If the world isn’t going to take you seriously or give you a chance, sometimes you just have to carve out your own destiny. In the third episode of A League of Their Own, Max and the Rockford Peaches do just that. Unfortunately, they also discover that doing some comes with consequences.
Going Their Own Way
Carson Shaw and the rest of the Peaches have grown increasingly frustrated with their coach, Dove. He isn’t taking them seriously, and they aren’t practicing enough. They recognize they’ll never win a game if things continue. So they take matters into their own hands, sneaking out nightly to practice. (Well, most of them do.)
Their efforts begin to pay off, as they grow enough to win their first game. However, this also alienates the one member of the team left out, Lupe (Roberta Colindrez). Although, given the way she keeps pushing through her arm injury (assisted by Dove), it’s probably for the best that she doesn’t strain it more in practice. If she doesn’t give her arm a break soon, she’s going to blow it out and end her career. A message neither she nor Dove are willing to hear right now. (Though, thanks to Carson, Dove might be listening a little more than he was.)
Her looming injury might eventually leave an opening for Max on the team, but we’re not there yet. She’s still trying to get on any team. As a Black woman, she isn’t welcome either on the White women’s team or the Black men’s team. The girl just can’t seem to catch a break.
So she makes one. She tries to pass herself off as a boy to get a job at the factory. When she’s found out, she talks her way into staying. Her job means she fits one of the major prerequisites to helping out at baseball practice. But it also means she’s burning the candle at both ends, working days with her mom and nights at the factory. And that’s not sustainable forever. At some point, something’s got to give.
Unfortunately, coming clean to her mom and forging her own path isn’t easy. As she quickly discovers. And the sad truth is, sometimes forging your own path hurts the ones you love the most.
I wanted to cheer at the tenacity and determination shown by Peaches and Max this episode. (And I can’t wait until the Peaches include Max). But the episode also broke my heart, as taking steps to achieve their dreams came with so much damage to those around them.
Even among the Peaches. Lupe isn’t doing her arm any favors, pushing it when she’s injured. And she may not be willing to hear that – she wants to make Dove proud. But everyone else (with the exception of Dove) can see what’s happening. If she doesn’t take a break soon, she’s going to lose out on her dream before she even has a chance to attain it.
Max hit her own crossroad this episode, and whichever way she goes, someone’s going to be hurt. Particularly after her mom very publicly embraces her at the salon. If she tells her mom the truth – that she wants to keep working at the factory to have a chance to pitch baseball – it’s going to hurt her. As indeed it does. But if she gives up on even the chance of achieving her dreams, she hurts herself.
There’s also a lot of pain to spare in terms of romance. Both Carson and Max are going through it this episode, so it’s no wonder they lash out. In the most hurtful way possible, attacking their lovers (or crushes) for the very feelings they share. Carson’s accusation that she’s “normal” (and Greta isn’t) are particularly painful, and it’s hard to blame Greta for going out of her way to make Carson jealous in return.
As for Max, she can lash out at Mrs. Turner for her double life, but she knows full well why she’s living it. It’s something Max herself is inching ever closer to, flirting with a man she’s not interested in to further her own interests. Including her affair with the pastor’s wife.
Ultimately, Greta forgives Carson, and the two sneak off somewhere for a long-overdue makeout. As for whether Max will be as lucky remains to be seen.
A League of Their Own is streaming now on Amazon Prime Video.