ROCK HILL, S.C. — “There’s no crying in baseball” Tom Hanks’ character tells one of his female baseball players in the 1992 hit movie, “A League of Their Own.” The real-life inspiration for the movies and its characters is currently on display at the Winthrop University Louise Pettus Archives.
“Skirts, Dirt and Diamonds: the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League” is on display until Oct. 30.
During World War II, many minor league baseball teams felt the pinch when their male players left for military service. Chewing gum mogul and Chicago Cubs owner Philip K. Wrigley created the All-American Girls Softball League, later the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League, to bring in the crowds and keep the franchises afloat.
The exhibit contains photographs and memorabilia from three women who were extremely active in the sport: long-time Rock Hill resident Jean Faut, 1942 Winthrop graduate Elizabeth “Lib” Mahon and Sue Kidd.
Faut, Mahon and Kidd broke down barriers with more than 500 other women to play the sport they loved and revive America’s spirit.
• Faut was a pitcher for the South Bend Blue Sox from 1946-53. She twice won the Player of the Year award and led her team to two league championships.
• Mahon was active from 1944-52 and was a gifted outfielder who also stole 114 bases in 116 attempts.
• Kidd was a star pitcher from 1950-54 and helped pitch the South Bend Blue Sox to playoff championships in 1951 and 1952.
Dacus Library Reference Librarian Bob Gorman will give a lecture Monday, Oct. 21 at 6:30 p.m. in the archives and speak about the city of Rock Hill’s connection to the league.
Gorman is a noted baseball historian and has published numerous articles and books on the history of the game including “Death at the Ballpark,” which earned him the 2009 Sporting News-SABR Baseball Research Award, and the “The South Bend Blue Sox: A History of the Team and Its Players, 1943-54,” co-authored with Dr. Jim Sargent.
The archives is located at 700 Cherry Road in Rock Hill. October archives hours are 8 a.m.-7:30 p.m. Mondays (except Oct. 14); 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Tuesday-Friday. For more information, contact archives at 803/323-2334 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.