February 8, 2013

Women's baseball league's Paire Davis dies

She was among players who served as models for the Geena Davis character in 'League of Their Own.'

Los Angeles Times

(Continued from page 1)

Lavonne Paire Davis
click image to enlarge

Lavone “Pepper” Paire Davis, a star of the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League in the 1940s and an inspiration for the movie “A League of Their Own,” has died in California.

The Associated Press

She graduated in 1942 from University High School -- a classmate was Norma Jean Baker, who soon changed her name to Marilyn Monroe -- and took classes at the University of California, Los Angeles. But it was wartime and she also worked at Hughes Aircraft. In her spare time, she played softball -- lots of it -- for several Southern California women's teams.

In 1944, she joined the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League's Minneapolis Millerettes. She was traded multiple times, and played on several championship teams.

She left baseball in 1953 to marry Robert Davis and start a family. The next year, the women's league suspended play on what was termed a temporary basis. It never resumed.

Throughout her life, Paire Davis remained a sports fan, rooting for the Dodgers, Angels and Lakers, but cheered with special passion for women's baseball, exulting when the Woman's National Adult Baseball Association was formed in 1994.

Paire Davis, who spent several months on the set of "A League of Their Own," stayed in touch with director Penny Marshall and several actors afterward and appeared on O'Donnell's talk show at least once, her son said.

In 2009, she published a book about her adventures in baseball, "Dirt in the Skirt."

In addition to her son and brother, her survivors include another son, Rob Davis; a daughter, Susan Gardner; four grandchildren; and a great-grandson.

 

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