Goodbye, Pepper Paire DavisErin Mallory Long

Dear Pepper,

I think I can say Pepper, right? I’ve always been jealous of people who had cool nicknames (usually related to sports) so I’d love the opportunity to use one as cool as Pepper.

Admittedly, I never knew your name until I heard you were gone. I knew how you spent 9 years of your life, in theory. I knew the story of your life is what A League of Their Own was based on. I know that you must have had a lot of struggles and I know that even if you didn’t know it at the time, you were changing the way we could all live. As women.

RacineBellesChampionship1946

Since we just lost you at age 88, I went back and can’t stop reading about you. You were working and going to UCLA part-time and quit, at 19, to join The All American Girls Professional Baseball League. Because that’s what you loved. And that’s what you were passionate about. I’m almost a decade older than you were when you made that decision and I sort of feel like I’m getting towards my passions.

You wrote The All-American League song, for crying out loud. You have an awesome baseball card.

pepper paire davis

You got to see a movie about this hugely important part of your life get made. And you were a consultant. You spent two months on set. You seem pretty okay with the dramatizations necessary to turn a life story into a movie.

You wrote a book, too! “Dirt in the Skirt” came out in 2009 and I’m sorry I never read it. I’m going to now though, I promise. You were a fascinating woman and person and role model.

You know, I think my grandmother always hoped I’d be a little more athletic. She likes sports, wanted to be a gym teacher (did teach, but not gym), that kind of stuff. When I was a kid, she always talked to me about standing up for yourself as a woman. I remember being really excited to play No Doubt’s “Just a Girl” for her because, I got it! You know? I understood the song and I got why she’d like it.

You’re an inspiration for us all. And now I’m going to learn everything about you. It’s never too late to be inspired.

 

Love,

Erin

(Images via Pepper’s website)

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