My guest blogger for this blog is Jack Dolan. From 1963-1965, Jack served as Associate Producer at ABC-TV Sports working under the tutelage of Roone Arledge and with such well-known broadcasters as Jim McKay, Curt Gowdy, Jack Buck, Chris Schinkel, et. al. Jack contributed to an earlier blog where we both told our stories about our first baseball games. If you would like to read this entertaining posting go to the January 2013 archives and look for the title “My First Baseball Game.”
Jack Dolan’s Review of the Movie “42”
“42” — one of the best baseball movies ever made in my opinion. It’s kind of interesting to me that arguably the best sports movies ever produced involve baseball (e.g. “Field of Dreams”, “The Natural” etc.). “42” was an accurate (by and large) depiction of the legend of Jackie Robinson and all the monumental challenges he went through in breaking the MLB color barrier back in the late 1940s post-World War II era which now seems like (and is) a lifetime ago. As a lifelong Dodger baseball fan (born in 1938) I lived through that period and can attest to this movie capturing the essence of it.
The movie is not without a couple of technical “glitches”. To wit, an early scene depicts Dodger outfielder Gene Hermanski driving in Robinson with a game-winning run vs. the Phillies and their prejudicial manager Ben Chapman. The movie depicts Hermanski as a right-handed batter when he was a left-handed batsman in reality. The famous movie poster scene of Dodger Hall-of-Fame SS Pee Wee Reese with his arm around rookie Robinson on the team’s first visit to Cincinnati’s Crosley Field (not far from Reese’s Southern hometown of Louisville, KY) shows the pair dressed in Dodger home white uniforms instead of road grays.
However, the acting of the cast, particularly that of Harrison Ford who gives a very credible portrayal of Dodger GM and barrier-breaker Branch Rickey is excellent. Scenes from the Dodgers’ Florida-based spring training camps of the 1946- and- 47 seasons are quite realistic. And the vignette of several young black boys following the Dodger train in Florida with Robinson aboard was rolled again while showing the end-of-movie credits. This was interesting (especially to baseball trivia fans) because in that the group was future MLB third baseman, Ed Charles, who was inspired by Robinson to carve out his own fine career in major league baseball.
In short, “42” was a big hit! (And for those baseball trivia buffs, here’s a question concerning Jackie Robinson. Who was the first pitcher Robinson faced in a Major League baseball game? Answer: Boston Brave ace right-hander and Alabama native Johnny Sain in the 1947 season opener between the Dodgers and Braves!) — Jack Dolan
I also saw this “42” and agree with everything Jack said above. I would like to add the following comment. I believe Jackie Robinson breaking the color barrier in the MLB was the first step that eventually led to an African- American ascending to the highest office in America. This is not meant to be a political endorsement but is meant to be an endorsement of our great country.
I would be interested in any comments you have about the movie.
|Neal Meyer said…
I want to encourage Jack Dolan to be regular guest writer at Sandlot Stats.
October 8, 2013 06:16:41