Sunday, November 05, 2006

I had quite a night on Thursday. I was invited to the premiere of a new film on vintage base ball. The premiere was being held at The Hartford Insurance Company in, well, Hartford, CT. So I left work early, loaded up the new Meat Loaf album Bat Out of Hell III (which is a worth successor to the other two Bat Out of Hell albums, by the way) and drove down to Connecticut.

The ride went reasonably well, although I got a bit lost as I got off the exit. I'd love to meet the joker who decided it would be a good idea for Asylum Street to go off to the left and Asylum Avenue to go off to the right. I naturally picked the wrong one, but was able to rectify my mistake pretty quickly. I really have to buy one of those GPS gadgets.

Once I got to The Hartford's building and parked the car, I walked over to the reception that was being held prior to the film. I ran into a bunch of my partners from the Vintage Base Ball Federation including Jim Bouton and Chip Elitzer, along with Jim's wife Paula. I also got to meet a number of the other partners, including baseball historian John Thorn and several of the other guys who are involved. I also had the opportunity to chat with a number of local vintage base ball players, including representatives of the Harford Senators, the Westfield Wheelmen, and the Newtown Sandy Hook, among others.

After partaking of the ballpark food and beer thoughtfully provided by The Hartford, we entered the theater to watch the film. The film mostly focused on the Senators and the Pittsfield Elms. They showed quite a bit of footage from the Hillies game at Wahconah Park two years ago. They then followed the various teams taking part in a tournament in Pittsfield last summer.

The film was well done and presented a really good overview of vintage base ball and the people who play it. There were lots of interviews with ballplayers (or "ballists") along with Jim Bouton and others. The film was produced by MLB Advanced Media and is currently being shopped to various TV outlets and will eventually be released on DVD. I'll let you know when I hear something about it's release.

Following the film, there was a panel hosted by local vintage base ball character "Pops" O'Maxfield. Included on the panel were Jim, John Thorn, ESPN Program Director Mark Durand and Jeffrey Saunders, the director of the Vintage Base Ball film. It was fun to listen to and actually ran on quite a bit longer than it was scheduled for.

After the goodbyes to everyone I headed back to the car for the ride home. A few of my partners drove up and asked me if I wanted to go out for a drink. I was very tempted, but the combination of a 90 minute drive home and having to get up early the next morning had me regrettably turning them down. I'm sure there will be plenty of other opportunities in the future.

So, it was a great night and well worth the ride down to Hartford. More vintage base ball news as it happens!


At 11:56 AM, Blogger The Hey said...

I really wish I was able to attend = I know that I would have MADE you go out for a drink (or two) ;-)


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