95-year-old Maybelle Blair was a pitcher for the Peoria Redwings in the 1940s. And she came out as a lesbian after the screening of A League of Their Own the new Amazon Prime TV series.
One of the original women’s players for the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League (AAGPBL) was inspiring during her appearance at the 2022 Tribeca Festival.
It was “basically the first time” the women’s player had talked about being gay. She told the audience in the SVA Theater in New York that she’d known since high school that she liked women. But she felt like she “was the only gay person in the world.”
It was playing baseball and finding other women who felt like she did, that helped her realize that she was not alone.
Maybelle, who claims that playing baseball was the defining period in her life, received a standing ovation from the Chelsea crowd. The series developer and co-star D’Arcy Carden were both in tears when the former baseball player shared her truth.
The series will give positive portrayals of “queer representation, Black representation, and chosen family,” according to reporter Mollie Cahillane.
A League of Their Own: story of women’s baseball
Maybelle was promoting the premiere of Amazon Prime’s new “A League of Their Own” television series. She was a consultant on the project. And brought her first-hand experience into the storylines.
The AAGPBL website says that “The All-American Girls Professional Baseball League gave over 600 women athletes the opportunity to play professional baseball and to play it at a level never before attained. The League operated from 1943 to 1954 and represents one of the most unique aspects of our nation’s baseball history.”
The story of the women’s baseball league first appeared in 1992 with the original “A League of Their Own. It starred Geena Davis, Madonna, Tom Hanks, and Rosie O’Donnel.
The television version of “A League of Their Own” series will be available on Amazon Prime starting August 12.