Though Geena Davis can't quite believe it's been three decades since she starred in the hit 1992 film A League of Their Own, the actress embraces and regularly celebrates its legacy with fans and her costars.
"It's weird because it certainly doesn't feel like it was 30 years ago," Davis, 66, told PEOPLE recently at a Cinespia screening for the film's 30th anniversary. "Last year was the 30th anniversary of Thelma and Louise, which was also like, 'What? How did it get to be this [long ago]?' So much time has passed, but A League of Their Own has been very important in my life."
Davis played catcher Dottie Hinson in the beloved film opposite Tom Hanks' cranky coach Jimmy Dugan, plus Madonna, Rosie O'Donnell, Lori Petty and many others. She says she's kept in touch with the majority of her cast mates over the years.
"The girls and I are all still in contact and we still remain a team," Davis said. "Anne Ramsey is a very close friend of mine, she played first basewoman Helen Haley."
Directed by the late Penny Marshall, A League of Their Own was inspired by the real women of the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League, which was formed in the '40s out of the void left by male players going off to fight in World War II.
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Davis said in addition to making lifelong friends during filming, she also learned how to play baseball for the role.
"I'd never played baseball. I didn't know how to play at all," she said. "I also didn't know if I was athletic or not because I was always the tallest kid in class and I didn't want to try anything, and they always were trying to get me to be on the girls' basketball team. And I was like, 'I don't know how to play.' 'Who cares? You're so tall. You just stand there.' But I had to learn to play for this part. And it turned out that I actually had some kind of untapped athletic ability."
The Oscar winner reminisces about the film and other important moments in her life and career in her upcoming memoir Dying of Politeness.
"I've kept notes for many, many years of things that have happened in my life — not as a diary, but actually as, maybe if I write a book, I want to remember this," she says of how the memoir came together. "And so I had those notes and I just started to feel like I was ready. And so I did it."
The title is inspired by a childhood memory of riding in a car with her "unusual" parents, who she writes were too polite to say something to their erratic driver.
"I realized only later that, wow, we were going to die, but it was better to them to not say anything that might have sounded rude to the people who are also going to die," Davis recalls.
Davis' memoir Dying of Politeness is available Oct. 11 from HarperCollins.