A League Of Their Own | 1992
With so many men off fighting in WWII, Dottie Hinson (Geena Davis) gets the opportunity to lead a women’s baseball team, and the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League is born, in this period piece, made largely in Chicago and in Indiana.
‘Harvey Field’, the vast baseball ground of chocolate bar magnate Walter Harvey (Garry Marshall), where the girls try out, is Wrigley Field, 10060 West Addison Street at North Clark Street, in the Wrigleyville district, and home of the Chicago Cubs. The stadium regularly appears in Chicago movies, such as Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, About Last Night and, of course, The Blues Brothers.
Although based on real events, character names are changed, but it’s not too much of a leap to guess that perhaps ‘candy bar king’ Walter Harvey might share characteristics with Chewing gum magnate Philip K Wrigley, owner of the Chicago Cubs.
Harvey’s estate is the Cantigny Mansion, now the McCormick Museum, One South 151 Winfield Road, Wheaton, two miles north of I-88, west of Chicago, former home of Robert R McCormick, publisher of the Chicago Tribune.
More modest than Harvey’s stadium, ‘Racine Field’ – home of the ‘Racine Belles’ – is Bosse Field, 1701 North Main Street at Heidelbach Street, in Evansville, Indiana, which in reality is home to the Evansville Otters. Built in 1915, it is the third-oldest ballpark still in use in the US, after Boston’s Fenway Park (1912) and the inevitable Wrigley Field (1914).
It’s a mere youngster compared to the 1894 League Stadium, 203 South Cherry Street in Huntingburg, Indiana, which became the ‘Rockford Peaches’ stadium. After many years of neglect, the stadium was renovated for the film – and advertisements added for the movie still remain along the outfield fence of the ballpark. The Dubois County Bombers now call it home.
It’s back to Chicago for the charm school to which the women are sent (this really happened), which is the South Shore Cultural Center, 7059 South Shore Drive at East 71st Street alongside South Shore Station. This is another location used in The Blues Brothers. Its exterior (though not interior) was the ‘Palace Hotel Ballroom’, where the Brothers get their first major gig.
About 60 miles northwest of Chicago, the Illinois Railway Museum, 7000 Olson Road, southeast of the town of Union, supplied period trains, and its depot became various stations, as the team travels around the US.
The ‘Suds Bucket’ bar, where the team lets rip at the dance, is a conflation of two separate bars. The exterior is the Hornville Tavern, 2607 West Baseline Road, north of Evansville (and the Bosse Field stadium), Indiana.
The interior, though, is Fitzgerald’s, 6615 West Roosevelt Road, Berwyn, a western suburb of Chicago. This popular bar can also be seen in Martin Scorsese’s The Color of Money and Adventures in Babysitting. To find it, take the Des Plains A Branch ‘el’ to Harlem Avenue, Berwyn. Its stage still displays the backdrop painted for the film.
The boarding house is the Soaper-Esser House, 612 North Main Street at Fifth Street, Henderson, Kentucky.