John Holway / Other Leagues (Ladies Leagues)
and Salt, Pepper Paire, an appreciation
The Slugger Wore Skirts
More Salty Tales of Pepper Paire, AAGBPL
Bare Legs and Bare Knuckles Baseball
The Further Adventures of Pepper Paire: Romeos and Juliette
More Pepper Tales: Beer and champagne with Jimmie Foxx
Pepper was a leading consultant on the film, "A League of Their Own," and the prototype for the role that Geena Davis played.
INTERVIEW WITH LAVONE "PEPPER" PAIRE DAVIS
By John B. Holway
We had to look like ladies and play baseball like men. We didn't have the power men had, but we played just as skillfully. We could beat an average men's team any day of the week, and we often did.
I had one romance break up because the guy got so mad we beat his team. He was pitching, and I got three hits off him; the last one right back through the box. I parted his hair! That was the end of that romance.
When I got gussied up, I could get a look or two from the guys. I had my picture in the "Police Gazette," which was kind of a cheesecake tabloid back then. My mom got upset, but I kind of liked it. I was there with Lauren Bacall, Betty Grable, and all those stars.
In 1948 we had ten cities in the league, and I had a boyfriend in every one of them. The boys used to wait for us after the game. We called them "Clubhouse Clydes" or "Locker Room Lennys." They'd line up outside after a game,and you'd manage to slip them a phone number. We had a chaperone, but there was only one of her and 15 of us.
In the beginning they came out to laugh at women playing baseball in skirts. They could have gone to a burlesque theater and seen a whole lot more. But they came back night after night and year after year. They took us into their homes. We were family entertainment for a small town. I was a celebrity back ten.
I know the feeling of bumps and bruises. I had "autographs" of the ball on the inside of my thighs. You could see the stitch marks of the ball on my skin.
I was a catcher and used to wear a finger glove because I could dig the pitches out of the dirt better. I have the fingers to prove it. I have one finger that points in three directions all by itself.
I had a pretty strong arm. I could throw to second on one knee, which is not too shabby. My brother said, "Sis, if I had your arm, I could have gone to the majors."
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