood there and waited for the sound to stop which was provided by Penny Marshall herself with a hose and bucket in a nearby bathroom stall.
- Lovitz’ role was originally much bigger, but the original cut of the movie was over four hours long and had to be pared down substantially. Test audiences laughed uproariously at his lines where he was acting rude and punchy, so they kept those moments in the movie.
- According to IMDb, all of the actors were required to attend a tryout in a baseball field. As Marshall saw it, if they couldn’t play, they couldn’t be in the film. In fact, she declined using Marisa Tomei for this very reason.
- All of the injuries in the movie are real injuries cast members suffered playing baseball.
- Coaches used a Slip ‘n Slide to teach the cast to slide into bases. Unfortunately, the first three actresses got concussions, so they decided on a different approach.
- A little nepotizzz? Marshall cast her brother to play Walter Harvey, her niece as “Mumbles” Brockman, and her daughter as Betty Spaghetti.
- Not only did she cast family members, but fans of the 70’s sitcom Laverne & Shirley may recognize two actors who starred in that show along with Marshall (Laverne). The soldier who does most of the dancing with Madonna is none other than Eddie Mekka, who played Shirley Feeney’s boyfriend, Carmine. And the sports announcer was David L. Lander who played Squiggy in the TV show.
- Speaking of Squiggy, he later became a scout for the major leagues.
- Instead of Tom Hanks and Geena Davis, the two principal roles were originally going to be played by John Belushi and Laura Dern.
- Though many aspects of the story aren’t true (e.g. major league teams continued to play throughout WWII), oddly enough the athletes being required to attend a “charm and beauty school” is actually true.
- The best ball players on the cast were Rosie O’Donnell and Lori Petty (Kit). They would hold hitting competitions, and both were able to hit the fence in major league fields. And who knew?… O’Donnell really can throw two balls at once.
- Sadly, the real Jimmy Dugan died five years before this movie was released.
Congratulations A League of Their Own. This is your week.
Best Actress: Madonna as “All the Way” May in ALOTO.
Best Actor: Bill Murray in Lost in Translation.
Best Quote: “There’s no crying in baseball!” — Tom Hanks as Jimmy Dugan in ALOTO.
Here is a list of my top 9 favourite baseball movies. I am excluding A League of Their Own, which is easily my favourite of all time.
9. Field of Dreams (1989)
8. Fever Pitch (2005)
7. Brewster’s Millions (1985)
5. The Bad News Bears (1976)
4. Bad News Bears in Breaking Training (1977)
3. Chicken Little (2005)
2. Moneyball (2011)
1. The Sandlot (1993)
Movie of the Week