“A League of Their Own” is one of my favorite movies. Thanks to the extra time we get to spend inside the house avoiding social contact in response to the pandemic I have seen it for the, probably, 200th time today.
I love the movie. I love the story it tells about the All American Girls Baseball League. I love the performance of Tom Hanks as Jimmy Dugan, with all his flaws and story of redemption. And I love the fact that the movie touches on a bunch of topics that are still meaningful today.
Kit is, without a doubt, every coaches nightmare! Kit Keller, we get to know as the younger sister of the star player, Dottie. We meet them early on when they are playing in a local softball league and they are discovered by a scout looking for players for the upstart women’s league that is going to fill the void of the men going off to fight in World War 2.
Why is Kit Keller a coaches nightmare, you ask? Well here you go:
She is un-coachable. She has flaws in her game but she refuses to listen to the advice of her sister Dottie, who is trying to help.
She is childish. When she strikes out in a tight situation falling victim to the exact weaknesses Dottie tried to help her with she throws her bat and mopes.
She is selfish. She only wants the glory. Even when her team wins, when Dottie saves the day and drives in the winning runs, Kit refuses to celebrate which her team and would rather mope around because she failed.
She is stubborn. No matter how many times she fails or comes up short, she refuses to try to make any changes. She thinks she has the answers and no matter how much evidence there is that she needs to change she refuses.
She has no respect for authority. Later in the movie when she is removed from the playoff-clinching game, she argues against what her coach knows is best for the team and them throws a fit when she is removed from the game.
She is an emotional drain on her teammates. After she is removed from the game mentioned earlier, rather than join the celebration of her team for clinching the World Series berth, she is moping around and forcing her teammates to console her for her disappointment. They just clinched the World Series.
She has no respect for her teammates. When one of her teammates gives her a little good natured ribbing for being removed from the game, she reacts by physically attacking her teammate. First by throwing her glove, really, and then attacking poor old Rosy.
She is manipulative. When the scout finds her and Dottie she basically blackmails her sister into joining the league just so she can get her chance. Even though Dottie is married and wants to keep her normal life, Kit wears her down and leverages her into trying out for the league.
She is jealous. She is jealous of her sister. Dottie is the best player in the league and rather than be happy for her sister, Kit is always angry and frustrated every time Dottie gets the accolades. Even though her performance clearly warrants her getting the acclaim.
And unfortunately for coaches everywhere, she triumphs in the end. Now I personally believe Dottie dropped the ball on purpose so that Kit could have her moment of glory. Whether you think the result was part of the Dottie looking out for Kit conspiracy or if you think it was just Kit “wanting it more”, either way she ends up being the hero of the World Series deciding game.
At the end of the day. If you have a Kit Keller on your team, you are going to be miserable. She made a great character in the movie but every time I watch it I am hoping that Dottie will finally hold onto the ball!!