Baseball stars, including inspiration behind A League of their Own character, remembered in Heritage Minute

Baseball stars, including inspiration behind A League of their Own character, remembered in Heritage Minute

A small city in south-central Saskatchewan was reworked into the American Midwest for manufacturing this week on a brand new Heritage Minute that includes two of the province’s baseball stars. 

The movie, produced in Ogema, Sask., options Regina’s Mary “Bonnie” Baker, an all-star again catcher within the All American Ladies Skilled Baseball League (AAGPBL). She is well-known for being the inspiration for Geena Davis’ character Dottie Hinson within the 1992 movie A League of their Personal.

The movie additionally options Ogema native and Saskatchewan Sports activities Corridor of Fame inductee Arleene Johnson Noga. 

Greater than 100 Ogema locals are featured as extras within the movie.

Greater than 100 Ogema locals are featured as extras inside the movie. (Sarah Onyango/CBC )

“It’s undoubtedly nice to have this movie manufacturing taking place on the town right here. We’re actually excited to see our city portrayed on this gentle,” mentioned Kyle Leonard, chair of the Ogema Regional Park Authority. 

He mentioned a number of work goes into preserving historic services just like the grandstand on the Ogema ball diamond, which was constructed within the ’20s. 

“Simply to see it showcased and, you realize, portrayed on this method goes to say rather a lot to the individuals who spent the time to maintain it.” 

‘Breakthrough second’

Through the Second World Conflict, feminine baseball leagues have been shaped to take care of curiosity within the sport after the boys’s groups have been dismantled. 

In 1943, when the AAGPBL was shaped, Baker began as a again catcher for the South Bend Blue Sox and in 1950, when she joined the Kalamazoo Lassies, she grew to become the one participant to ever maintain the place of each participant and supervisor. 

“It’s iconic,” mentioned director Anita Ayres, including that Baker’s legacy will encourage future generations.

A woman with bangs, a white button up shirt and black rimmed glasses is being interviewed.
Director Anita Ayres mentioned making a Heritage Minute is a milestone for her profession. (Richard Agecoutay/CBC)

“It actually was a giant breakthrough second when this lady confirmed up on the scene,” Ayres mentioned.

“Actually it was the start {of professional} sports activities for girls. So I believe that’s the legacy … I believe it was a breakthrough second for girls.” 

Discovering the appropriate moments

Manufacturing talks started in November. Ayres mentioned it took some time to determine which moments in Baker’s life to pick out for less than a 60-second quick movie.

“She was within the league for 10 years.” mentioned Ayres. “So we’re simply looking for the appropriate moments to indicate that profession. “

Producers strived to make the movie traditionally correct. On the time, girls had a sure wardrobe and even model of throwing, she mentioned. 

 A baseball dugout with crates of balls, gear hanging from hooks and bats all decorating the inside.
The crew strived for historic accuracy within the manufacturing. (Sarah Onyango/CBC)

Michelle Mylett, who performs Baker, mentioned she was excited to be part of making a Heritage Minute. The Letterkenny actress mentioned she was instantly drawn to the script. 

“Once I learn it, that was what hooked me,” Mylett mentioned. “It was actually sensible and fairly lovely.” 

Mylett doesn’t have many traces and mentioned the portrayal of Baker is extra grounded in showcasing her as an athlete, one thing that was usually ignored in her life. 

“It means rather a lot,” mentioned Mylett. “She was such a trailblazer, an unbelievable athlete and an advocate for girls, which is admittedly cool particularly within the ’40s when occasions have been rather a lot completely different.” 

A young woman with blonde hair and blue jeans stands across from an older lady with short hair wearing a white dress and denim jacket.
Minister Ross is happy to do a website go to and meet actress Michelle Mylett enjoying ‘Bonnie.’ (Sarah Onyango/CBC)

Productions are again in Saskatchewan 

Minister of Parks, Tradition and Sport Laura Ross mentioned she was happy to see manufacturing beginning up once more in Saskatchewan. The provincial authorities boosted funding for the movie and tv trade final yr, after scrapping the outdated movie employment tax credit score in 2012 — a choice that had compelled the vast majority of these within the trade to maneuver to different jurisdictions.

“Ogema is the right place for this historic vignette,” mentioned Ross. 

“It didn’t take a lot for them to place this collectively to make it look actually genuine, but in addition actually thrilling too for the folks inside the neighborhood.”

Artistic Saskatchewan supported the Heritage Minute with $80,000. Heritage Minutes are produced by Historica Canada, with funding from Canadian Heritage and William F. White Worldwide Inc.

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