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Lavonne “Pepper” Paire-Davis, the inspiration for “A League of Their Own” dies at 88

Feb 4, 2013, 3:33 PM EDT

Pepper Paire

There’s no crying in baseball, but this is worth a hat off and a moment of respectful silence:

Lavonne “Pepper” Paire-Davis, a star of the All American Girls Professional Baseball League in the 1940s and an inspiration for the central character in the movie A League of Their Own, has died, her son said Sunday.

She was a catcher and a shortstop and helped her team win five championships in the ten years she played in the AAGPBL. In addition to inspiring “A League of Their Own,” she wrote about her life in baseball in 2009’s “Dirt in the Skirt.”

  1. cur68 - Feb 4, 2013 at 3:40 PM

    Happy Trails, Mrs Paire-Davis, who was probably a better ball player than me by an exponent or two.

  2. historiophiliac - Feb 4, 2013 at 3:49 PM

    I saw this story this am and the best part was a quote from her son. He said she taught him to switch hit when he was 3. So awesome.

    • indaburg - Feb 4, 2013 at 3:56 PM

      I hadn’t seen that quote but I love it. I have been trying to get my right hand favoring 1 year old son to use his left hand more in the hope of making him a switch hitter someday.

      Sad to hear this news. She was a huge inspiration to me.

    • paperlions - Feb 4, 2013 at 5:56 PM

      That would make Tori Hunter uncomfortable. 😛

      • historiophiliac - Feb 4, 2013 at 5:58 PM


      • paperlions - Feb 4, 2013 at 5:59 PM

        Could you throw some popcorn, please?

      • historiophiliac - Feb 4, 2013 at 11:37 PM

        Clearly, today’s t-shirt says “Ornery.”

      • bigdicktater - Feb 4, 2013 at 7:34 PM

        I’m pretty sure Curt Schilling would be OK with another switchhitter in the Big Show though.

  3. IdahoMariner - Feb 4, 2013 at 4:06 PM

    seriously great player and a seriously great movie. the moment when they step off the train and walk into the ballpark and see all of these women warming up to tryout for the teams always takes my breath away.

  4. fearlessleader - Feb 4, 2013 at 4:25 PM

    Pepper Paire was, if I remember correctly, also one of the co-authors of the “We are the members of the All-American League” song made famous in the movie. We heard her speak and met her briefly at the All-Star FanFest in Anaheim a few years back; she was using a wheelchair and an oxygen tank, but she was still bright, witty, and badass. Happy trails to a really cool woman.

  5. Old Gator - Feb 4, 2013 at 7:39 PM

    Did the women’s leagues ever have baseball cards?

    Doomb. Of course they did.

    Any pictures of them anywhere?

    • raysfan1 - Feb 4, 2013 at 10:49 PM

      Yes, Google AAGPBL, baseball cards.

      The most common cards were published by Fritsch from 1995-2000. The earliest ones I’ve seen are still from decades after the end of the league’s existence in the 1980’s–but before “A League of Their Own.”

      The only one of Lavonne Paire-Davis I’ve seen used the same photo that Craig used.

  6. bigharold - Feb 4, 2013 at 7:56 PM

    I loved that movie. Everybody quotes “There’s no crying in baseball”. But, the best line was the Hanks character singing the baseball “avoid the clap Jimmy Duggin”.

    • raysfan1 - Feb 4, 2013 at 10:56 PM

      The Jimmy Dugan character was loosely based on Jimmie Foxx, HOF player who did manage one season in the AAGPBL.

    • number42is1 - Feb 5, 2013 at 1:50 PM

      ” Did anyone ever tell you, you look like a penis with a little hat on”

  7. joegolfer - Feb 4, 2013 at 11:50 PM

    Just saw the movie again today, having not seen it since it was in theaters many years ago.
    It still holds up.
    Love hearing Hanks say, “There’s no crying in baseball”.

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