Entertainment

Netflix’s Latest Documentary About A Lesbian Couple Is A Reminder That Latinas Also Inspired ‘A League Of Their Own’

If you’ve yet to tune into Netflix’s recently released documentary “A Secret Love,” you must check it out. Apart from painting a very vibrant and beautiful love story that has stood the test of time, politics, and social taboos, it also has so much for supporters of the LGBTQ community to learn and absorb. Particularly when it comes to the storyline of the two stars and their connection to the 1992 film “A League Of Their Own.”

As it turns out, one of the stars of the film was a member of the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League, a women’s league founded in 1943 that had all-female players. In the film, Terry Donahue, who was a catcher for the Peoria Red Wings from 1946 until 1949 and is not Latina, explains that during the time of the league’s run, women were recruited from the midwest of the United States, Canada, and even Cuba. This revelation led us to a pretty cool realization about the history of the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League, which was left out of the film “A League Of Their Own.”

Cubana baseball players were left out of the 1992 film which starred Geena Davis, Madonna, and Rosie O’Donnell.

Among the seven women born in Cuba who joined and played for the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League were players Zonia Vialat, Luisa Gallegos, Mirtha Marrero, Migdalia Pérez and Gloria Ruiz. All seven women joined the league in 1948. The next year two more Latinas by the names were added, Isabel Alvarez and Isora del Castillo.

In 2011, the AAGPBL teammates from Cuba were honored at a ceremony in New York City where they had their names and photos presented. One of the baseball players involved in the league, Izabel Alvarez even had a documentary created about her experience in the film “Cuba on My Mind: The Baseball Journey of Isabel Alvarez.” Alvarez in particular has been very vocal about her time in the league as a Cuban female baseball player.

According to Grand Valley State Oral history project, “Isabel Alvarez was born in Havana, Cuba in 1933. She grew up in Havana and played baseball with the neighborhood kids and was also involved with other sports. In 1947, she pitched her first exhibition game in American baseball and was picked by the All American League and sponsored to come to the United States with three other Cubans to play baseball in 1949. She played pitcher for the Chicago Colleens from 1949 through the 1950 season. When the Chicago Colleens folded, she went on to play for the Fort Wayne Daisies during the 1951 and 1954 seasons. Upon getting her citizenship in 1953 she stayed in the United States permanently. During her six-year baseball career she also played utility outfielder and also played briefly with the Battle Creek Belles (1951); Kalamazoo Lassies (1953); and the Grand Rapids Chicks (1954).”

Speaking about what sparked her interest in baseball, Alvarez chalked it up to her own mother.

“I think very—my mother was all sport orientated and she knew it was healthy, so baseball they played in the street you know and she let me do the sports, but she didn’t let me do any other things,” says in the video interview. Alvarez who lives in the United States went on to say that she remains very fond of her time in the league, particularly of the Cuban women who joined her. ” If I never would have met those people I would be back in Cuba yet. My mother would cry then, but I’m so thankful, you just can’t imagine how lucky I’ve been. I think I have been, of all the Cubans and I’m not bragging, I have been the lucky one.”

You can check out her full interview about her time in the league here.

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The Climbing Cholitas Of Bolivia Scale Mountains In Skirts And Snow

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The Climbing Cholitas Of Bolivia Scale Mountains In Skirts And Snow

Great Big Story/ Youtube

In the capital city of La Paz, Bolivia 11 Indigenous women have set out to climb higher than the sexist expectations of their world. The women come from an Indigenous group known for their bowler hats and brightly ornate clothing. They call themselves the Cholita Climbers and they’re willing to go to great heights to reach their dreams.

Up until recently, the Bolivian Aymara women worked as cooks and caretakers for wealthy families, men, and mountaineers from across the globe.

According to the Guardian, the women worked on high-altitude camps for years helping crews setting out to reach the highest peaks of the Andes. One day, the women decided to strap on crampons (shoes that are necessary for traveling on glaciers, snow slopes, and frozen waterfalls) and scale the mountains on their own.

