Spaceman Headlines 11th Annual Baseball Hall of Fame Film Festival Sept. 23-25 in Cooperstown
13 Films Featured in Museum’s Annual Tribute to Baseball on the Big Screen
(COOPERSTOWN, NY) – Bill Lee won 119 big league games, pitched in the World Series and was named to an All-Star Game.
But for the left-handed star of the Red Sox and Expos, it was always about much more than the game on the field.
Spaceman, the acclaimed new biographical film, details Lee’s life following his release from the Expos in 1982 and headlines the 11th Annual Baseball Hall of Fame Film Festival Sept. 23-25 in Cooperstown.
Produced in part by Bull Durham director Ron Shelton and 2003 National League Cy Young Award winner Eric Gagne, Spaceman stars Josh Duhamel and examines Lee’s journey from the big leagues to the independent leagues and all the stops in between.
The Film Festival gets under way at 7 p.m. Friday, Sept. 23 with a screening of Spaceman in the Museum’s Bullpen Theater. The film is Rated R and may not be suitable for younger audiences.
The National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum recognizes the twin traditions of baseball and film when, for the 11th consecutive year, it hosts the Baseball Film Festival in Cooperstown, Sept. 23-25. Thirteen films, with themes ranging from 1982 Ford C. Frick Award winner Vin Scully to the Strat-O-Matic baseball game, will be screened on Friday, Saturday and Sunday as filmmakers and fans celebrate the timeless connection between baseball and the big screen. All films will be shown in the Hall of Fame’s Bullpen Theater.
Tickets for all films are free but must be reserved in advance by calling 607-547-0397 weekdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. ET.
Films will be shown during seven blocks throughout the weekend. Films noted will feature a question-and-answer session with film representatives following the screening.
A complete list of the films to be screened during the weekend includes:
Special Opening Film
Friday, Sept. 23, 7 p.m.
Spaceman (90 min.; Rated R)
The life of Bill "Spaceman" Lee following his retirement from Major League Baseball is depicted. Lee was a left-handed pitcher for the Boston Red Sox and Montreal Expos during the 1970s and early '80s, known for his eccentric behavior both on and off the field.
Saturday, Sept. 24, 9:30 a.m.
There Will Be Baseball (90 min.)
A thoughtful examination of a Peoria, Ill. institution: Sunday morning baseball. A big budget film, this elaborate documentary looks at the 100-year history of the Peoria Sunday Morning League, some of its most famous alumni, and how it continues to prosper today.
Q&A with Chris Zobac: Producer, Director; Jessica Zobac: Production Assistant
Saturday, Sept. 24, 11:30 a.m.
Hano: A Century in the Bleachers (52 min.)
Few sportswriters living today have seen Babe Ruth in person. Arnold Hano did – and he has seen many other baseball greats during a writing career that spans eight decades. Directed by Jon Leonoudakis, Hano: A Century in the Bleachers brilliantly examines Hano’s career, including his work as a feature writer for Sport Magazine, while also providing context to a number of important issues in baseball history.
Q&A with Arnold Hano and director Jon Leonoudakis
Saturday, Sept. 24, 2 p.m.
E:60 Art of the Stance (6 min.)
This ESPN produced video takes an entertaining look at the batting stance and the variety of unusual styles that have been used by MLB players over the years. For every hit and home run, there is the man who made it happen. And for every man, there is a unique Batting Stance behind each swing. ESPN E:60 producer Martin Khodabakhshian and Bluefoot’s Matt McCormick, with the help of MLB greats like Cal Ripken Jr., Will Clark, Julio Franco, Kevin Youkilis, Eric Davis and more, teamed up with batting stance expert Gar Ryness to explore and dissect the Art of the Stance.
E:60 The Family Business (13 min.)
With 27 World Series championships, the New York Yankees have a rich winning tradition. But there’s one tradition in the storied Yankees organization that’s just as regal if somewhat less renown: the “bat dog” family of the Trenton Thunder, the Double-A affiliate. This E:60 feature recounts the family tree that includes Derby's son Rookie, who now works the Thunder games with his dad.
