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‘A League of Their Own’ star Molly Ephraim steps up to the plate

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As a kid growing up outside Philadelphia, Molly Ephraim was a “Phillies girl.” Her dad watched the baseball team on TV, and her grandfather took her to their games, where she cheered for mullet-sporting first baseman John Kruk. 

“I had a big childhood crush on John Kruk,” Ephraim told The Post. “Not my type now, but I loved him.”

Still, despite her enthusiasm for her home team, Ephraim didn’t care much about the sport itself.

“I couldn’t tell you what was actually happening,” the 36-year-old actress admitted. “I was more keen on the hot dogs.”

So Ephraim really had to step up to the plate for her role in the upcoming Amazon series, “A League of Their Own,” a spinoff of the popular 1992 movie about a World War II-era women’s professional baseball league. Ephraim plays Maybelle Fox, a fiery, fun-loving blonde who plays centerfield for the fictional Rockford Peaches and is named after real-life legend Maybelle Blair.

Ephraim, a natural brunette, had the pleasure of getting to know the feisty Blair, who appears in the pilot. She asked the 95-year-old if she had any tips to help get her in the zone or any superstitions she had surrounding the game? 

Molly Ephraim
Tiered ruffle day dress, $330 at One33Social.com. Gold drop earrings, price upon request at JennyBird.com.
Joe Schmetzer for NY Post

Blair’s answer: “Hot dogs, hot dogs, hot dogs.” 

“I thought, ‘This girl knows how to live,” Ephraim said. “We should all be 95 years old and that sassy and just downing hot dogs. What an absolute dream.”

Maybelle’s not the star player, but Ephraim still had to learn to bat, catch, throw and run bases like a pro, attending four weeks of training camp with her cast-mates, including writer and star Abbi Jacobson, another Phillies gal. Ephraim focused on perfecting Maybelle’s batting style. 

“I was really practicing my swing, trying to make it really sassy, get a little wiggle in it,” she said.

Molly Ephraim A League of Their Own
Ephraim attended a four-week training camp to learn how to bat, catch, throw and run the bases like a pro.
Nicola Goode/Prime Video

But by the time she got to bat for the camera  — due to production delays — Ephraim was nearly eight months’ pregnant.

“I was humongous,” Ephraim said. “I think I did it three times, and I was like, ‘Oof, okay, and we’re done.’” Still, one of those takes was winning enough to make the second episode. “I was feeling very proud I got that in there.”

The actress is used to taking big swings. She moved to New York City from Bucks County, Penn., at 15 to make her Broadway debut. She put her acting career on hiatus to study religion at Princeton. And she filmed not one but two TV series — “League” and Peacock’s “Angelyne” — while pregnant with her first child,

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“The one difference with ‘Angelyne’ was that in one of the scenes I actually get to play a pregnant person,” she said. “I come from theater, and I like to act with my whole body … It was definitely a challenge to be like, ‘Oh, no, I can only be shot from here up, or I have to find an angle [where the bump doesn’t show].”

Ephraim was born in 1986 in Philly, hen moved to nearby Doylestown, Penn. Her parents ran a pet-supply store, and she and her brother kept an assortment of animals — birds, dogs, a snapping turtle, amphibious waterdogs — and went to 4-H shows. “Small town stuff,” she said. 

Ephraim (with husband Evan) was nearly eight months pregnant with daughter Zia while filming key batting scenes for the series.
Ephraim (with husband Evan) was nearly eight months pregnant with daughter Zia while filming key batting scenes for the series.
Instagram @mollyephraim

She got into acting through dance, eventually taking musical theater classes. For her 10th birthday, Ephraim asked her parents for an agent.

“They were like, ‘Oh no, this is bad, this is very bad,’” she recalled. “They were very supportive, but also that’s terrifying.”

Ephraim started doing community theater at the Bucks County Playhouse, playing Bielke, aka daughter No. 5, in “Fiddler on the Roof.” The actor who played Tevye, Eddie Mekka, actually had a small part in the original “A League of Their Own,” as Madonna’s swing-dance partner. “We were mucho impressed,” Ephraim said. “It was like, ‘Oh my God, this guy who plays our dad danced with Madonna!’”

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LoveShackFancy dress, $287.50 at ShopBop.com. Diamond tennis bracelet, $1,999.99 at Kay.com. Gold drop earrings, price upon request at JennyBird.com.

LoveShackFancy dress, $287.50 at ShopBop.com. Diamond tennis bracelet, $1,999.99 at Kay.com. Gold drop earrings, price upon request at JennyBird.com.

LoveShackFancy dress, $287.50 at ShopBop.com. Diamond tennis bracelet, $1,999.99 at Kay.com. Gold drop earrings, price upon request at JennyBird.com.

When she was 15, the actress and her mom temporarily moved into a relative’s spare Manhattan studio so Ephraim could make her Broadway debut as Little Red Riding Hood in a 2002 production of “Into the Woods.”

“It was very soon after September 11, and there was this sense of unease,” Ephraim said. “I remember getting on a subway car, and my mom was still on the platform, and we got separated. I had never been away [from home], I was in this city, and we didn’t have cell phones.” She was petrified. “But then she found me at the next station, and all was well.” 