While “Chola” is often interpreted as a derogatory term for indigenous women in certain Spanish-speaking countries, the Climbing Cholitas have taken back the word and found power in it. As a group (whose members range from 24 to 52 years old), the women weather the dangers of icy mountain terrains while holding on to ice axes and wearing their traditional dresses.

In some incredible pictures taken of the woman, they can be seen wearing colorful dresses called polleras.

The women have set out to climb the highest peaks in South America, including Aconcagua. For the time being, they’re setting their sights on scaling eight mountains higher than 19,700 ft.

Speaking about their experiences Dora Magueño, a 50-year-old member of the group, told the Guardian that she cried when she first climbed Huyana Potsí. “I’m strong, I’m going to continue and get to the top of eight mountains.”

Ultimately, the group wants to steak a Bolivian flag on the summit of Aconcagua. The mountain is located in the Argentinian Andes near the border with Chile.

Check out a video of the women below!

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Vanessa Bryant Penned A Heartbreaking Message To Kobe On What Would Have Been His 42nd Birthday

Entertainment

Vanessa Bryant Penned A Heartbreaking Message To Kobe On What Would Have Been His 42nd Birthday

Tommaso Boddi / Stringer

Over seven months have passed since basketball great Kobe Bryant lost his life alongside his daughter Gigi and seven others in a helicopter crash in Calabasas, California. In the months since his death fans have paid tribute to the former shooting guard who left behind three other daughters and his wife Vanessa and watched as his family has slowly attempted to pick up the pieces of their lives without them. Since then, they’ve celebrated holidays and their own birthdays.

For the first time, over the weekend, the Bryants celebrated Kobe’s birthday.

On Sunday, Vanessa Bryant shared a heart-wrenching message to her late husband and daughter on what would have been Kobe’s 42nd birthday.

“To my baby~ Happy birthday. I love you and miss you more than I can ever explain. I wish you and Gigi were here to celebrate YOU! I wish I could make you your fav food or a birthday cake with my Gigi. I miss your big hugs, your kisses, your smile, your loud ass deep laugh,” she wrote in a post on Instagram.”I miss teasing you, making you laugh and bursting your bubble. I miss you sitting on my lap like my big baby that you are. I think about your tenderness and patience all the time. I think about everything you would do in situations to help me deal with everything thrown my way.”

Bryant went on to open up about her struggles to move on since her husband and daughter’s deaths which occurred this past year on January 26.

“Our lives feel so empty without you and Gigi. I’ve been completely broken inside. As much as I want to cry, I put a smile on my face to make our daughters days shine a little brighter. I’m not the strong one, they are. They’re strong and resilient. I’m sure you’re proud of them. They put a smile on my face everyday,” Vanessa wrote.”I wish I could wake up from this horrible nightmare. I wish I could surprise our girls and welcome you and Gigi home to us. I’m mad I didn’t go first. I always wanted to go first so that I selfishly didn’t have to feel this heartache. You were supposed to miss me. Gigi was supposed to be here with her sisters. It should’ve been me.”

Vanessa ended her post by thanking her late husband for showing her true love and for loving her “enough to last several lifetimes.”

“I know my Gigi is celebrating you like she always has on our special days. I miss my thoughtful princess so much! Natalia, Gianna, Bianka, Capri and I wish you a happy birthday my love. I love you for now, forever and for always,” Bryant finished the post.

Fans of the Bryants were quick to commemorate him all throughout Sunday.

To celebrate Kobe, the Lakers celebrated Kobe’s birthday by sharing a reel of his game highlights. Nike also took part by debuting a commercial titled “Better | Mamba Forever.” The ad was narrated by rapper Kendrick Lamar and was launched for what the shoe company is calling “Mamba Week.”

“Kobe taught us to be better,” Lamar recalled in the ad which features video and audio of Kobe, scenes from the Black Lives Matter protests, and clips of Nike-sponsored athletes and fans he inspired with his talent.

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