ICON | Penny Marshall


Photo of by LIFE, 1982

"I grew up in the Bronx as the quintessential tomboy and was always running off into the street to play ball with the neighborhood boys while the other girls stayed on the sidewalk and jumped rope. When I was in the first and second grades, the boys and I played punchball, a game similar to baseball but without a pitcher. Each batter would toss the ball up into the air, punch it as far as he could with his curled-up fist, and then run the bases. Most of the girls I knew wouldn't even try to punch the ball because they saw no reason to. One day I hit the ball the length of the city sewer. For a boy or girl, that was considered pretty far. So from then on, whenever boys were short a player, they'd pick me to be on their team because I was athletic. I was a sewer hitter. I was in heaven." —Penny Marshall

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