Baseball player Maybelle Blair lived in the closet for the vast majority of her 95 years of life. But now, the nonagenarian is revealing her true self to the world.
Blair, who served as the inspiration for the iconic 1992 sports-comedy “A League of Their Own,” publicly came out as gay this week at the 2022 Tribeca Festival. She was promoting the Amazon series, “A League of Their Own,” which is based off the movie.
“I think it’s a great opportunity for these young girl ballplayers to realize that they’re not alone, and you don’t have to hide,” Blair told an adoring crowd. “I hid for 75, 85 years. This is actually, basically, the first time I’ve ever come out.”
Blair, an original player in the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League, consulted on the Amazon project — supplying first-hand insight into the AAGBPL. The league was started when the U.S. entered World War 2 and many MLB stars were drafted to serve overseas. It lasted from 1943-52.
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 and acceptance on and off the field. pic.twitter.com/BEaCisO2RH— A League of Their Own (@LeagueOnPrime) June 14, 2022
Blair played in the AAGBPL for the 1948 season before moving to a professional softball league. She said her experiences playing baseball and softball showed her she wasn’t the only gay person in the world.
“Girls, there is a life for you, and follow it,” she said, per Adweek’s Mollie Cahillane. “I got into a lot of trouble with some of those ball players.”
Decades later, Blair is now free to tell some of those stories. It’s never too late to come out.
That’s a pretty good Pride Month message.