Ephraiam stars along with D’Arcy Carden, Kate Berlant and Abbi Jacobson.
Ephraiam stars along with D’Arcy Carden, Kate Berlant and Abbi Jacobson.
Anne Marie Fox/Prime Video

It was: Two years later, she returned to the Great White Way in “Fiddler on the Roof,” even staying by herself for a couple nights in Manhattan. After getting a religion degree at Princeton, she landed on the Tim Allen sitcom “Last Man Standing” straight away.

Early in 2021, Ephraim and her now-husband, Evan, who works at a software company, decided to try to have a baby. “I think for a lot of people, the pandemic sort of altered the sort of timing of things and the trajectory of life events that they were thinking about doing,” she said. “And for us it was like, ‘OK, I’m ready to have a kid.’”

She had already shot the pilot for “A League of Their Own” and had a few months off before the series would resume filming in early May in Los Angeles: “I didn’t want to be too big [when filming], but I also wanted to be mostly past my first trimester in case I was sick.”

Molly Ephraim
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Joe Schmetzer for NY Post

Ephraim timed it perfectly, but then the production was moved back to late July in Pittsburgh, far from her home in LA. “Which is how I ended up with four bags in front of my stomach for most of the shooting!

“They just kept giving me more and more bags, and more and more jackets and sweaters and knitting supplies,” Ephraim recalled. It’s also why her character is so often seen in the dugout, cleaning her glove. “Luckily, they didn’t have to sort of adjust my placement on the team too much. And I had some amazing stunt and body doubles.”

Molly Ephraim
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Joe Schmetzer for NY Post

Despite all the time on the bench, she really felt like a player. “We did become sort of teammates on and off the show,” she said of her co-stars, adding that they took a river cruise and she attended a Pirates-Phillies game with Jacobson and fellow Philly-native cast-mate Melanie Field. “We creamed them,” Ephraim boasted. “We were this bawdy group of Philly girls up there just screaming and all these Pirates [fans] looking back at us angrily.”

In September, Ephraim — then about seven months pregnant — and Evan decided to tie the knot. Her co-stars threw her a surprise bridal shower before she went to her parents’ beach house for the ceremony. “We called the drive back to western Pennsylvania — dinner at a rest-stop Subway — our ‘honeymoon,’” she recalled. She continued filming in Pittsburgh until her doctor ordered her back to LA before the baby’s birth.

“I didn’t finish up all of the shooting that I had intended to, but I also was like, ‘We got to go! I don’t want to have a baby in midair!’”she said. Her daughter, Zia, was born Dec. 1.

“I was so lucky to work while pregnant and work so much while pregnant, so it’s also been nice to just have some time with my kid,” she said. Ephraim has also wrapped up Season 2 of HBO’s gritty Perry Mason reboot, and in the meantime is hoping for another season of “League.”

“I don’t know when, where, how that would happen, but I think we’re all keeping our fingers crossed for that,” she said. “I think people will really like it. You know, you get all the fans that are sort of grandfathered in from the original movie, but it definitely speaks to a newer crowd.”

Photos: Joe Schmelzer; Stylist: Gaelle Paul/A-Frame; Hair: Ericka Verrett/A-Frame; Makeup: Loren Canby/A-Frame; Location: Dream Hollywood, 6417 Selma Ave

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What Time Will ‘Riverdale’ Season 6 Be on Netflix?

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The season finale of Riverdale aired in late July on The CW. Notice we said season finale? Thankfully, the beloved series will return for a seventh season, but, unfortunately, Season 7 will be the final installment of Riverdale.

If you already streamed the current season, make sure to read Alex Zalben’s interview with Riverdale showrunner Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa on Decider. If you’re waiting to binge Season 6 on Netflix, well, you better clear your calendar because all 22 episodes are about to drop on the streamer. What time will the sixth season of Riverdale debut on Netflix? What time does Netflix release shows? Here’s everything you need to know.

WHEN IS THE RIVERDALE SEASON 6 NETFLIX RELEASE DATE?

Riverdale Season 6 premieres Sunday, August 7 on Netflix.

HOW MANY EPISODES ARE IN RIVERDALE SEASON 6?

The sixth season of Riverdale consists of 22 episodes.

WHAT TIME DOES NETFLIX RELEASE NEW SHOWS?

Netflix releases new episodes at 3:00 a.m. ET/12:00 a.m. PT.

WHAT TIME WILL RIVERDALE SEASON 6 BE ON NETFLIX?

Netflix is based out of California, so Riverdale Season 6 will be available to stream at 12:00 a.m. Pacific Standard Time (3:00 a.m. Eastern Standard Time) beginning Sunday, August 7. If the clock strikes 12:00 (or 3:00 a.m. for folks on the East Coast) and you don’t see the new episodes, give it a moment, hit refresh, and then enjoy the show!

WILL THERE BE A SEASON 7 OF RIVERDALE?

Yes! Decider recently covered that very topic.

