There hasn’t been a plethora of great baseball films at the theaters in recent years, save for “42,” the biography of Jack Robinson, which hit the screens in 2013.
Last year’s “Catcher Was A Spy,” was about Boston Red Sox catcher Moe Berg’s clandestine involvement on the European front during World War II. There were a few baseball scenes, but the title is much like it sounds: a war drama, not a baseball movie.
But this summer may prove to be the exception.
The film, “Bottom of the 9th,” starring Joe Manganiello and Sofia Vergara, is slated to debut July 19 and is being distributed by Saban Films.
Manganiello plays a ballplayer who has lost his way, imprisoned for 18 years after committing a murder as a youth. Vergara is his long-estranged girlfriend.
It’s a movie about redemption with the imprint of two Bronx boys – Robert Bruzio and Ray Negron. Bruzio wrote the screen play and Negron, a long-time employee of the New York Yankees, was a consultant and had a small part as a coach.
It was shot in the Bronx, and at Richmond County Bank Ballpark, home of the Single-A short-season Staten Island Yankees.
The sweet little ballpark is on the western edge of New York Harbor with picturesque views of the lower Manhattan skyline that fades to a glimmer as dusk succumbs to the darkness of night.
“The movie is about a one-time phenom, who grows up in the Arthur Avenue section of the Bronx,” said Bruzio when he sat down with Negron for an exclusive interview recently in the media dining room at Yankee Stadium. “He winds up killing a kid in a street fight, throwing away all prospects of a career.”
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