E:60 Vin Scully: Last Call (14 min.)
In his remarkable career as a play-by-play broadcaster, Vin Scully has described many of the game’s greatest figures, teams, and games. An insightful E:60 from ESPN, Vin Scully: Last Call provides a look at the legendary broadcaster at his most introspective, as he humbly tries to place his legacy within the game that he has described so capably since 1950.
E:60 Love is Stronger (24 min.)
An E:60 production from ESPN, Love is Stronger features an exclusive interview with Chris Singleton, a 19-year old outfielder for Charleston Southern University, whose mother, Sharonda Coleman-Singleton, and eight others were shot and killed in the Charleston Emanuel AME church massacre on June 17, 2015. Singleton speaks with ABC’s award-winning correspondent, Bob Woodruff, about a mother’s love, a night of horror and how baseball saved his life.
Q&A with producers Dan Lindberg (Love is Stronger, Vin Scully) and Martin Khodabakhshian (Art of the Stance) and film editor (all films) Matt McCormick
Saturday, Sept. 24, 3:30 p.m.
Ghost Town to Havana (87 min.)
A street-level story of mentorship in tough circumstances. Two youth baseball coaches, Nicolas from Havana and Roscoe from Oakland, meet on video and decide they want to play each other. When they meet in Cuba, it’s joy and baseball versus murder and poverty.
Q&A with Eugene Corr (producer, director) and coach Roscoe Bryant (a youth baseball coach in Oakland California and the main character in the film)
Saturday, Sept. 24, 7 p.m.
Dr. Baseball (19 min.)
Dr. Baseball is the story of an 11-year Major League pitcher, who after winning two world championships (with the 1964 St. Louis Cardinals and the 1969 Miracle Mets) embarked on a USO tour through Vietnam that would change his life. After visiting field hospitals, Ron Taylor devoted the rest of his life to medicine, enrolling in medical school at 35 and eventually becoming the team physician for the Toronto Blue Jays.
Q&A with Drew Taylor and Matthew Taylor, co-directors and co-producers
The First Boys of Spring (57 min.)
When we think of Spring Training, thoughts gravitate to Florida and Arizona. But Hot Springs, Arkansas, was once a key hot spot for spring training. The First Boys of Spring, narrated by noted actor Billy Bob Thornton and directed with keen oversight by Larry Foley, offers meticulous insight into the origins of Hot Springs as an ideal place for players, including numerous Hall of Famers, to prepare for the coming season.
Q&A with Mike Dugan, Society for American Baseball Research member, who appears in the film
Sunday, Sept. 25, 10 a.m.
Managing to Win: The Story of Strat-o-Matic Baseball (63 min.)
Fans of Strat-O-Matic Baseball are some of the game’s most rabid. Managing To Win: The Story of Strat-O-Matic Baseball more than does justice to this iconic board game, created by Hal Richman. Guided by Richman’s insights, the film brilliantly follows the fortunes of Strat-O-Matic, from its modest beginnings to its explosion in the online age. Features interviews with Bob Costas and Keith Hernandez.
Q&A with Hal Richman (the subject of Managing to Win) and Adam Richman (producer)
Sunday, Sept. 25, 11:30 a.m.
There Were Giants (18 min.)
Messiah College Center for Public Humanities presents There Were Giants, a film about the Harrisburg Giants, a Negro League Baseball team that integrated in 1954 despite the racial segregation of the 20th century.
Q&A with Scott Orris (director) and Jonathan Barry Wolf (producer)
Ashland’s Field of Dreams (57 min.)
The documentary Ashland’s Field of Dreams re-creates baseball action in Central Park, Ashland, Ky. Cincinnati Reds sportscaster Marty Brennaman narrates this sentimental look at playing baseball in the 1950s.
Q&A with David Carter (writer and director)
For Spaceman on Sept. 23 and movies shown during Session 5 on Sept. 24, visitors must use the entrance to the Baseball Hall of Fame’s Library building located in Cooper Park.