Tom Hanks signs on as co-chair for Rockford celebration honoring Penny Marshall

ROCKFORD (WREX) — Legendary actor Tom Hanks, who played Rockford Peaches manager Jimmy Dugan in the 1992 movie “A League of Their Own” is joining 11 actresses from the movie as honorary co-chairs of a September celebration honoring its director Penny Marshall.

Marshall died in December at the age of 75.

In September, Rockford and the International Women’s Baseball Center is holding the Penny Marshall Celebration on Sept. 13 and Sept. 14 to thank her for putting the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League and the Rockford Peaches on a national stage.

Organizers say Hanks’ name is mostly symbolic, but that he never lends his name to any other Peaches celebrations. He’s chosen to this time because of his respect for Marshall and what she meant to his career.

“Big,” which was directed by Marshall, was Hanks’ first big hit. “A League of Their Own” ended a string of flops for him.

The weekend will include a “Play Ball for Penny” on Friday, Sept. 13, at Indoor City Market, 116 N. Madison St., and then a Saturday unveiling of a replica of the first of nine pylons – large commemorative signs that will honor individuals or groups important in women’s baseball history. The unveiling will take place Saturday, Sept. 14, at the future museum site of the International Women’s Baseball Center across the street from historic Beyer Stadium, 245 15th Ave.

Audrey Moon

Audrey Moon

Asst. News Director

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