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Tuesday Discussion: A Baseball Hollywood Movie?

October 24, 2023


This week we asked our writers the following:

If Hollywood was to make a great movie about a baseball player's life, which player do you feel would be the best to choose?

Here are their replies:


Cary Greene - Simple answer here. Joe DiMaggio. A stately figure who led a private life filled with intrigue. From Marilyn Monroe to the Yankees - makes for a great story!


Lincoln Mitchell - I am going to cheat a little bit and say the Hollywood movie I would like to see would be about Fritz Peterson and Mike Kekich who in 1973 swapped families. There is a great movie to be made about how that happened and what happened next.


Paul Semendinger - The key word in the question is "great." Hollywood has made a few movies about Babe Ruth, but they've all been terrible. I wish they would a great movie about the Babe. Christy Mathewson would also be a great subject.


Tim Kabel - I think if they were going to make a movie, Thurman Munson’s story would probably be the most compelling. I don’t know if there’s ever been a full movie about Mickey Mantle’s life but, that would be interesting as well.


Ed Botti - I would like to see movie about the life of Hideki Matsui. A Great player who made a huge impact on this franchise in only 7 seasons as a Yankee. While a Yankee, much of his life outside of baseball was shrouded in mystery. I would love to learn more about him and his life. Second on my list would be a movie on the life of Dave Winfield.


Mike Whiteman - would love to see a movie made about the life of Satchel Paige.


Patrick Gunn - There are too many players whose lives - if they want to go that route - could make peak cinema. The late Glenn Burke, Bob Gibson, Phil Rizzuto (I don't know if any actor could match his energy, but they could try), the list goes on and on. If I could only choose one, I'd like Hollywood to make a film about Buck O'Neil. He was a baseball lifer who spent time playing with, managing, and scouting the best of the best while uplifting Black athletes along the way. His story is one that deserves to be told and could make for a great film.


Andy Singer - I'm going to cheat and throw out two. I think a movie should be made about Martin Dihigo, a true 9-position Cuban star in both Latin America and the Negro Leagues. He was as well-rounded ballplayer as existed in early-mid century baseball, and was also of political import (positively or negatively, depending on your viewpoint), serving as Minister of Sport under Castro following the revolution in Cuba.

The other player about whom I think an interesting movie could be made is Vic Power. We have seen Hollywood tackle players like Jackie Robinson who initially broke through baseball's racial barrier, but it really hasn't tackled the aftermath, where some players still couldn't breakthrough. Power was held in the Yankee minor leagues well beyond the time he deserved a call-up, and was eventually traded away and made a good big league career for himself in Cleveland and elsewhere. Power was an intense guy and a good player, and I think an interesting story could be weaved about his experience (full disclosure: I've done a lot of research on Power, and have been toying with writing more extensively about his experiences).

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