+
upworthy
Pop Culture

Inspiration for new 'A League of Their Own' show comes out at 95, proving it's never too late

“I hid for 75, 85 years," she said.

maybelle blair, a league of their own, coming out
Jeff Neira/Prime Video

Maybelle Blair at the Tribeca Film Festival.

Thirty years ago, one of the greatest sports movies of all time (IMO), "A League of Their Own," was released. It's hard to believe it's been 30 years since many of us first learned about the All-American Girls Baseball League. What people may not realize is that the story isn't over. A new series, created by Abbi Jacobson, is coming to Amazon Prime Video in August. The promo tour has already begun and it looks like the creators of the show are featuring women who were actually a part of the AAGPBL.

One of those women is Maybelle "All the way Mae" Blair, who played for the Peoria Redwings. During a recent panel at the Tribeca Film Festival, Blair, 95, decided that was as good a time as any to come out.

“I hid for 75, 85 years and this is actually basically the first time I’ve ever come out," Blair said to rousing chorus of cheers.


The show's official Instagram account shared the video of Blair with the caption: "For the majority of her life, sports legend 95-year old AAGPBL player, Maybelle Blair felt like she had to hide her authentic self. Today she came out publicly for the first time. We couldn't be happier for her, and continue to push for love, acceptance, and education on and off the field."

“I think it’s a great opportunity for these young girl ball players to come [to] realize that they’re not alone, and you don’t have to hide,” Blair said, speaking about younger generations of female athletes.

Sometimes it's easy to forget that there was a time where being "out" was actually dangerous, especially for women. In the 1940s, women were already discriminated against. If you were out as a lesbian, your options for work and survival were incredibly limited. While there is sometimes an assumption that women in sports are queer, back when Blair was playing baseball, she couldn't be open about it. According to a league history from the AAGPBL website, "femininity was a high priority." Yes, femme lesbians existed, but it wasn't something they could be open about. The women couldn't even go out without a chaperone!

Queerness is baked into the fabric of the reboot, which Blair was hired as a consultant for. Just because it wasn't talked about in the past doesn't mean those women didn't exist, as Blair obviously shows.

“I thought I was the only one in the world,” Blair said during the panel, as reported by IndieWire. She added that the community of the AAGPBL allowed her a safe place.

IndieWire also reported that Jamie Babbit, director of the show's pilot episode, spent time at the AAGPBL convention in Cooperstown, where the National Baseball Hall of Fame is, after being hired. “There was a queerness in the air and just really joyful, amazing women who I just wanted to hang out with. I really wanted to bring that joy to the show,” she said.

In addition to coming out and being a consultant for the show, Blair has another mission: getting the International Women’s Baseball Center museum built. The Los Angeles Times reported that there is land available in Rockford, Illinois, across from where the Rockford Peaches used to play baseball. But they need funds. Blair, a tireless advocate for baseball and softball for women, is determined to help make it happen.

“I hope to God that I can get the shovel going into the ground before I’m on the other side of the grass because I’ve got to live long enough to see this happen," she said.

Maybelle Blair is truly an inspiration, and I'm so glad we get to share her story.

Family

Dad takes 7-week paternity leave after his second child is born and is stunned by the results

"These past seven weeks really opened up my eyes on how the household has actually ran, and 110% of that is because of my wife."

@ustheremingtons/TikTok

There's a lot to be gleaned from this.

Participating in paternity leave offers fathers so much more than an opportunity to bond with their new kids. It also allows them to help around the house and take on domestic responsibilities that many new mothers have to face alone…while also tending to a newborn.

All in all, it enables couples to handle the daunting new chapter as a team, making it less stressful on both parties. Or at least equally stressful on both parties. Democracy!

TikTok creator and dad Caleb Remington, from the popular account @ustheremingtons, confesses that for baby number one, he wasn’t able to take a “single day of paternity leave.”

This time around, for baby number two, Remington had the privilege of taking seven weeks off (to be clear—his employer offered four weeks, and he used an additional three weeks of PTO).

The time off changed Remington’s entire outlook on parenting, and his insights are something all parents could probably use.

Keep ReadingShow less

Millenial names are now "old" names.

You can’t turn back the hands of time and so it’s impossible to avoid being labeled “old” by younger generations, no matter how hard you try. For many of us, our names are tied to the times when we were born and can start to sound really dated, no matter how fashionable they were at one point.

TikTokker Amber Cimotti found this out the hard way when her daughter noted that she has an “old” person's name.

“My daughter told me the name Ashley or Amanda — or my name is Amber — are like old people names and I never thought about it this way,” Amber explained in a video with over 3 million views.

Keep ReadingShow less

Christine Kesteloo has one big problem living on a cruise ship.

A lot of folks would love to trade lives with Christine Kesteloo. Her husband is the Chief Engineer on a cruise ship, so she gets to live on the boat pretty much for free as the “wife on board.” For Christine, life is a lot like living on a permanent vacation.

“I live on a cruise ship for half the year with my husband, and it's often as glamorous as it sounds,” she told Insider. “After all, I don't cook, clean, make my bed, do laundry or pay for food.“

Living an all-inclusive lifestyle seems like paradise, but it has some drawbacks. Having access to all-you-can-eat food all day long can really have an effect on one’s waistline. Kesteloo admits that living on a cruise ship takes a lot of self-discipline because the temptation is always right under her nose.

Keep ReadingShow less

Woman shows her misbehaving cat to 'the trenches'

You always hear about a "bad dog," giving the furry goofballs a reputation for getting into mischief, but what about bad cats. Not all cats are angels just lounging around the house until someone gives them food while fanning them with a giant palm leaf. Some cats have a sketchy "catigree" and every once in a while they let that wild streak show. When that happens, what is a cat owner to do?

A cat mom that goes by the user name Lambo Licia on Instagram posted a video showing exactly how she gets her cat in line when he's misbehaving. No, it's not with a spray bottle. She shows him what life is like in "the trenches." You know, the area of town where homeless cats roam and cat burglars have real whiskers and thumbs that don't work, leaving a strange fish smell wherever they lurk.

If Scared Straight: Cat Edition was an actual thing, Mega, the orange tabby would be the first to turn his life around. He looks absolutely petrified from all of the unruly cat behavior he sees out the window and his mom's commentary.

Keep ReadingShow less
Science

College students use AI to decode ancient scroll burned in Mount Vesuvius

“Some of these texts could completely rewrite the history of key periods of the ancient world."

When Mount Vesuvius erupted in 79 C.E., it buried entire cities in volcanic materials. While Pompeii is the most famous site affected by the natural disaster, the nearby villa of Herculaneum was also laid to waste—including over 800 precious scrolls found inside Herculaneum’s library, which were carbonized by the heat, making them impossible to open and recover their contents.

Which brings us to the Vesuvius challenge, started by computer scientist Brent Seales and entrepreneurs Nat Friedman and Daniel Gross in March 2023. The contest would award $1 million in prizes to whoever could use machine learning to successfully read from the scrolls without damaging them.

On February 5, the prize-winning team was announced.
Keep ReadingShow less
Keith Allison/Wikimedia Commons

Shaquille O'Neal retired from pro basketball in 2011, but he's still one of the most famous players ever.

Fame comes with a lot of challenges, but it also comes with some pretty obvious perks. There's the money that frequently follows fame, of course, but there's also the special treatment people automatically offer you.

Some famous folks might revel in that special treatment and some might even express gratitude for it. But occasionally, you find a celebrity who refuses it altogether.

Take basketball legend Shaquille O'Neal, for instance.

Keep ReadingShow less