LOVES PARK — Megan Cavanagh’s life hasn’t been the same since she graced the silver screen as wide-eyed, broad-shouldered tomboy Marla Hooch in 1992 blockbuster “A League of Their Own,” the film that immortalized the Rockford Peaches.
“I’ll be walking around and people will say ‘Hey, Marla!’ and I know they’re talking to me,” Cavanagh told dozens of people during a presentation at the Lifescape Community Services Senior Expo.
Cavanagh was a special guest at the 54th annual event that connects senior citizens with local health care providers. Last year Lifescape — a Rockford-based agency serving older adults, their families and caregivers in Winnebago, Boone, Whiteside, Carroll, Lee and Ogle counties — announced each expo would have a theme.
This year’s theme, despite taking place on an indoor grass field primarily used for soccer, focused on World War II-era women’s baseball. The Rockford Peaches played ball from 1943 to 1954, the duration of the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League.
“We want to celebrate them as much as we celebrate my daughter playing soccer,” said Mike Hughes, Lifescape executive director.
In addition to hearing about women’s baseball, the expo gave thousands of elderly residents a chance to connect with 100 dental, mobility, pharmaceutical, leisure and retirement vendors. Screenings for glucose, high cholesterol, osteoporosis and flu and pneumonia shots were available.
Cavanagh, who is originally from Chicago, signed autographs and took photos with residents, occasionally making Marla Hooch’s signature scowl and slouching posture.
This summer marked the 25th anniversary of the release of “A League of Their Own.”
“It is such an honor to have been part of this movie and to represent these women who really played the game,” Cavanagh told the Register Star between autographs. “This movie has, in some ways, put Rockford on the map….