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Mantle and Maris in the Movies
Robert Creamer
April 02, 1962
There's this little kid, see, and he's crazy about Mickey Mantle and Roger Maris. He and his father—his mother is dead—live on this boat in Florida. But they used to live in New York, and so one day in the Little League the kid boasts that he knows Mantle and Maris, and he says that he'll get them to come to the Little League banquet they're about to have. Now he's in the soup, because he's lying, see? He really doesn't know Mantle and Maris at all. So the kid runs away and goes down to the New York Yankees' spring training camp in Fort Lauderdale and he manages to meet Mantle and Maris and he explains what happened and he asks them to get him off the hook. But they tell him, no, they won't come to the banquet because he has told a lie. So then the kid goes back home and bravely admits that he lied, and then Roger and Mickey invite the whole damn Little League down to Lauderdale to watch spring training and everything comes out O.K. Oh, it ought to make a hell of a picture, a real grabber.
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April 02, 1962

Mantle And Maris In The Movies

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The film is scheduled for release in April, to coincide with the opening of the baseball season—which seems logical: if interest in baseball is high, interest in the film should be equally high. A baseball man in Fort Lauderdale, who chose not to be quoted, shook his head at this. "I don't care how good or bad the picture is," he said. "Baseball is not a good draw in April. We don't draw at the gate, and our rating for the games we televise is low. There's no big interest in baseball in April. They'd be better off if they held it for a couple of months." A movie man in Fort Lauderdale, who also chose not to be quoted, shook his head right back. "We have to open in April, when last season is still fresh in people's minds. We have to. Suppose we hold off, and then one of them gets hurt and doesn't play? Suppose they both go into terrible slumps? Suppose some other player does something terrific and everybody forgets about Mantle and Maris? And then we come out. We'd be dead. On the other hand, if we open in April and they start out hot or get hot after a month or so this little picture of ours will play right through the summer."

And then will come true the dreams of Tom Naud and Frank Scott and Mickey Mantle and Roger Maris. And of the Little Leaguer from Fort Lauderdale who sat on the bench in the dugout one day watching his heroes go through take after take of the same scene. "Would you want to be a movie star?" he was asked, in the fond delusion that he would respond like a true-blue, red-blooded, 100% all-American boy and say, no sir, he'd rather be a big league ballplayer.

"You bet," he said.

"Even after seeing all that stuff they have to go through?" he was asked.

"Sure," he said.

"Why, for Pete's sake?"

"You make a lot of money."

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