The All American Girls Professional Baseball League (AAGPBL) was founded in 1943 by several Major League Baseball team owners to help keep their sport in the spotlight while World War II robbed their benches of able bodied men. Active until 1954, the league and the game itself underwent several changes — it changed ownership several times, and the rules of the game itself morphed from its softball like beginnings (larger ball and a smaller playing field) to something closer to “actual” baseball by the league’s end.

In anticpation for this weekend’s screenings of A League of Their Own, Penny Marshall’s fictionalized look at the first season of the AAGPBL (terrible name for a league, good grief), we’ve cobbled together some great photographs taken while the league was in play.