Kevin Costner, no stranger to baseball films, is the narrator of Fastball, a film beautifully directed by Jonathan Hock and produced by 42‘s Thomas Tull. On Thursday night, fans were able to see an early screening in conjunction with Tugg.com in Major League Baseball markets.
Active players such as Justin Verlander, Andrew McCutchen and David Price are featured as they talk about this great American pastime and the epic battles that go on daily in a span of milliseconds as the ball is thrown sixty feet, six inches from pitcher to batter. Baseball immortals are featured by way of Hank Aaron, Nolan Ryan, Bob Gibson, Goose Gossage, Derek Jeter, Ernie Banks and the late Tony Gwynn. Gwynn is joined by a Hall of Fame panel that includes George Brett, Joe Morgan, Johnny Bench, and Al Kaline. This is one of those not-to-be-missed panels and who knows what was left on the cutting room floor. There’s probably more than enough footage for a sequel to be made!
This film is based on an idea by Thomas Tull. If not for him, baseball fans would be robbed by such a great documentary that is being given to us just before the season begins. We don’t just get new interviews and modern day baseball footage but also some archival footage of great moments such as Sandy Koufax’s perfect game. There’s a comparison of a ball being thrown at 92 mph against one thrown at 100 mph. Fastball, in its essence, tells the story of our nation’s favorite past time as many disagree, even on screen, on just who is the fast pitcher in baseball history.
It’s not just the Koufax game that’s remembered but Hall of Fame pitchers Goose Gossage and Bob Gibson talk about their experiences even as we observe the likes of Aroldis Chapman and Craig Kimbrel. Then there is the what-if. Nolan Ryan struggled with his mechanics when he pitched for the New York Mets but once he went to the California Angels, his career got going and he became the Hall of Fame pitcher that we recognize today. On the other hand, we have Steve Dalkowski, a minor league pitching phenom but his wildness prevented him from having a Major League career.(L to R) Hall of Famers George Brett, Joe Morgan, Johnny Bench, Al Kaline and Tony Gwynn. Image Credit: Pitchers Mound, LLC.
Here’s a who’s who of people featured in the film:
Hall of Famers – Hank Aaron, Ernie Banks, Johnny Bench, George Brett, Bob Feller, Bob Gibson, Pat Gillick, Goose Gossage, Tony Gwynn, Doug Harvey, Walter Johnson, Al Kaline, Sandy Koufax, Joe Morgan, Nolan Ryan, Mike Schmidt.
Former Players – Derek Jeter, Steve Dalkowski.
Active Players – Aroldis Chapman, Bryce Harper, Craig Kimbrel, Andrew McCutchen, David Price, Justin Verlander.
While the casual baseball fan will enjoy Fastball, the die-hard fans will be in love with the film.
Fastball opens in a limited amount of theaters this weekend but you should have no problems catching the awesome baseball documentary on VOD platforms if a theater is not hosting screening in your area.