ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO) — Rockford celebrated the Rockford Peaches and the 30th Anniversary of the movie “A League of Their Own” this weekend.
Everyone had a great time celebrating women’s baseball on Saturday while playing a celebrity game. Folks said that nothing is better than baseball on a summer Saturday.
“It’s about community pride and getting everybody together through the common play of baseball today,” said Jay Sandine, executive director of the Rockford Park District.
Beyers Stadium had a lot of action going on Saturday, as local city officials and celebrities played a great game of softball in honor of the 30th Anniversary of the movie “A League of Their Own.”
“When people come together they find out they have a lot more in common than they might have thought,” Sandine said. “This is a big unity driver for us.”
Not only were residents able to see local celebrities and softball players catching, fielding and hitting, they also were able to feel sense of community pride.
“I think it’s important that we draw women together and draw community together,” said Rhonda Robinson, president of Rockford’s NAACP.
The game brought more than just the community, as it also attracted baseball fans like Matt Garrett, who traveled from Dubuque, Iowa. He said that he and his family are big baseball fans and could not miss an opportunity to watch a Peaches baseball game.
“I’m excited with some of the things they are trying to do with the Women’s Baseball Museum,” Garrett said. “It really will become a destination place for baseball for the baseball community.”
The International Women’s Baseball Center wants to invest in youth by building a community and activity center for Rockford and the surrounding communities. Along with an educational center and museum, it will give youth the opportunity to learn about the history of Women’s Baseball and the fundamental mechanics to play.
“From 1992 to this day, it has been pretty much my life’s work to make sure that no girl, none of these kids out here ever have to wonder whether or not they belong,” said Kat Williams, president of the International Women’s Baseball Center.
Sandine said that Saturday’s game showed the love the community has for the City of Rockford, as well as the Peaches’ history.
“I love seeing families in the bleachers, everybody talking, everybody laughing and just enjoying their life, and I hope when people walk away from today that they had a great afternoon watching some baseball, maybe reliving some old memories or history and just feeling community pride,” Sandine said.
The IWBC hopes to start building the community and activity center within a year and a half. It will cost $4 million. The educational center and museum will cost $10 million, though there is no set date for that building yet.
The Coronado hosted an exclusive sneak peek of the new series “A League of Their Own” at 8 p.m. Saturday.