Maybelle Blair, the inspiration for ‘A League of Their Own’ comes out at 95

Maybelle Blair and Abbi Jacobson

As the new A League of Their Own Amazon series prepares to make its debut on Prime Video, Maybelle Blair, one of the baseball players who helped inspire the original film by the same name, has come out as a member of the LGBTQ community, at age 95.

Blair, who also consulted on the new series, pitched for the 1948 Peoria Redwings in the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League spoke last week at the 2022 Tribeca Film Festival following a screening of the new Amazon series based on the story of the league and its players.

“I hid for 75, 85 years, and this is actually basically the first time I’ve ever come out,” Blair said in a video shared on the series’ Twitter account.

A Texas native, Blair — also known as “All The Way Mae” —spent one year with the Redwings before going on to play professional softball in Chicago, according to the league.

Started in 1943 as young men were drafted to fight in World War II and left behind a dearth of skilled baseball players, the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League provided an opportunity for more than 600 women to play baseball professionally before disbanding in 1954. It also inspired the beloved 1992 Penny Marshall film A League of Their Own, starring Tom Hanks, Geena Davis and Madonna.

A League of Their Own Amazon series debuts on Prime Video

A League of Their Own Amazon series on Prime Video

The Amazon series of the same name debuts Aug. 12 on Prime Video and stars co-creator Abbi Jacobson as well as D’Arcy Carden, Nick Offerman and Rosie O’Donnell, who had a major role in the 1992 movie.

A League of Their Own evokes the joyful spirit of Penny Marshall‘s beloved classic, while widening the lens to tell the story of an entire generation of women who dreamed of playing professional baseball,” according to the show’s YouTube teaser description. “The show takes a deeper look at race and sexuality, following the journey of a whole new ensemble of characters as they carve their own paths towards the field, both in the League and outside of it.”

The actress Molly Ephraim will play a character named Maybelle in the series, according to IMDb.

Blair continues to promote the new series. A true inspiration, she has spoken across the U.S. in support of women’s baseball and has appeared on national morning shows and has been honored at baseball stadiums including Wrigley Field in Chicago, Fenway Park in Boston and both Dodger Stadium and Angel Stadium in Los Angeles, according to Amazon Studios.

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