Yesterday was the anniversary of the day the Babe hit 60, but October 1 belongs to Roger Maris and 61.
Next year will mark the golden anniversary of Maris’ historic blast off the Red Sox Tracy Stallard in 1961, and the Yankees are sure to have something special planned to mark the occasion. In the meantime, however, the Hall of Fame has decided to honor 61 by adding an asterisk.
This evening, the Hall of Fame will open its fifth annual Baseball Film Festival in Cooperstown by honoring Billy Crystal’s 61*. The festivities will include a screening of the 2001 film at the Hall, followed by a reception and discussion that will be hosted by Bob Costas and produced in conjunction with HBO Sports. Past festival headliners have included Pride of the Yankees and Bull Durham.
In addition to 61*, the festival will also feature 11 other films, including Josh Gibson: The Legend Behind the Plate, a documentary that is reported to be the most in depth look at the Negro League legend. Also, for those disappointed by Ken Burns’ Tenth Inning, the festival will also feature a comprehensive look at the history on Latin baseball as well as another account of the Red Sox miracle comeback against the Yankees in the 2004 ALCS. Several other short films, many of them nostalgic, and historical documentaries also highlight the agenda, which is listed below.
Session 1: Saturday, October 2, 10AM
- Josh Gibson: The Legend Behind the Plate (50 min.): A comprehensive account of Josh Gibson’s career and the culture of the Negro Leagues.
- 3 Balls, 2 Strikes (5 min.): A short film about baseball’s role in everyday life.
- Dear Baseball: I Love You (14 mins.): A 1950s era retrospective about a man’s memories of baseball during his youth.
Session 2: Saturday, October 2, 1PM
- James Warwick (13 min.): An everyman nostalgia piece that revolves around baseball.
- BEISBOL: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow (118 min.): An account of the history, legends and characters of Latin baseball as well as underlying cultural, economic and political issues.
Session 3: Saturday, October 2, 7PM
- Four Days in October (51 min.): An account of the Red Sox historic comeback in the 2004 ALCS.
- Ballhawks (74 min.): A look at the 2004 Cubs from the perspective of a group of men who collect baseballs hit out of the Friendly Confines.
Session 4: Sunday, October 3, 10AM
- Jews and Baseball: An American Love Story (91 min.): A film about the Jewish experience in America with baseball as the underlying theme.
- Conrads: A Team Rich in History (10 min.): A look at a sandlot team with a long tradition in Pennslyvania.
Session 5: Sunday, October 3, 1:30PM
- Buck O’Neil and Black Baseball in Chicago (30 min): A film by the Chicago Baseball Museum that examines the area’s minority baseball leagues through stories told by Buck O’Neil.
- The Last Season: The Eugene Emeralds and Civic Park (30 min): An account of the final season of Civic Stadium, which was home to Padres single-A affiliate Eugene Emeralds, from 1969 before moving to University of Oregon’s PK Park in 2010.
Source: Cooperstown Chamber of Commerce