MINNEAPOLIS - Long lines didn't bother baseball fan Michelle Margo.
She and so many others were anxious to meet the women who inspired the 1992 film "A League of Their Own" starring Tom Hanks.
Some waited in line nearly an hour for Lou Erickson Sauer's autograph. The 85-year-old signed baseballs, jerseys and trading cards depicting a picture of her from 1948. Back then, she was 19.
Sauer and three other former players greeted fans on Saturday.
"I am the oldest one in this crew. They are kids!" Sauer told one fan. "I became a starting pitcher with the Rockford Peaches and we happened to win the championship in both years."
The All-American Girls' Professional Baseball League started in 1943. Most men who could play ball were fighting World War II. When they returned the women's league eventually ended. And so did some of their careers.
"After baseball I entered the convent, Sisters of St. Francis," Toni Palermo told fans waiting for autographs. "I've been there ever since. Celebrated 60 years this June. I'm a Catholic sister, yes a nun."
As part of Fan Fest, then former players participate in Q&A and autograph sessions daily.
Margo, who lives in the Twin Cities, asked each player their most memorable moment about playing in the league. That question took Sauer back to the 1950 season, when her team won 3-2.
"Pitching 16 innings in Fort Wayne, Ind. and winning," Sauer told Margo. "It was 90-degrees. The other gal, I felt sorry for her because she pitched the whole 17 innings too, and lost. "
"You ask a girl to do that today and they will cry," Margo replied.
For Palermo, it was the day she and her team played in Yankee Stadium.
Sauer, who once worked on her parents' farm, said playing with the boys as a child made her a fierce competitor.
"I had to play with the boys. I had no other choice. Either that or I wasn't going to play," she said. "It means a lot because I never had the chance in school to play any sport. There wasn't anything available for us. A chance to open the gates for these young people meant a lot and I am glad a lot of young people are taking advantage of them. "
Margo said the little time she spent with the women was the highlight of her day.
"It gave me the chills," she said. "This means so much to me. To have you all here and signing, more than the men's stuff. This was fantastic."