This article, “who is Max Chapman,” contains spoilers regarding the Amazon original series A League of Their Own (2022) season 1.
A League of Their Own is a sports comedy-drama series based on the Penny Marshall classic of the same name. That 1992 film went on to 132 million dollars at the box office, and in 2012, it was preserved in the United States National Film Registry. One of the principal characters in the main cast is Greta Gill, played by Chante Adams of A Journal for Jordan fame. Her character is gay, living a secret life in Rockford, Georgia and her dream is to play professional baseball.
So, that begs the question:
Who is Max Chapman in A League of Their Own season 1?
Max Chapman is an aspiring baseball player who dreams of playing in the Negro leagues. She takes a job at a factory with its baseball team (many of the players are scouted by the league). Max is also a member of the LGBTQ+ community.
What does Max Chapman do?
When there is an announcement of the all-new All American Girl’s Baseball League, Max attends a tryout, and her best friend, Clance, accompanies her. However, Max is not even allowed a tryout because of her skin color, even if she can throw a baseball from deep centerfield and into the stands behind the first base dugout. Her last option is to take a factory with its baseball team because many players are scouted by the Negro league.
Max takes a factory job to work at night and during the day at Toni’s salon. Why? So, she can work both jobs and be free to try out for the Rockford Screws. The manager refuses to let her until she puts two weeks’ worth of paychecks if anyone can hit a pitch off her. But Max has the yips. She allows two hits and throws a wild pitch. She walks away upset and forces Carson, the woman she saw kissing Greta in the restaurant storage room, to watch her pitch. They form a friendship, talk about their lives, and become friends.
However, Max’s mother, Toni, wants her daughter to take over her family business. A hair salon in the city of Rockford. An affluent community member, Mrs. Turner, visits Max late at night at her family’s salon, but she is not there for a haircut. Max is having an affair with the married woman. Like Carson and Greta, Max lives a closeted life in 1940s America. Also, Toni does not want her daughter to play baseball because she worries about her sexuality.
Aunt Bertie is estranged from Max’s mom, and that is because she is an “invert,” which she is afraid Max may turn into. (“Invert” is 1940s time period slang for someone who has a sexual inversion). When Max visits her aunt, she discovers that Bertie has a wife and is transgender. Bertie uses the pronouns he/him, and Max comes to call her Uncle Bertie. Her uncle makes her a custom suit, just like his, and cuts her hair short. He helps her embrace her individuality. One night Max hooks up with a woman at a party who is a professional baseball player. Esther helps Max get a shot pitching in a live game that causes her to be signed to the same team.
Her character is last seen on her first road trip in Minnesota. Before that, Bertie offers her advice on safe places to be herself.