Faye Dancer, who Madonna patterned her role in the 1992 film "A League of Their Own" died May 22 after undergoing surgery for cancer at UCLA Medical Center. She was 77.

Dancer, who was known as "All the Way Faye" during her days in the All American Girls Professional Baseball League, was considered one of the greats of the league.

Between 1944 and 1950, Dancer played center field and occasionally pitched for the Minneapolis Millerettes, the Fort Wayne Daisies and the Peoria Redwings. She was known for her hitting and base stealing, and led the league in stolen bases and home runs at various times during her career.

Dancer, the daughter of a Department of Water and Power inspector, was born in Santa Monica in 1925 and grew up in West Los Angeles. She learned the sport in grade school, but threw the ball so hard, she mostly played baseball with boys. She was considered a fierce competitor and worked hard to improve her game. In 1944, the 18-year-old Dancer was among six California players chosen for the AAGBL, where she earned a beginning salary of $75 a week, plus $2.50 a day for meals.

After leaving the league when it closed in 1954, she returned to her off-season job as an electronics technician for Hughes Aircraft. She then worked for 35 years as an electronics technician for a power generator manufacturing company in Santa Monica, where she lived. In 2000, not long after being laid off from her job, she was diagnosed with breast cancer.

She is survived by her brother, Richard Dancer, of Westchester, California. A graveside service will be held at 11 a.m. Tuesday, June 4, at Woodlawn Cemetery, 1847 14th St., Santa Monica. A memorial reception will be held following the service at St. Bedes Church, 3590 Grandview Blvd., Santa Monica, CA.

In addition, anyone wishing to help remodel the Van Nuys home of another AAGBL player and friend of Dancer -- Pepper Davis -- should contact Tami Brown (916/920-2588). The remodeling is scheduled for July 26, 27, and 28.

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