If you’ve watched A League Of Their Own, you might know who Maybelle Blair is. And if you haven’t watched A League of Their Own, then what is wrong with you? Stop reading right now and don’t come back until you have. We’ll wait and try not to judge you too much in the meantime.
Blair, who was one of the inspirations for the movie – now being expanded and adapted into a Prime Video show, played for the Peoria Redwings of the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League in 1948, and afterward became instrumental in promoting the league’s story and women in baseball – a hard job, considering the league she played in only existed because most men were fighting at WWII in the first place, and only lasted till 1954. She also just came out very recently, at the age of 95, while promoting the new Prime Video show, because an entire life of breaking barriers wasn’t enough for Blair.
As if we needed more of a reason to look up to her.
Blair was one of about 20 former players the Prime Video show’s creators spoke to for the show’s development. And though Blair had been open about her sexuality with the team, no one was expecting her to come out in a public forum. That even includes Blair herself, who didn’t plan her declaration at all. Instead, she just felt that her time working with producers on the show, which tackles issues of sexuality and race in a way the movie never really did, inspired her.
Her declaration was met with the kind of cheers she was unlikely to have received if she’d decided to come out when she was still a player. And though there hasn’t really been a confirmation that the show is going to adapt this particular part of Blair’s identity, the fact that found inspiration in the people behind the upcoming show bodes well for what’s coming. After all, the original A League of Their Own is one of the quintessential sports movies, despite not being very diverse at all. 2022 deserves a diverse version, and hey, we might just get it.
A League of Their Own, the movie, was released in 1992 and stars Tom Hanks, Geena Davis, Madonna, Lori Petty, Rosie O'Donnell, and Bill Pullman, among others. The show stars Abbi Jacobson, Chanté Adams, D'Arcy Carden, Roberta Colindrez, Gbemisola Ikumel, Kelly McCormack, and Priscilla Delgado and will release on Prime Video on August 12.