SARASOTA, Fla. (WFLA) - The former athletes who inspired the hit movie "A League of Their Own" recently gathered in Sarasota for a reunion.
The movie is one of the most charming and endearing sports films in recent memory, but for Lois Youngen, it means so much more. "When I saw the film for the first time I cried through it," Youngen said.
In the early 50's, Youngen was a catcher for the Fort Wayne Daisies – one of the teams that was in the All American Girls Professional Baseball League.
"The press covered us every night. We played seven nights a week. They covered us seven nights. A nice big spread," Youngen recalled.
"The first year, we hit 21 states and Canada in three months, and played in 77 games. We played in Yankee Stadium before one of their games. We met Joe DiMaggio, Casey Stengel was the manager, Yogi Berra, Phil Rizzuto," said Mary Moore, a player with the Springfield Sallies.
These pro athletes were paid $50 a week (roughly $450 by today's standards). They averaged in age from 16 to 18 years old.
"We were having fun, we got paid. Many of the players would tell you they would’ve played for free," said Youngen.
And no, they didn’t mind the skirts.
"You had tights on underneath. We wanted to play ball. I guess we didn’t care what we wore," said Moore.
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