May 14, 2008

City wants to nab Jackie Robinson movie

Reporter Jackie Majerus wrote this story:

The city will do whatever it can to adjust and work with filmmakers if they decide to use historic Muzzy Field as a location for part of a new movie about Jackie Robinson, officials said.
"Absolutely," said Mayor Art Ward. "However we can be accommodating, we'll be more than willing."
Ward said if part of the film is set at Muzzy Field, it will be good for Bristol.
It's in the city's best interest, Ward said, to try to promote the state's filmmaking industry.
"Bristol would seem to be an ideal location," said Ward, for any number of future films.
"It behooves us to listen, look and hear any ideas and proposals," said the mayor.
Superintendent Ed Swicklas of the Bristol Parks Department also said he'd do whatever he could to work with moviemakers. He said if Muzzy Field is used in the film, it could be an economic boost for the area.
"I think it's a great idea," said Swicklas. "We've got a lot of history there."
Even beyond baseball, Muzzy Field has seen its share of glory, according to Swicklas, who said the Green Bay Packers played there in the 1940s, the Pittsburgh Pirates took a turn. Former First Lady Barbara Bush also paid a visit to the field.
"To add a movie with Jackie Robinson," said Swicklas, "that'd be great."
According to Ward, Bristol's beloved ball field is perfect for the movie.
"I think Muzzy Field is ideal," said Ward. "It's a setting in history."A film about Robinson's life would delve into history, according to Ward, and Muzzy is perfect for that.
"It's a facility that could represent that time period," said Ward.
While some stadiums may have schedules they won't interrupt for Hollywood, Swicklas said Bristol will make changes necessary to make the filming possible.
"We're more community based," said Swicklas. "We'd shift 'em around."
The fact that Bristol-based ESPN is also part of producing the Robinson movie project, said Swicklas, makes the whole thing "even better."


Muzzy Field's been around the block
Nearing its century mark, Muzzy Field was built about 1912, according to Swicklas. That's the same year the Titanic set sail.
Jackie Robinson was born seven years later in Cairo, Georgia, to a family of sharecroppers.
The film, which is not yet in production, will be set in 1947, the year Brooklyn Dodgers manager Branch Rickey hired Robinson, who had played in the Negro Baseball League.
Robinson, then 28, broke baseball's color bar when he joined the Dodgers. He was named Rookie of the Year and later, Most Valuable Player. He was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1962, and died in Stamford 10 years later.
According to Karen Baldwin of Baldwin Entertainment Corp., one of the partners in the filmmaking, the movie will tell the story of the relationship between Robinson and Rickey and the events leading up to his first time at bat for the Dodgers.
Robert Redford, who is another one of the filmmaking partners, would play Rickey. The actor who would play Robinson hasn't been announced.
Baldwin has said Muzzy Field is on the short list of possible stadiums for use in the film, which has generated hope and excitement locally.
"I think we have the perfect stadium for that," said Swicklas.

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Copyright 2008. All rights reserved.
Contact Steve Collins at scollins@bristolpress.com

24 comments:

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry Steve. As much as you'd love to and as much as you want to, you can't play Jackie Robinson. You're not qualified.

Anonymous said...

I can hardly wait to read what the naysayers have to say about this one.

This is good for Bristol!

Steve Collins said...

I've got a pretty good arm, not a bad hitter, decent fielder... but kind of slow on the basepaths. The only way I'd steal home is if I went to the ballpark after hours and took it.

Anonymous said...

Wasn't this started under the last mayor who was, as is the current mayor, waiting for a decision?

Anonymous said...

You need to be from the southern part of Ireland.

Anonymous said...

Steve, you'd have to put on a few pounds before you could play the part.

Anonymous said...

You're a hoot Steve. I'd go see you play!

I too would like to weigh in before the boneheads. This is great news for Bristol!

Anonymous said...

I can hardly wait to read what the naysayers have to say about this one.
May 14, 2008 8:48 AM
````````````````

How can anyone say anything negative about Nothing ??

Steve Collins said...

Put on more pounds? I don't think that's a good idea. I think I've packed on quite enough over the years!

Anonymous said...

I REALLY hope they make this movie in Bristol. It would be cool.

Anonymous said...

The west end is almost as much of a dump as Brooklyn was in the
1940s and 1950s.

Anonymous said...

"How can anyone say anything negative about Nothing ??:

Ah...the bonehead section - right on time!

Anonymous said...

Steve I was referring to your infatuation with "the plight of black people", not your athletic ability (which I'm sure is minimal at best).

Anonymous said...

Wonderful news! GO BRISTOL!!!

Steve Collins said...

And I thought I was only infatuated with the Red Sox.

Anonymous said...

Too bad you can't play MLK Jr. How about Tip O'Neil? Maybe you could get a walk on roll as a Katrina victim in the next Oliver Stone movie?

Anonymous said...

This is way cool. I hope that they make this movie in town, whether Steve gets a part or not.

Anonymous said...

ROBERT REDFORD!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Muzzy Field! Muzzy Field! Muzzy Field!

Anonymous said...

Maybe if they made the movie here it would take away some of Bristol's rotten reputation as a dumpy, racist town. Maybe we could be a contender.

Anonymous said...

This ain't nothing. This really could be quite something, so stop your nayslaying.

Anonymous said...

Movies don't happen overnight. Of course it takes time. The best thing the city can do as a community is welcome these people with open arms, and put our best face and foot forward, instead of in our mouths. It's no time for politics, either.

Dick DePalma said...

Steve,
I've been thinking of making a remake of "Roots". I'd love to give you a part, but unfortunately the only roles you're qualified for is a white slave-owner or perhaps a carpet-bagger. Are you interested?

Anonymous said...

I hope it happens!!!