Feisty Females: sisters Kit Keller and Dottie Hinson
Year we got to know them: 1992
Best known for: killer side-splits catcher skills, “I like the high ones,” and knockin’ the ball out of the park as part of the Rockford Peaches in A League of Their Own, based on the real-life All-American Girls Professional Baseball League which ran from 1943 to 1954.
Why they deserve a second look:Despite now being most well-known for the great “There’s no crying in baseball!” quip, you simply cannot find a more motivational sports-themed female empowering film quite like A League of Their Own (although I hear Whip It is quite good.) With memorable supporting cast members such as Rosie O’Donnell and Madonna (“Hi, my name’s Mae, and that’s more than a name, that’s an attitude”) to Tom Hanks (“By the way, I loved you in the Wizard of Oz”) and of course my favorite character, Ernie Capadino played by Jon Lovitz (“Hey cowgirls, see the grass? Don’t eat it.”)
But the film belongs in the hands of Kit and Dottie and their sibling rivalry while treading the tempestuous waters of being members of the first women’s professional baseball league in America. Married Dottie is the natural, pretty and popular athlete who isn’t too concerned with athletic success and outshines underdog kid-sister Kit whose heart is truly in the game. Dottie sees her place as waiting at home for her husband in the war, while Kit wants something more out of life, she wants to be great.
This film is littered with gems of the time when females playing baseball were seen as a threat to the general order of things. From making the women go to charm school (“Every one of you will be a lady”) to marketing them as anything but masculine (”Legging out a triple is no reason to let your nose get shiny”) it’s a reminder of the patronizing way these athletes were treated.
I saw this film when I was in elementary school and it became a line-by-line favorite that I still watch every time I see it on TBS. The message of friendship and sisterhood not only in a male-dominated sport but in the male-dominated 1940s is one of courage and strength. Based on the real All-American Girls Professional Baseball League, a rarely discussed bit of sports history, this film is a real girl-power gem that’s a must-add to your Netflix queue whether you’ve never seen it or you want to relive these feisty feminist females.