As ‘A League of Their Own’ turns 25, Baseball Hall of Fame celebrates

CNN  — 

Batter up!

The National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York, is swinging for the fences by programming a series of events around “Diamond Dreams,” the museum’s permanent exhibit dedicated to women in baseball.

It’s all thanks to the 25th anniversary of “A League of Their Own,” the iconic movie that passed the Bechdel Test with flying colors before the Bechdel Test even existed. In conjunction with the July 1 anniversary, the Hall of Fame is planning talks, exhibits, a film screening and more as part of its homage to the beloved movie.

The film, which features a starting lineup of Geena Davis, Tom Hanks, Madonna and Lori Petty, depicted the short run of the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League (AAGPBL), where women played professional baseball as a ‘replacement’ for the many Major League Baseball players who had gone to fight in World War II.

It’s particularly fitting, as the final scenes in “A League of Their Own” were filmed on-site at the Hall of Fame with the characters attending … a special exhibit dedicated to women in baseball.

Not only that, but director Penny Marshall got the inspiration for the movie on a trip to Cooperstown.

The "Diamond Dreams" exhibit at the Baseball Hall of Fame.

Cooperstown, which is about four hours northwest of New York City, is as quintessentially American as the pastime it honors.

The small town was named for the father of James Fenimore Cooper, author of “The Last of the Mohicans.”

There’s no airport or train station easily accessible to the roughly 2,000 residents – your closest options are the Syracuse Airport or Amtrak station in Albany, the state capital. Even when Main Street is packed with vendors selling baseball memorabilia, Cooperstown still feels like a piece of Americana transplanted from the ’50s, untouched and pristine.

The "Diamond Dreams" exhibit includes uniforms that teams like the Racine Belles and Rockford Peaches wore.

No trip to the town is complete without a stay at the classic Otesaga Resort Hotel, a painstakingly restored building dating from 1909.

The hotel has views of Otsego Lake, a golf course, a pool – and absolutely no elevators. So if you book into a fifth floor room, get ready for your legs to look like a pro baseball player’s by the end of your trip. Fittingly, the Otesaga has partnered with the Hall of Fame for a special “Double Play” package that includes two nights’ accommodation plus tickets to the museum and a special logo-ed baseball bat.

Beyond the attractions related to America’s national pastime, Cooperstown is home to Brewery Ommegang, an award-winning Belgian-style brewery who recently unveiled a special “Game of Thrones” tie-in brew with HBO.

Perhaps the brewery’s next project can have a “League of Their Own” tie-in.

An All The Way Mae IPA has a nice ring to it. Or maybe a “There’s No Crying in Baseball” pilsner?

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