February 4, 2013
Lavonne 'Pepper' Paire-Davis dies at age 88
The inspiration for the '92 comedy-drama A League of Their Own
By QMI Agency

A screen shot from A League of Their Own shows Gena Davis portraying Lavonne "Pepper" Paire-Davis in the 1992 hit film.

Lavonne "Pepper" Paire-Davis, the inspiration behind the film A League of Their Own, died of natural causes on Saturday in Los Angeles, California, at age 88.

The most well-known star of the short-lived All-American Girls Professional Baseball League, Paire-Davis starred in the league throughout the 1940s before her career ended in 1953.

She was portrayed by Geena Davis in the award-winning 1992 comedy-drama, which received a pair of Golden Globe nominations.

"I know what it's like for your dream to come true, mine did," Paire-Davis told the Associated Press shortly after the film was produced. "Baseball was the thing I had the most fun doing. It was like breathing."

A statue of Paire-Davis is on display at the Baseball Hall of Fame, paying tribute to the league that Cubs owner Philip Wrigley created out of fear Major League Baseball would skid to a halt during World War II.

"Don't get me wrong, I was glad to be playing softball," Paire-Davis told AP in 1995. "But I'd rather have played competitive baseball."

During her decade-long career, Paire Davis, a catcher and an infielder throughout her career, played for the Minneapolis Millerettes, Fort Wayne Daisies, Racine Belles and the Grand Rapids Chicks.