Close to two thousand miles northeast of Marshall’s home in Los Angeles is Rockford, Illinois.
In 1992, Marshall’s “A League of Their Own” hit the bigscreen and, in turn, helped re-popularize the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League and make the Rockford Peaches a household name. So, it’s fitting that a memorial and a celebration of Marshall’s life if already being planned for this upcoming summer at Beyer Stadium, the home of the four-time champs.
“We owe a lot to her,” Kat Williams, president of the International Women’s Baseball Center board of directors said. “What better place, what other physical location than Rockford, Illinois, the home of the Peaches?”
“If it had not been for Penny Marshall, the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League would still be unknown,” former Peach Shirley Burkovich added. “It would have been known only to those who lived in that area at that time.”
Beyer Stadium played host to the Peaches from 1943 to 1954. Currently, it is the home to the Rockford Starfires of the Women’s Hardball/Baseball League.