The True Stories That Inspired The League Of Their Own Series

"Batter up, hear that call!" If you finished the lyric and launched right into the "Victory Song," you might be a Rockford Peaches fan. The song and the team were featured in Penny Marshall's 1992 hit sports movie "A League of Their Own," which followed a pair of sisters into the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League (AAGPBL) in 1943. Its enduring popularity paved the way for a new chapter via Prime Video. Creators Will Graham and Abbi Jacobson are behind the streaming adaptation, which introduces new characters and plotlines, including the formation of the Peaches team.

The journey began with historical roots, as a 1987 TV documentary from Kelly Candaele and director Kim Wilson, focusing on the pioneering women of professional baseball during the 1940s. Marshall's film would go on to explore the nuances of being a woman in a space previously reserved for men — the sexism, the ridiculous restrictions, the wartime hardships — and earned critical praise for doing so. Marshall's sports comedy is a fictional take on a real part of history, but as "A League of Their Own" series co-creator Will Graham said, "There definitely is a lot more to this story."

Speaking with The Wrap during production of season 2, Graham cited the rich makeup of the AAGPBL and how much deeper the narrative can dive:

"There were Latinx players in the AAGPBL, Cuban players and players of Mexican descent that weren't included and then the gigantic story of a queer community that wasn't talked about in the film because it was 1992 and it was only two hours. It wasn't hard for us to find a reason to revisit these stories and tell them from a new perspective, but we were lucky that we got to talk to Penny Marshall. It is scary because the movie is so iconic."

We're all for one, we're one for all, we're All-Americans!

Marshall's movie was not only a commercial success; its popularity has only grown as younger generations glimpse Tom Hanks famously yelling, "There's no crying in baseball!" The movie is bookended with references to the real-life ballplayers, but the new series leans harder into the mosaic of women that make up the All-American Girls pro league. Graham tells The Wrap:

"The starting place for us was not 'let's do this movie again' the way that the sort of reboot culture is now in Hollywood. It was really looking into the stories underneath it and seeing that there was a much bigger story here in the real story that was about a whole generation of women who wanted to play ball and that includes the characters who are the foundation of Max's character."

Graham refers to real women pioneers of the Negro Leagues like Toni Stone and Mamie Johnson, who inspired the creation of Maxine "Max" Chapman (Chanté Adams) who has an arm like a cannon, but her efforts to join the non-integrated AAGPBL are thwarted due to her skin color. "League" series writer Desta Tedros Reff told The Wrap:

"I think some people don't realize the movie is based on the real All American Girls and the real Rockford Peaches. So it was like stepping back, stepping into that history and realizing how much more of the story hadn't been told and seeing the opportunity now to really step in and broaden that lens with that feeling that I think is so transformative and so captivating of the movie — which is just that joy."

Amazon's "A League of Their Own" will step even further into its history with a second season, which is currently in development.