Filed By Gloria Brame, Ph.D. | August 31, 2011 2:00 PM | comments
Filed in: Entertainment
Tags: baseball team in drag, California Cuties, drag, female impersonation, softball league memorabilia, vintage cross-dressing
I'm assuming this was for a gag though some of the guys look way more comfortable than others, don't you think? Love it!
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It's not often in pictures from this era that you see Blacks and whites together, so I really like this one!
Gotta say, a couple of these cuties were pretty good with the lipstick, and "Marilyn" on the far right has some nice shoes!
On a hunch, I googled the California Cuties and found a 1992 mention of them in the Baltimore Sun:
There may be more to this than is apparent on the surface!
Wow, I really got into this! I tracked down the obituary of the man who started the Cuties in 1947 and managed them until 2001. Here is the notice I found in a fast pitch softball BB. They were apparently tremendous athletes:
Passing of "Trino" Palacios (A note from David Blackburn)
I am saddened to report to the fastpitch world, of the sudden passing on Tuesday Feb 3 (2004) of Trinidad “Trino” Palacios,
at his residence in Long Beach, CA. He was 84 years old.
Palacios was the founder, general manager. schedule booker, and as the character “Madame Hilda”, played the starring Comedy role of the barnstorming, novelty fastpitch softball team known as the California Cuties.
For 55 consecutive summers, his team of Men Fastpitch Players dressed in comedic women’s outfits, entertained millions of fastpitch fans, while raising loads of money for local charities and softball related community promotions throughout North America.
Originating in 1947 as a way to entertain soldiers on military bases during post WW II years, and ending in the summer of 2001, the California Cuties became one of the longest running continuous acts in the history of show business.
Their 100 day annual tour from Memorial Weekend to Labor Day weekend would typically have a 100+ game fastpitch schedule, with a majority of their games played in Canada, where the California Cuties were quite popular.
For the first 35 years of existence, the Cuties played games of 9 players vs 9 players, with 2 innings of serious softball and 5 innings of comedy. In 1981, the game format changed
for the last 20 years of the Cuties existence. That was when Palacios decided to emulate the 4 players Vs 9 players Game popularized by Eddie Feigner of “The King and His Court”.
They also changed format to 5 innings of serious softball, and two innings of Comedy. Change-up artist Ronny Rupp, well known in Southern California fastpitch circles, pitched
nearly 2,000 games for the Cuties, during their 4-player era. As the characters of “Fifi The Flirt”, and later as “Zsa Zsa Galore”, Rupp’s outlandish Crow Hop and vicious change-up allowed the Cuties to actually win 90% of their games, with only a catcher, first baseman, and shortstop, against other 9 man teams. No word on Funeral Arrangements as of yet.
Anyone wishing to share their California Cuties Softball Memories or stories with Trino Palacios family, you can send emails to : email@example.com
Streaming and Broadcasting
Long Beach Press Telegram Article on Trino Palacios