Sixth Annual Baseball Hall of Fame Film Festival Returns to Cooperstown Sept. 30-Oct. 2

Three-Day Event Highlights Baseball on the Big Screen

September 12, 2011

COOPERSTOWN, NY: The National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum will recognize the twin traditions of baseball and film when, for the sixth consecutive year, it hosts the Baseball Film Festival in Cooperstown, Sept. 30-Oct. 2.

Fourteen films, with themes ranging from Hall of Famer Christy Mathewson to the 2003 National League Championship Series, will be screened on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 30, Oct. 1 and 2, 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 the screening of Film Festival entries are free of charge but limited and must be reserved. Admission to the Museum is required for films shown during regular Museum hours. Members can reserve their tickets starting Sept. 19, and any remaining seats will made available to the general public beginning Sept. 26 by calling the Membership department at 607-547-0397 or visiting the Membership desk in the Museum.

Films are shown during six sessions throughout the weekend. A complete list of the films to be screened during the weekend includes:

Session 1
Friday, Sept. 30, 7 p.m.

Diamonds are a Girl’s Best Friend (27 min.)
A portrait of Nicole Sherry, head groundskeeper for the Baltimore Orioles at Camden Yards - one of only two women in that position in Major League Baseball.

Slap Black Jack: High Five Master (11 min.)
This kid friendly stop motion short film narrated in rhyme begins when superstar baseball player, Bub Stocky, hits a walk off Grand Salami to win the big ball game for his team the Bronx Buffalo. When he tries to celebrate with his teammates, he flubs his high-fives, loses out on his lows, and punks out on his pounds. He feels embarrassed and clumsy, so Coach T. suggests he see the hand slap specialist, High-Five Master, Slap Back Jack.

Catching Hell (1 hour, 41 minutes)
It’s the pop fly that will live in infamy. When Chicagoan Steve Bartman fatefully deflected a foul ball in Game 6 of the 2003 NLCS, the city's long-suffering Cubs fans found someone new to blame for their cursed century without a World Series title. Oscar-winning director Alex Gibney explores the psychology of diehard sports fans, the frightening phenomenon of scapegoating, and the hysteria surrounding the mild-mannered Bartman.

Session 2
Saturday, Oct. 1, 10 a.m.

Play by Play (23 min.)
Donn, a lonely 10-year-old, leads a vivid imaginary life as a big league ballplayer. When his schoolyard nemesis Steve accidentally learns about it, Donn is thrust into an escalating struggle to avoid being humiliated in front of his class. His only chance is to out-strategize his bigger, stronger tormentor.

The Legend of Pinky Deras (41 min.)
Since Little League Baseball was founded in 1939, about 40 million kids have played the sport. The list includes future Hall of Famers like Carl Yastrzemski, Tom Seaver and Nolan Ryan, and hundreds of other future Major Leaguers. But of all the kids who ever played Little League, the best of the best was a boy you’ve probably never heard of: Art “Pinky” Deras. In the summer of 1959, he led the team from Hamtramck, Mich., to the Little League World Series title, and in the process, he put together a Little League season the likes of which we might never see again.

Session 3
Saturday, Oct. 1, 2 p.m.

Bubble Gum Champs (8 min.)
Marc is watching a baseball game with his wife, Julie. His son’s team is losing and Marc is not so happy about it. He blames it on the coach, a Frenchman. Fed up with Marc’s attitude, Julie drops the bomb and accuses him of being a couch coach… But Marc is no couch coach… And he’ll go to great lengths to prove it.

Touching the Game: Alaska (1 hour, 41 min.)
In today’s high pressure, big dollar world of professional baseball and its accompanying media cyclone, the most poignant and refreshing perspectives are those that portray the unique and committed institutions which keep the essence and purity of our national pastime alive. The Alaska Baseball League is such an institution and offers such a perspective. With roots in the days before the playing of the first Midnight Sun game in 1906, this amateur league has been adding to Alaska’s (and indeed America’s) cultural and historical legacy, defined as much by its Alaskan existence as by its exceptionally high quality baseball.

Session 4
Saturday, Oct. 1, 7 p.m.

Christy Mathewson Day (48 min.)
Christy Mathewson Day captures the spirit of Factoryville, Pa., as they celebrate their most famous resident, Hall of Fame pitcher Christy Mathewson. Members of the community tell their own history of triumphs and adversities through the framework of the yearly celebration of their favorite son. Trying to always remember the past in their present, Factoryville is very much a nostalgic town yearning to make a mark on theirs and surrounding communities.

Boys of Summer (1 hour, 33 min.)
On the tiny island of Curaçao, Manager Vernon Isabella has sent his Little League All-Stars to the World Series for seven consecutive years, routinely defeating such baseball powerhouses as Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic to win a spot in Williamsport. How do they do it? This film tries to crack the code of Curaçao’s phenomenal success. It explores what baseball means to Curaçao, a tropical paradise where tourists enjoy beautiful beaches while residents deal with the harsher realities of a country still struggling to define itself economically and politically.

Session 5
Sunday, Oct 2, 10 a.m.

Black Baseball in Indiana (25 min.)
“Black Baseball in Indiana” is a half-hour documentary film of original research and interviews, produced by students at Ball State University's Virginia B. Ball Center for Creative Inquiry, under the advisement of Negro Leagues historian and SABR member Geri Strecker.

The Queen of the People (1 hour, 4 min.)
In 1944, Caracas hosts the 7th Amateur Baseball World Series. The organizers decide that the beauty queen of the event has to be elected via a popular vote. The title is disputed by Yolanda Leal, a school teacher from a humble neighborhood, and Oly Clemente, a young woman from Caracas’ high society. The beauty pageant soon turns into a passionate contest of national proportions.

Session 6
Sunday, Oct 2, 2 p.m.

Late August (10 min.)
Scenes from the Babe Ruth World Series in Clifton Park, N.Y.

Down the Line (23 min.)
A documentary on Boston's Fenway Park that takes fans where they have never been before by celebrating Fenway's “team behind the team” –  the bat boys, ball girls, clubhouse attendants and grounds crew members who make every Major League Baseball game possible.

Let’s Get Ready to Win (44 min.)
In this 44-minute documentary, Mid-American Emmy Award-winning filmmaker Craig Lindvahl features the unforgettable Sept. 28, 2010 game in which Jay Bruce hits the walk-off home run that clinched the National League Central division title for the Cincinnati Reds, as part of a season-long look behind the scenes at the operations within Great American Ball Park.

For movies shown after 5 p.m., visitors must use the entrance to the Baseball Hall of Fame’s Library building located in Cooper Park.

The National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum is open seven days a week year round, with the exception of Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Day. The Museum observes regular hours of 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. from Labor Day until Memorial Day Weekend. From Memorial Day Weekend through the day before Labor Day, the Museum observes summer hours of 9 a.m. until 9 p.m. Ticket prices are $19.50 for adults (13 and over), $12 for seniors (65 and over) and for those holding current memberships in the VFW, Disabled American Veterans, American Legion and AMVets organizations, and $7 for juniors (ages 7-12). Members are always admitted free of charge and there is no charge for children 6 years of age or younger.  For more information, visit our Web site at baseballhall.org or call 888-HALL-OF-FAME (888-425-5633) or 607-547-7200.