Rockford honors Penny Marshall’s legacy

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ROCKFORD (WREX) – Years ago Director Penny Marshall showed the world what happens when women step up to the plate. Now, Rockford leaders say it’s time to change the game once again.

Three generations of girls and women who play baseball came together to honor the legacy of Penny Marshall.

“Penny made that movie and all of a sudden the world went oh women really played baseball. And yeah they did,” said International Women’s Baseball Center President Kat Williams.

Marshall was the movie director for “A League of their Own” which showcased girls baseball in the 1940’s and 1950’s including the Rockford Peaches. The city of Rockford has named Sept. 14 Penny Marshall Day.

“It’s fitting that the first memorial to Penny Marshall and the first installment of our outdoor museum is a memorial to Penny Marshall right here in Rockford, Illinois,” said Williams.

People say this memorial of Marshall represents how far women in sports has come and how far it still needs to go.

“After those women stopped playing baseball in 1954 it was as if they hadn’t played. It was as if no one knew what was going on,” said Williams.

Leaders say it’s time to address important issues like raising salaries for women in sports and creating a professional baseball league for women. They say those changes can be made right here in Rockford.

“All of this is about Rockford all of this is about what we are able to do and what we will be able to do in the future,” said Williams.

“It’s just going to bring life back into this area of Rockford as well as you know downtown and it’s just going to solidify Rockford as a baseball town,” said co-founder of the Lil Peaches Bethany Morlan

“And bringing more pride to our city,” said co-founder of the Lil Peaches Nataly Hawker.

A pride not only for the city of Rockford but also for the accomplishments of women in sports.

The Hawker Lil Peaches are looking for more members to join and start a little league. For more information contact co-founder Bethany Morlan at bethanymorlan@yahoo.com.

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