Every “A League of Their Own” Reference in Prime Video’s “A League of Their Own”: An Obsessive Guide

When news of the A League of Their Own television series broke, I simply had to know: How many A League of Their Own movie references would there be to feast on? And would I actually be nerdy enough to study those A League of Their Own Easter eggs frame-by-frame?

You see, I love very little things in the collective history of cinema like I love A League of Their Own. That’s not hyperbole! When the original film came out in 1992, I was six years old. I did not see it in theaters (because I was six) but I requested that my mother rent it, every single week, from Blockbuster for our weekly family movie nights for FIVE MONTHS on end!! Everyone please pour one out for my sweet mom and her patient soul because I’m sure she still has shudder worthy flashbacks when anyone says “batter up.”

Well my friends! The answers to those questions were “yes” and “even more yes.” I have watched the entire series, all eight hours, front-to-back, twice before it even dropped on Prime Video in a brave effort to catch all the A League of Their Own movie references and Easter eggs — every possible whiff of sweet, sweet nostalgia — present them to you here.

A League of Their Own movie references and Easter eggs: A screenshot of the author's notebooks, filled to the edges in tiny print font with notes about A League of Their Own, next to the notebooks is a small zipper pouch with boobs on it

All of this, because I love you.

But first, some ground rules: I spent a lot of time thinking about this, and not everything in a piece based in real actual history, like A League of Their Own, counts as “movie references” or “Easter eggs.” Some things are just plain facts of the time period, and I am not going to count them here! This would include, but is not limited to, “baseball fans are being sexist” or “both teams played night games” (duh) — just to give an example. We will have a deep dive into the history of the 1940s coming next week from Autostraddle co-founder and CEO Riese Bernard. But for today we are talking movie specifics only!! I’m also not including “this actor kind of looks like that person” or “look they are both wearing sideswept pin curls” — because again, that comes with the time period! They all have 1940s pin curls or are tall/short/red haired! Humans walking around happen! (There’s two notable exceptions to this rule, and when you see them I feel confident that you’ll agree).

Thus far my obsessive research has discovered a grand total of 35 A League of Their Own movie references and Easter eggs in A League of Their Own! They are listed in episode-by-episode order, so you can follow along while you watch at home (but don’t scroll ahead unless you like spoilers! Or if you do scroll ahead, at least please do not yell at me about spoilers. This whole post is spoilers. That’s what you have agreed to by reading it, there’s no crying in baseball).

I’m starting my third rewatch today! If I find any more A League of Their Own Easter eggs, you can bet I’ll include them here — if you find any before me, let me know in the comments! You can also follow all of our A League Of Their Own coverage, including daily recaps, because trust me, we are just getting started.


All of the A League of Their Own Movie References and Easter Eggs in Prime Video’s A League of Their Own

Episode 1: “Batter Up”

1. The Train!! Running!! Scene!!

2. Walter Harvey, the Candy Bar King, owns the Rockford Peaches and is a founder of the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League (AAGPBL), his nephew is the manager of the ball club. (In the television series, it’s “Baker’s Chocolate Candy Bars”, not Harvey Bars, but c’mon… we know what we’re doing here.)

3. Carson’s husband Charlie, like Dottie’s husband Bob, is away fighting the war.

4. Jo’s entire vibe can only be described as “The New Rosie” ⚾️

A League of Their Own movie references and Easter eggs: Rosie O'Donnell in a Peaches uniform in the 1992 movie yells, and in the 2022 series Jo, who has a similar body type as Rosie, comes to bat

5. Speaking of which, Jo and Greta are both loud and brassy besties from New York with big dreams, and ring-a-ding-ding — that makes them the new Rosie and Madonna.

6. Tryouts happen in Chicago.

(1992)

(2022)

7. Carson’s grey overall uniform with a blue baseball cap is a direct reference to Dottie and Kit’s dairy farm baseball uniform.

A League of Their Own movie references and Easter eggs: In 1992's film Dottie and Kit fight over a bat while wearing grey overalls and a blue hat, in the television series Abbi Jacobsin runs through a field, also in a grey overall uniform and blue hat

8. The use of “Choo Choo Ch’Boogie” by The Manhattan Transfer over baseball montages (we love a good music cue, and can I just say finding this specific version of the song on Beyoncé’s internet from the 1992 A League of Their Own soundtrack took infinitely longer than expected!)

9. The unnamed Black woman from the 1992 film throws a ball so hard it impresses everyone around her, a direct nod to the fact of who exactly was left out of the AAGPBL due to segregation. This opens the door for Max who is kicked out of try outs even though she clearly has the best arm on the field — she still doesn’t make the team (racism), but she becomes the co-lead of the series.

