ROCKFORD, IL (WTVO/WQRF) – Rockford honors the late director of “A League of Their Own.” The final event of “Penny Marshall Celebration Weekend” saw Stateline kids take to the home of the Rockford Peaches to play some baseball.
Major League Baseball, working with the International Women’s Baseball Center, hosted a Play Ball event at Beyer Stadium.
Kim Ng is the Senior Vice President of Baseball and Softball Development for Major League Baseball and helped organize the event.
“Beyer Stadium in Rockford, with all of it’s history,” Ng said. “We wanted to make sure that we were coupled with them and to make sure that we paid tribute to Penny and the great story that she brought to film.”
Ng says the purpose of Play Ball initiative is for kids to enjoy our national pastime.
“This is what it’s all about,” she said. “It’s about getting out there and just having fun, and to really see kids in their rawest form, just out there having a good time.”
Play Ball events like this happen across the country, but Ng says she was especially excited to come to Rockford.
“This one in particular has a special place in our hearts because of the film, because of the story, and because we want to really tell people that it doesn’t matter who you are, or what you represent, no matter whether you’re a boy or a girl, there’s a place for you at Major League Baseball,” she said.
Event attendee Piper Heimbrodt, who plays little league baseball for the Huntley Blue, agrees that everyone can enjoy baseball.
“It doesn’t really matter what they play, but girls should play baseball,” she said.
Rilyn Moroney also participated in today’s event. Earlier this year, she played for the Little Peaches, the first all-girls team in the Harlem Community Center Summer Baseball League. Now, she’s played at the home of the team’s namesake.
“Boys say that they can play baseball, but girls can’t- girls can do anything!” she said.
Although today’s event was cut short by rain, organizers made sure everyone walked away happy. All the kids were given a free t-shirt, wristband, and bat and ball set.