Baseball takes center stage as the International Women’s Baseball Center moves to Rockford; annual Peach Orchard Classic plays Sept. 3-4
You know the phrase because Tom Hanks said it in the movie A League of Their Own – “There’s no crying in baseball.” But there are women in baseball and Rockford has been the epicenter of women in baseball since the beginning. Our very own Rockford Peaches, who inspired Hollywood and who continue to inspire us today, helped define and broadcast women’s baseball to the world.
And now, thanks to a local movement spearheaded by the Friends of Beyer Stadium, Rockford will hit another grand slam with the International Women’s Baseball Center moving from its current home in California to the Forest City. In a joint effort between the IWBC, the City of Rockford, Winnebago County, Rockford Park District and the Friends of Beyer Stadium, the international headquarters will be dedicated during a ceremony on Saturday, September 3 at 6 p.m. The center will be located directly across the street from Beyer Stadium (the original home of the Peaches, members of the All American Girls Professional Baseball League).
Those attending the ceremony will also get to see an original 1947 Greyhound Bus that the Peaches traveled in, enjoy a reception with former and current women’s baseball players, see the two buildings that will house the new center, and meet Tracy Reiner who portrayed “Betty Spaghetti” in the movie A League of their Own.
In addition to the new IWBC coming to Rockford, if you haven’t had the chance to stop by Beyer Stadium in a while, then you definitely should. The stadium is looking fantastic with new historical signage and upgrades to the fencing and dugouts.
And, the best part, you can take in some baseball action throughout the weekend as well. The 2016 Peach Orchard Classic tournament will be taking place at Beyer Stadium and Marinelli Field. Here is the games schedule:
SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 3
9 a.m. - Great Lakes Lightning vs Rockford Starfires
12 p.m.- Rockford Starfires vs Chicago Pioneers
3 p.m.- DC Thunder vs Chicago Gems
9 a.m.- Windy City Huskies vs DC Thunder
12 a.m.- Chicago Gems vs Windy City Huskies
3 p.m.- Chicago Pioneers vs Great Lakes Lightning
SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 4
9 a.m.-Rockford Starfires vs Windy City Huskies
12:00- Chicago Gems vs Chicago Pioneers
3pm- a Windy City Huskies vs Great Lakes Lightning
9am- Great Lakes Lightning vs Chicago Gems
12:00- Rockford Starfires vs DC Thunder
3pm- DC Thunder vs Chicago Pioneers