Born: 1925 in Santa Monica
Died: May 22, 2002
Faye Dancer was one of the stars of the All American Girls Professional Baseball League in the 1940s and was the inspiration for the “All the Way Mae” character Madonna played in the 1992 film, “A League of Their Own.” She died in 2002 at the age of 77.
“She was a great all-around ballplayer,” said Lavonne “Pepper” Paire Davis in an AP report. Davis served as technical adviser on “A League of Their Own” and was a model for Geena Davis’ catcher character.
Dancer was the center fielder and a pitcher for the Minneapolis Millerettes, Fort Wayne Daisies and Peoria Redwings from 1944 to 1950. She stole 108 bases in 1948.
“She was that rare breed of ballplayer that could get up to bat, lay down a perfect bunt, then steal second base. Then, the next time up, she could hit the long ball and knock it out of the ballpark, ” Davis said.
Dancer was immortalized in the AAGBPA exhibit in the Baseball Hall of Fame. A 1948 photo shows her sliding into third base to avoid a tag. The exhibit includes her spikes and gloves. She was there when the exhibit officially opened in 1988.
Born in 1925, she was raised in West Los Angeles and began to play softball as a grade school student.
In 1950, she injured her back while sliding and retired from the league. Four years later, the league folded.
In the offseason, she was an electronics technician for Hughes Aircraft. For 35 years, she worked for a power generator company in Santa Monica.
Shortly after being laid off from her job in 2000, she was diagnosed with cancer.
Her fiancÃ© was killed in World War II and she never married.
Source: Associated Press