Lavonne “Pepper” Paire-Davis, a star of the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League of the 1940s and early 1950s passed away this past weekend.
You may not know the name, but you probably know her because of the movie A League of Their Own. The role Geena Davis played in that movie was based on Pepper.
She was a huge sports fan and ensured her son was as well. She was also an ambassador of the great game of baseball and an inspiration to women athletes around the world.
“She taught me how to switch hit when I was 3 years old,” said Davis, one of two sons, a daughter, four grandkids and an older brother who survived Paire-Davis. “She touched a lot of people around the world with her baseball exploits. She was a great ambassador for the game.”
The story of the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League needs to be remembered along with all the other stories of what women were doing to help this country during World War II. Whether it was building bombs in factories or playing baseball, the country survived those trying times because of the men fighting overseas but also because of everyone here at home doing everything they could. There’s a reason that generation is called the Greatest Generation.