Re-enacting ‘A League of Their Own’

From Meg Jones at the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel on September 18, 2011:

Their uniforms were immaculate, gloves well oiled, cleats appropriately scuffed and the bats as close to authentic as possible.

And of course, the players wore lipstick and used bobby pins to keep wool caps on carefully coifed hair, because above all else, they’re ladies.

Historical re-enactors come in every stripe and time period, and vintage ball leagues are soaring in popularity. So it was just a matter of time before someone came up with the idea of re-enacting the halcyon days of women’s baseball, made popular by the film “A League of Their Own.”

Apparently there’s still crying in baseball.

On Sunday, members of the World War II Girls Baseball Living History League – specifically the Kenosha Comets and Rockford Peaches – played on the ball diamond at Old World Wisconsin. The league features women who re-enact the four original All-American Girls Professional Baseball League teams: Racine Belles, South Bend Blue Sox, Comets and Peaches.

They play by 1943 rules: softballs 12 inches in circumference, underhand fast pitch and 65-foot base paths with the pitching mound 40 feet from home plate. They also dress like the original players and yell “Skirts in the dirt!” to encourage a teammate to slide.

“It’s another thing for us women to do at World War II re-enactments, because on the battlefield there’s not a lot for us,” said Rachel Neubauer, 29, first baseman for the Comets and period clothing coordinator at Old World Wisconsin.

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Originally published: September 19, 2011. Last Updated: September 19, 2011.