Lavonne “Pepper” Paire-Davis, the inspiration for Geena Davis’ character Dottie Henson in A League of Their Own, died at the age of 88 of natural causes in Los Angeles on Saturday, reports the Houston Chronicle.
A catcher and shortstop for the All American Girls Professional Baseball League, which was formed in 1943, Paire-Davis’ career was the impetus for the beloved 1992 Penny Marshall film A League of Their Own that starred Davis, Rosie O’Donnell, Lori Petty, Tom Hanks and Madonna.
Paire-Davis joined the league in 1944 and played for 10 seasons on the teams The Racine Belles, the Grand Rapids Chicks and the Fort Wayne Daisies, according to the Chronicle. The women played over 120 games in four months during baseball season.
"We played every night of the week, doubleheaders on Sundays and holidays,” Paire-Davis said in an AP interview in 1995.
In 2009 Paire-Davis authored a book about her time in the league entitled Dirt in the Skirt.
She co-authored the battle cry song “Victory Song” that the players sing in the film, according to the league’s official website.
Watch the song in the movie.