Maybelle Blair, the inspiration for the forthcoming series A League of Their Own, has come out as gay at the age of 95.
The new Amazon reboot of the 1992 sports comedy film stars co-creator Abbi Jacobson as Carson Shaw, a professional baseball player hopeful, and follows her journey to join the first women’s baseball league in the US during the 1940s.
Earlier this week, during the show’s premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival in New York City, Blair joined a few cast members for a panel to promote the series.
The spinoff includes queer storylines as a truthful acknowledgement to the sexualities of the real-life players, including Blair, which the original film failed to do.
During the panel Blair – who was born in 1927 – praised the show’s representation, saying: “I think it’s a great opportunity for these young girl ball players to come realise that they’re not alone, and you don’t have to hide.”
“I hid for 75, 85 years, and this is actually basically the first time I’ve ever come out,” she added, followed by uproarious applause from the room.
A caption on an Instagram video of the moment, posted by the show’s official feed, reads: “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, acceptance, and education on and off the field.”
A League of Their Own is scheduled to release on Amazon Prime Video on 12 August.
The Independent is the official publishing partner of Pride in London 2022