No Crying in Baseball: The Inside Story of A League of Their Own; Big Stars, Dugout Drama, and a Home Run for Hollywood

Hachette. Sept. 2023. 304p. ISBN 9780306830181. $29. FILM
According to Carlson (Queen Meryl), actress and film director Penny Marshall shot more than two million feet of film—compared to the usual 1,600 feet for a two-hour movie—while making A League of Their Own, and Eastman Kodak was so delighted with Marshall’s use of its product that the company sent crates of champagne. The film was based on the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League (AAGPBL), founded by Philip K. Wrigley to provide a wartime diversion while men baseball players served in World War II. The league existed from 1943 to 1954. Following her success with Big, Marshall brought her characteristic perfectionism and determination to the role of director of A League of Their Own. Along with its extensive notes and index, the book includes chapters on Marshall’s career, a history of the AAGPBL, and exhaustive descriptions of the demanding and difficult process required to make a film with a large ensemble cast—among them, Geena Davis, Madonna, Rosie O’Donnell, and Tom Hanks. Carlson recounts that critics were ambivalent when the film was released, but the public flocked to it, and it eventually grossed over $100 million.
VERDICT Thorough, detailed, and affectionate, this book will appeal to sports, history, and film fans.
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