LOWELL, Massachusetts (WCBV) – When Karen Reeney started her job at D’Youville Life & Wellness Community in Lowell last year, the first resident she met was Marie Mansfield.
“The director introduced us and we were having conversation and she said, ‘Oh, Marie was a baseball player back in the day.’ And I said, ‘Like ‘A League of Their Own’ baseball player?’”
A little background on Karen – “A League of Their Own” is her favorite movie. She says she’s watched the 1992 classic no less than 100 times.
So it was a natural follow up question – but she didn’t expect the response.
“And she says, as a matter of fact, yes!” said Reeney.
Indeed, from 1950 to 1954, Marie “Boston” Mansfield played as pitcher for the Rockford Peaches – the very team that inspired the film.
“Yeah, that’s who I was, Marie Mansfield Kelley, Rockford Peaches,” said Mansfield.
“Right then, my thoughts went right back to my dad and the baseball he gave me,” said Reeney.
This story gets even more incredible. You see, years ago Karen’s father waited hours in line to get an autograph for his daughter from a player on her favorite team.
And wouldn’t you know, that player was Marie Mansfield.
“To me, that was a message from my dad that yeah you are in the right place so it was quite the emotional moment,” said Reeney.
At 88 years old, Marie’s memory is starting to fade, but her pitch is as strong as her legacy.
She’s been inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame and on Sunday she’ll throw the first pitch at Fenway Park.
And the bond she now shares with Karen is one that can only be explained as fate.
“To meet her and her be the first person I met walking in here,” said Reeney, “Baseballit was amazing, amazing.”