As the few international players on the field, Lupe García (Roberta Colindrez), Jess McCready (Kelly McCormack) and Esti González (Priscilla Delgado) form a friendship that shares its ups and downs in Amazon Prime Video’s “A League of Their Own.”
After women from all over the United States (and even outside of it) flock to the All American Girls Professional Baseball League tryouts, the show zooms in on the players who become The Rockford Peaches. Roberta Colindrez portrays pitcher Lupe García, who comes to the league from Mexico, though the public relations men try to sell her as Spanish to make her foreign status more digestible. She has her fair share of highs and lows in the series: bonding with Coach Dove Porter (Nick Offerman), sitting on the bench due to an arm injury and more.
“[Lupe]’s got so many things that she is fighting in her personal life and her need to be on this team and in this league,” Colindrez said. “Everyone that was playing, especially at the time, they had to sacrifice so much, they had to literally just give up so much in their lives to be there, and for Lupe she is thrilled to give up some of that stuff and she wants desperately to get away from those things.”
Esti González, a young Cuban player who barely speaks English, celebrates when she discovers Lupe can speak Spanish. She tries to get close to Lupe, but the pitcher starts to shut Esti out after she gets a little too close for comfort.
“There’s something in [Lupe’s] past that she can’t get away from, and I think that meeting Esti, it really complicates her relationship to her past and the narrative that she kind of wants to tell or, you know, the the way that she wants to feel about who she is,” Colindrez continued. “Having that kind of reveal I think that it will cause audiences — especially people that don’t really understand why the Lupe is the way she is, I think that they’ll be like, ‘ah’ [in recognition.]”
Lupe first helps Esti with translating English to Spanish, but after the younger player asks about a letter that Lupe is writing to someone named Alma, Lupe tells her to mind her own business and doesn’t talk with her as much. When Esti misses out on a movie outing to see “The Wizard of Oz” because she can’t understand English, she gets mad at Lupe and tries to tell her teammates in English that she wanted to go.
“[Esti] was alone, and the only person that could help her — [Lupe] — made [Esti] feel guilty of [Lupe’s] past and [her] problems,” Delgado said. “I think that’s a very beautiful scene. Many immigrants also could feel very identified [with] the effort to fit in, to be considered and to go to the movies.”
Jess McCready (Kelly McCormack) befriends both women and supports them in their struggles, even when she doesn’t fully comprehend them. Lupe has to explain to Jess the issue when she gets blamed for starting a fight with Carson Shaw (Abbi Jacobson) versus Carson, who is white, receiving a lighter punishment.
“It’s not in the show, but Abbi and I talked a lot about Jess having like 10 brothers or something land coming from — [she’s] like a farm boy up in like Canada. Jess is also a foreigner, but she speaks the language so obviously [it’s] much easier for [her],” McCormack said. “Jess sees Esti as her little sister or like someone she can take under her wing and I love sibling dynamics, I love those dynamics on camera.”
Jess also patches things up between Lupe and Esti in the subtlest of ways toward the end of the season. She and Lupe go looking for Esti after she has disappeared following the missed movie, and they find her, but she wants to drive the car home and they get in a wreck with a flat tire. Jess pretends to go get a tool to fix the car to let the two hash out their conflict. Lupe then reveals to Esti that she had a daughter when she was Esti’s age. While Jess can’t directly relate to Lupe and Esti in terms of ethnicity, she still has outsider status.
“What I love about Jess is that, because she doesn’t talk that much, she notices a lot. So she notices Esti’s heartache and her pain,” McCormack continued. “Although Jess can’t understand what they’re saying to each other, it’s like she can understand what they’re saying to each other.”
“A League of Their Own” is now streaming on Amazon Prime Video.