When Maybelle Blair joined the women’s baseball league that inspired the film and TV series “A League of Their Own,” she wondered if she’d be the only gay woman there.
It didn’t take long for her to learn she’d truly found a league of her own. “Out of 650, I bet you 400 was gay” in the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League, Blair said at a recent screening of the Amazon Studios series at the Frameline San Francisco International LGBTQ+ Film Festival.
Blair, who was a pitcher for the league’s Peoria Redwings in 1948 and later played pro softball, came out publicly when the series premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival days before the Frameline screening.
Blair recounted that when she fell in love with a girl in high school, “I thought we were the only two in the world that were gay.” They had to be careful, she noted, and when she went off to play pro baseball, “I thought, Oh, my God, I’m gonna be the only one here,” she said. “But it took me about 24 hours to find out I like somebody,” recalled Blair, who was nicknamed “All the Way Mae” for her prowess on the diamond. “But it was wonderful. … So many of the girls came in from the farms and they came in from all over the United States.