For fans of the 1992 classic, ‘A League of Their Own’, this debate has long tortured them. Did Dottie drop the ball of purpose or was her younger sister, Kit, able to barrel over her sister at home to win the game? Let’s set the scene…We flash to Game 7 of the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League (AAGPBL) World Series between Dottie’s Rockford Peaches and Kit’s Racine Belles. (You’ll remember that Dottie was the All-Star catcher, and Kit was the talented albeit hotheaded pitcher.)
After trailing 1-0 entering the top of the 9th, Dottie slugs home 2 runs against her sister to give the Peaches a 2-1 lead. The baseball gods, as they always seem to do, give Kit a chance at redemption though, because she comes up in the bottom of the 9th with a girl on. Dottie advises the pitcher to throw high fastballs. Remember; Kit can’t hit em’ and she can’t lay off em’. A few pitches later, much to Dottie’s surprise, Kit lines a ball deep to center. The tying run scores and Kit rounds third, blowing through the stop sign and crashes into Dottie at the plate who was waiting there for her with the ball. The both tumble to the ground and Dottie drops the ball and Racine wins.
Fast forward to about the 3:05 mark.
But did she do it on purpose?
To answer that question we have to dig a little deeper:Reasons For:
– She was a family first player, perhaps her only weakness. Remember, she leaves the team in a crucial part of the season to be with her husband who had just returned from war. You could make the case that she put family first this time as well.
– Dottie, all her life, had overshadowed Kit. She was the older, better looking sister, more superior player and Kit always seemed jealous. So much so that she was traded in season to the Racine Belles. Maybe this time, she wanted give her sister the glory and recognition.
– Related: Dottie knew she was retiring at the end of game and wanted Kit to take the spotlight and further her career.
– Dottie’s form on the final play at the plate, while somewhat unclear when viewing the movie, seemed poor, which would be unlike the All-Star. She catches the ball and just before impact it seems like she is holding the ball in her hand outside of the glove, which in turn leaves her hand exposed when they go to ground and the ball drops. Catchers at a young age at taught to catch the ball and hold the ball in the glove with their bare hand (not outside) and prepare for the collision. This would prevent the hand from separating from glove.
– After coming off the field, she stands with her manager, the memorable Tom Hanks, and seems to almost half smile watching the Belles celebrate their championship. It almost like she’s happy her sister scored the winning run.
– If she was going to drop it on purpose, why tell the pitcher to throw Kit the one pitch she couldn’t hit? At that point she was committed to Kit striking out and ending the game.
– Some believe that Dottie makes the decision to let her sister score after Kit surprisingly lines a high fastball to deep center or perhaps once she runs through the stop sign at third.
– Dottie was the older sister and Kit did have a full head of steam, so perhaps the impact was enough to pry the ball from her hand.
– She would be letting down the rest of the team by making the selfish decision to let Kit score. The Peaches had worked hard all summer to get to the World Series, why do that to her teammates? From all accounts, she had a great relationship with.
– After the game, once Dottie is changed, she sees Kit outside the Belles locker room. They discuss the final play, and Dottie seems generally annoyed that she dropped the ball, even after Kit apologies for crashing into her…that of course leads into an argument.The Verdict:
I believe Dottie drops the ball on purpose; the evidence for that argument is just too strong. She was an excellent player, the best in the league; she wouldn’t get caught up in the moment and not use proper technique to block the plate. It also comes down to family and her love for Kit. As she demonstrated before, she puts family first. While she was genuinely shocked that Kit hit the ball, she wanted to give her a chance to finally have the spotlight.
So what do you think? Comment and vote below.