This is not your parent’s A League of Their Own, and the new series is all the better for it.
This recap of the Amazon original series A League of Their Own (2022) season 1, episode 5, “Back Footed,” contains spoilers.
A League of Their Own season 1, episode 5 recap
Max and Carson come together to help with each other’s game. Also, their fears go far beyond baseball. Max is a perfectionist and asks for Carson to bat while she pitches. The Rockford Peach fouls a couple off but comments she has never seen a woman pitch the ball that fast. Max, however, is frustrated. She wanted to pitch in the Negro Leagues against the men, and how could she let a girl connect on her pitches? Max leaves, frustrated, but Carson finds the bag she left behind.
She returns it to work the next day, also with a pie. She agrees to meet her the next night, offering her money not to tell anyone about her and Greta. (This is a time in America where you could go to jail or worse for being a homosexual). Max tells her to keep her money. She just needed to know if she was good enough, and she got her answer. However, their talks and “having” catches continue for days as they discover the joy of baseball again. They even relate on another level, as Carson tells her how she loves Charlie, but also (and she says this aloud) she thinks she loves Greta.
Max leaves her parent’s house and lives with her best friend Clance, who is now alone since her husband was drafted into the Army. She asks Max to sleep in the same bed because Charlie is gone, and she misses that presence. She even tells Max that she must be the big spoon. In fact, later, Clance pulls a John Candy, with Max being Steve Martin (“Those aren’t pillows!”) because Max wanted to know why she was touching her butt when she woke up that morning. Well, you see, she would fall asleep clutching Guy’s. Later in the episode, Clance draws a comic for Guy and gets a letter from him. The only problem is that the Army redacted 95% of the letter.
Max visits her Aunt Bertie, and when she arrives, she is greeted by a woman. But this is not Bertie. It’s her significant other, but a person who walks down with short hair, wearing pants and suspenders. They comment now how they have not seen Maxine since she was a little girl. Max is taken back and asks if they are her Aunt Bertie. “Well, I am Bertie; everything else you said is up in the air. (In 1952, the first transgender person in the United States was reportedly Christine Jorgensen, a former United States soldier who traveled to Denmark for sexual reassignment surgery. It is unclear if Bertie is transitioning and what pronouns she is using.)
Dove is not coming back, so they make Carson manager. However, she cannot win the team over. The main obstacle is Lupe, who doesn’t like Carson and feels she drove Dove away. Lupe refuses to enter the game, and the team loses badly. This leads to the famous line, “There is no crying in baseball,” spoken by Tom Hanks in the original. This happens when Carson starts to tear it up when the girls no longer listen to her. Later, Carson catches Lupe practicing pitching and cannot throw the forkball Dove taught her. Carson tells her to forget that pitch. It made Dove famous, and Lupe she pitched her way, not his. Most importantly, she apologizes to the team and earns their respect.
Finally, the episode ends with Greta coming to terms with her past and letting Carson in. It was an ex-girlfriend. They were careful and fell in love, leading to them not being so careful anymore. That is when her lover’s parents caught her. Greta walked away unscathed, but her girlfriend was “put away” (most like committed to a psychiatric facility, a horrifying practice at the time). However, she is scared by this emotionally, and it is difficult for her to maintain her same-sex relationships.
Max revisits Bertie after leaving them high and dry after the initial shock. Bertie gives max a haircut and comments that Max is coming looking for a piece of home.
What did you think of the Amazon original series A League of Their Own (2022) season 1, episode 5? Comment below.