A League of Their Own movie references and Easter eggs: in the 1992 movie a black woman wears a hat while looking resigned and in the 2022 movie Max, also a black woman, stands shocked in a hat and a glove

10. A homage to Dottie catching a ball while doing a split.

(1992)

(2022)

11. A homage part deux to Rosie (excuse me, Doris) catching a ball by diving into the bleachers.

(1992)

(2022)

Episode 2: “Find the Gap”

12. Both versions of Peaches are coached by formerly famous men baseball players who had short careers and don’t want to be here. Jimmy Duggan, meet Casey “Dove” Porter.

13. Carson and Dottie are both catchers.

A League of Their Own movie references and Easter eggs: side by side images of geena Davis as dottie Hinson in the 1992 movie in a catcher's mitt and Abbi Jacobsin in the 2022 movie also in a catcher's uniform

14. The beauty make over/ charm school scene, in its entirety. But damn do I love what the television series does with it and the commentary it makes about “queerness” and “passing.”

A League of Their Own movie references and Easter eggs: side by side images from the 1992 film and the movie of women baseball players awkwardly dancing in 1940s clothing

15. Everyone calls Carson “farm girl” — despite her not actually being from a farm (I’m counting this as an reference to Dottie and Kit both famously being from an Oregon dairy farm in the original).

Carson’s actually called a farm girl right from episode one, and during the entire series, but the moment in episode two’s “makeover scene” where they reference her “farm hands, farm face” was too good for screenshooting purposes to pass up.

Episode 3: “The Cut Off”

16. Carson and Dottie both lead the Peaches when the guy coach inevitably sucks at his job.

Episode 4: “Switch Hitter”

17. The use of the black and white 1940s newsreel as a narration device, so much worry about the “masculinization of women.” 🥺

A League of Their Own movie references and Easter eggs: side by side images of baseball players in black and white, on the left the player swings a bat on the right she winks

18. This comes from Autostraddle A+ member Caitlin, who caught it when I missed it! “Dove offers Carson some dip the way Jimmy offers Dottie some. Carson thinks it’s gross but Dottie takes to it.”

19. While the Peaches travel to an away game with the Racine Belles, we learn from Carson’s notes that “Johnson, #23, always goes for the ‘high ones'” — of course Kit, who ended her career as a Racine Belle, never laid off the high ones. (Dottie: “Mule!” / Kit: “Nag!”)

20. The dueling battle of the hand call signs.

A League of Their Own movie references and Easter eggs: side by side shots of players doing baseball hand signals, on the left is geena Davis and tom hanks from the 1992 film, on the right is Roberta colindrez and Abbi jacobosin in the tv show

21. The team fights on the field.

(1992)

(2022)

22. Both Jimmy Duggan and Dove Porter get offered jobs in the men’s league (the difference being that Dove takes it, and Jimmy stays).

Episode 5: “Back Footed”

23. THERE’S NO CRYING IN BASEBALL!!!

Episode 6: “Stealing Home”

24. In A League of Their Own (the movieTM), Alice thinks it’s bad luck to change socks. In episode six A League of Their Own (the television seriesTM), Jess says “Lady Luck is on our side, so from this point on we change nothing! Not our shoes, not our clothes, not what we eat for breakfast. nothing!” And then later in the same episode, another player on the Peaches says they haven’t changed their socks “in weeks” in response to someone asking “what is that smell?” in the locker room.

25. A Racine Belle runs directly into Carson over the plate, and everyone hold your breath… Carson does NOT drop the ball. She! Does NOT! Drop! The Ball!

26. The Rosie cameo.

And if you listen closely, that sound you hear is me passing out —

Episode 7: “Full Count”

27. Kit and Jo both get traded. (And no, I’m not emotionally prepared to talk about Jo getting traded. If you made it this far, you know why.)

28. Dottie’s husband and Carson’s husband both come back from the war, just in time for the World Series.

29. Maybelle, a short curvy blonde, is found out to be a mother on the team (much like Evelyn, the short curvy blonde of the original, is the mother of Stillwell Angel — notorious brat and unofficial Peaches mascot of “You’re gonna lose!!” fame).

30. The Raw Hand Ball Catch!! You know the one. And you know what it does to me. 🔥🥵

A League of Their Own movie references and Easter eggs: side by side screenshots of dottie from the movie holding a ball and max from the tv show doing the same

Episode 8: “Perfect Game”

31. THE SONG!!! DID YOU HEAR ME WHEN I SAID THE SONG!!!

Did I cry? I cried. Did you cry? You cried. We all cried. It’s why we are here.

32. Kit and Jo both play against their former team in the World Series.

33. The bloody bruise.

A League of Their Own movie references and Easter eggs: side by side screenshots from the movie and tv show depicting players with large bruises

(Little known fact! The bloody bruise that Alice gets in the original movie is a real injury that actress Renée Coleman sustained during filming, and director Penny Marshall worked it in. Ouch!)