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Actress Anne Heche Suffers Severe Burns After Crashing Car Into Los Angeles Home

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Actress Anne Heche, known for her roles in such films as Donnie Brasco, Volcano and I Know What You Did Last Summer, was involved in a fiery car crash in the Mar Vista area of Los Angeles on Friday.

According to TMZ, Heche was driving a blue Mini Cooper and had first crashed into the garage of an apartment complex. Residents of the apartment complex tried to get her out of the vehicle but she backed up and sped off.

Footage of Heche speeding down the streets of her neighborhood had been obtained by TMZ as well as her initial encounter at the apartment complex.

In the first clip, you can hear her car crash towards the end. It has been reported that the actress crashed into someone’s home, causing her vehicle and the house to erupt into flames. Heche suffered severe burns and was resisting being taken away in a stretcher. You can also view footage of this via the TMZ article.

It has not been confirmed whether alcohol has been involved in the incident since her condition prevents doctors from performing any tests to determine if she was driving under the influence. She is currently intubated in the hospital but expected to live.

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These are the vulgar license-plate requests the DMV has rejected

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Stay CL4SSY, New York!

The state Department of Motor Vehicles nixed 3,752 requests for vanity license plates in the last three years because it deemed them too raunchy, radical or simply ridiculous.

New York’s personalized plates go for $60 initially, and then $31.25 annually for renewal. You can get any plate as long as no one else has it and it’s not offensive.

Odds are a request for a plate that marks a wedding anniversary or shows your allegiance to a team — like METS86 — will pass muster with the DMV gatekeepers.

Vulgarity won’t get you to first base.

So plates with the phrase LFGM — the acronym for Pete Alonso’s “Let’s F–king Go Mets” rallying cry — did not make the cut.

And you won’t see anyone driving around with the custom plates MILFDAD, AS5M4N and WLHUNG.

Crude meanings such as “MILFDAD” are unacceptable by the DMV.
Crude meanings such as “MILFDAD” are unacceptable by the DMV.
New York DMV
NYC123
New York state Department of Motor Vehicles denied more than 3.5 thousand requests for license plates deemed inappropriate.
New York DMV
“AS5M4N” was rejected for referring to “Ass man.”
“AS5M4N” was rejected for referring to “Ass man.”
New York DMV

The DMV also put NICEBUNS, FATFANNY, GOTAPOOP and BENDOVER in the rear-view mirror.

One player unsuccessfully tried to score the plate YESDADDY, to no avail.

The DMV also shot down such dark requests as DEADGIRL, GENOC1DE, S8TAN, DETONATE and MURDERM3.

“SUM8ITCH” is not allowed.
“SUM8ITCH” is not allowed.
New York DMV
The DMV thoroughly nixed a request for “CNNLIES.”
The DMV thoroughly nixed a request for “CNNLIES.”
New York DMV
BOOBIE is prohibited.
BOOBIE is prohibited.
New York DMV

Getting political is a dead end too — FJOEBIDN, FDTRUMP and CNNLIES were nixed.

LUDEDUDE, NARCO, GOT METH and BLUNT also went up in smoke.

Staten Island attorney Bill Dertinger said his blue 1995 Jaguar SJS was tagged with ESQLTD after his company and his 2014 Porsche had the plate GHOSTGTS because the sleek sportscar was white.

“The plates can make you stand out — which can be a curse or a blessing,” the 54-year-old Dertinger said. “Make sure you don’t cut anybody off.”

A man attempted to sneak in “YESDADDY” onto his license plate.
A man attempted to sneak in “YESDADDY” onto his license plate.
New York DMV
The DMV stopped a request for “FJOEBIDEN.”
The DMV stopped a request for “FJOEBIDEN.”
New York DMV
The DMV also rejects any license plates referring to politics.
The DMV also rejects any license plates referring to politics.
New York DMV

There must be a New York Jets fan playing referee at the DMV because a request for the seemingly innocent plate GASE was sidelined. Ex-Jets head coach Adam Gase had an offensive 9-23 win-loss record during his forgettable two-year tenure.

The DMV would not reveal who gives the final yea or nay.

“The DMV reviews all custom license plate requests and works hard to ensure that any combinations that may be considered objectionable are rejected,” said agency spokesman Tim O’Brien.

“GLOCKS” referring to guns is not accepted by the DMV.
“GLOCKS” referring to guns is not accepted by the DMV.
New York DMV
“FLYMOFO” is not approved by the DMV.
“FLYMOFO” is not approved by the DMV.
New York DMV

He said guidelines on what plate combinations are restricted can be found on the DMV website: https://dmv.ny.gov/learn-about-personalized-plates. Approximately 50,000 personalized and custom plates are sold per year, O’Brien said.

Bagged Tags

The state DMV has rejected 3,752 requests for custom license plates in the last three years because it deemed them potentially offensive. Here are some:

YESDADDY

FJOEBIDN

FDTRUMP

GLOCKS

FLYMOFO

BOOBIE

AS5M4N

BUDLIGHT

DEADGIRL

SUM8ITCH

GENOC1DE

S8TAN

CNNLIES

DETONATE

MURDERM3

MILFDAD

WLHUNG

Source: NYS DMV

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