Tom Hanks and Geena Davis star in this comedy drama directed by Penny Marshall. With all the male professional baseball players away fighting in World War II, drunken ex-major league star Jimmy Dugan (Hanks) is employed to coach the Rockford Peaches, a team made up of women from all walks of life. Initially reluctant, he rediscovers his enthusiasm when he realises how much the game means to his all-girl team as they embark on the World Series.
Penny Marshall's popular 1992 comedy sheds light on a little-known chapter of American sports history with its story of a struggling team in the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League. The league was formed when the recruiting of soldiers during World War II resulted in a shortage of men's baseball teams. The AAGPBL continued after the war (until 1954), and Marshall's movie depicts the league in full swing, beginning when a savvy baseball scout (Jon Lovitz) finds a pair of promising new players in small-town Oregon sisters (Geena Davis, Lori Petty). The sisters are signed to play for the Rockford Peaches near Chicago, whose new manager (Tom Hanks) is a former home-run king who wrecked his career with alcoholism. They're all a bunch of underdogs, and Marshall (with a witty script by Lowell Ganz and Babaloo Mandel) does a fine job of establishing a colorful team of supporting players including Madonna and (in her movie debut) Rosie O'Donnell. It's a conventional Hollywood sports story (Marshall's never been one to take dramatic risks) but the stellar cast is delightful and the movie's filled with memorable moments, witty dialogue and agreeable sentiment. --Jeff Shannon, Amazon.com