34. In remembrance of Dottie catching a ball behind her back.

(1992)

(2022)

And Finally…

35. The Peaches lose the World Series — but they win in our hearts.


Before you go! Did you like what you just read? We keep Autostraddle majority free-to-read, but it isn't free to create! And yet most readers don't support this indie queer site. Will you be one of the people who do? A+ membership starts at just $4/month or $30/year and they literally keep us from closing. Will you join? Cancel anytime.

Join A+

Carmen Phillips

Carmen is Autostraddle's Editor-in-Chief and a Black Puerto Rican femme/inist writer. She claims many past homes, but left the largest parts of her heart in Detroit, Brooklyn, and Buffalo, NY. There were several years in her early 20s when she earnestly slept with a copy of James Baldwin’s “Fire Next Time” under her pillow. You can find her on twitter, @carmencitaloves.

Carmen has written 497 articles for us.

39 Comments

    • I’m pretty sure Maybelline talking up the fact that everyone has seen her boobs (and also how fantastic they are) is a ‘You think there are people in this country who ain’t seen your bosoms?’ Easter egg.

  1. ok i scrolled real fast past the episodes i haven’t seen yet but i am so happy this list exists! when i saw the splits-catch at tryouts i yelped at the screen

    also shoutout to carmen’s very patient mother for enabling our beloved EIC to have the encyclopedic knowledge of the 1992 film that brought us this article!

  2. Thank you for this critical work! I love how this series didn’t feel like an update or a critique of what was missing from the movie, but an homage and an extension/expansion.

    I also have to say that (and I’m sure this’ll get discussed a lot in the review of the season finale — I’m saying SEASON and not series, dammit!) but the parallels between the Peaches/Jo end-of-World-Series moment and the Dottie/Kit end-of-World Series moment were actually the only “correction” I DID need. It was like the perfect way to split the difference by still having a gesture of sportsmanship toward a former teammate but without The Whole Dottie Thing that infuriated anyone watching the original who actually cared about baseball (and is still debated today!)

    • I loved the way they changed the ending. And felt Jo deserved that hero moment way more than the bratty little sister ever did. But making it explicit that the win was earned made it so much better.

  3. I watched the original movie a bunch as a kid, being in a baseball-loving family full of girls. My family would make jokes from the movie all the time. But I think I like the new series even better. I like how it’s so diverse and gay, and explores so many facets of the women’s lives.

    On the topic of Easter eggs, I feel like the bratty kid Carson meets on the train in the first episode is a reference to Stilwell Angel?

  4. Great list! The announcer has some lines that recall the original announcer: “Jimmy Dougan, master strategist, had her swinging away” and “she hit the cream cheese out of that one!” It seems like they updated most of the dialogue to be 2022 but kept the cheesy announcer in the 40s.

  5. Episode two, during the makeover scene, when Carson and Greta intervene to keep Jess from getting sent home for not looking feminine enough reminded me of in the movie when Dottie and Kit intervened to get Marla on the train to tryouts.

    • When the 3 walk on the field at tryouts girls are diving all over the place in the outfield, which I thought was kind of a wink at the semi-over the topness of that sequence in the movie..

  6. Everyone might want to take a look, but I’d swear that in episode 8, during one of the crowd scenes, you can see the black woman from the ’92 movie in the stands. She nods her approval and then the camera cuts back to the on field action. I could be wrong, but take a look.

  7. Great article, I have a few more. Carson’s name is an easter egg, because Kit’s last name is Carson (i guess that’s Dottie’s maiden name too).
    Another egg of mine is when Max and Clance are saying goodbye at the bus, Max says, “Thank you, for getting me here”, which is a parallel to Kit thanking Dottie for getting her into the League, Dottie says, “Pfft, you got yourself into the league, I got you on the train”. Not a one-to-one, but the family/team/sisters thing is in there with both interactions.

    The inflections in some of the dialog are also Easter eggs. In ep. 1, Greta says to Carson, “are you telling me your got a letter saying your husband is returning home FROM WAR..” in the same way that Walter Harvey, the Candy Bar King, says FROM WAR to Ira Lowenstein when discussing the future of the league. Ditto there’s a reference to Greta striding to the plate, like “big Dottie Hansen striding to the plate”.

    The movie was so so special to me as a kid, to the point where all my school pals knew we would watch it at every birthday party I had, and to the point where I can speak annoyingly along with the dialogue. So I had been hesitant to watch the show up until this week, because I was worried it wouldn’t live into the deep feelings I have about the film. But it did! It’s great! Adding queer main text and expanding the story of the Black player with the great arm is actually a relief, a letting out of breath.
    In the first episode, the dance moves at the bar being copies of the ones in the brilliant Suds Bucket scene, kind of made me queasy, but i got used to it. Loving the show, the characters, and I hop they call come back with lots more seasons.

Contribute to the conversation...

Yay! You've decided to leave a comment. That's fantastic. Please keep in mind that comments are moderated by the guidelines laid out in our comment policy. Let's have a personal and meaningful conversation and thanks for stopping by!