U of A Professor's Documentary to Air on the MLB Network

Photo Submitted

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. – The MLB – Major League Baseball -- Network has scheduled two showings of University of Arkansas journalism professor Larry Foley’s latest documentary, The First Boys of Spring. The one-hour documentary is narrated by Academy Award winning actor Billy Bob Thornton and recounts the origin of Spring Training in the Arkansas resort town of Hot Springs. The national broadcast premier will be at 5 p.m.  Saturday, Feb. 13, with a second showing at 8 a.m. Sunday, Feb. 21. 

For fans who can’t wait for the pitchers and catchers to report (starting Feb. 17), or the first Razorback baseball home game (Feb. 19) – or anyone interested in the history of the game – The First Boys of Spring should be just the ticket.

The Spring Training started in 1886 in Hot Springs and continued there for parts of eight decades. The film features tales of baseball Hall of Famers who worked out, gambled and partied in Hot Springs, including Cy Young, Satchel Paige, Honus Wagner and baseball’s first superstar, Mike “King” Kelly. The young Babe Ruth is there too, belting a 573-foot home run into the Arkansas Alligator Farm while trying to convince Boston Red Sox management to play him every day, even though he was already the game’s dominant pitcher.

The documentary was written and produced by Foley, who is also the chair of the Walter J. Lemke Department of Journalism in the Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences. It was shot by Jim Borden, edited by journalism professor Dale Carpenter, and the original musical score was composed by U of A professor emeritus James Greeson.

Among highlights in the film:  

  • The story of the 1886 Chicago White Stockings, the first team to travel to Hot Springs for spring training, an event was chronicled in the first edition of The Sporting News.
  • John McGraw’s 1901 effort to get around the unwritten color barrier by trying to pass off African-American infielder Charlie Grant as an American Indian named Chief Charlie Tokahoma of the Cherokee Nation. Charles Comiskey of the White Sox foiled the plan.
  • Tales of what the players did in Hot Springs during the spring training heyday, including gambling, betting at the Oaklawn Park horse racing track, ostrich races and trips to the alligator farm to watch gators eating chickens.
  • Stories of Negro League stars who trained in Arkansas including Cool Papa Bell, Josh Gibson and Oscar Charleston.  
  • Rare 1934 sound film of Rogers Hornsby.  

 

For a preview of the open, visit uapress.com or click on the link to the trailer atthefirstboysofspring.weebly.com  

 

 

 

Contacts

Larry Foley, chair
Lemke Department of Journalism
479-575-6307, lfoley@uark.edu

Steve Voorhies, manager, media relations
University Relations
479-575-3583, voorhies@uark.edu


Editor-selected comments will be published below. No abusive material, personal attacks, profanity, spam or material of a similar nature will be considered for publication.

comments powered by Disqus

Headlines

Physicists Find Structural Phase Transitions in 2-D Atomic Materials

An international team led by U of A physicists has discovered drastic changes in material properties occurring in a group of two-dimensional materials that are being investigated as candidates to power the next generation of opto-electronic devices.

Sigma Alpha Hosts 'Ag in the Community' Event at Springdale's Jones Elementary

The University of Arkansas' Sigma Alpha Iota Chapter recently hosted an "Ag in the Community" event at Jones Elementary School in Springdale.

Seventy-One Seniors Honored by Alumni Association

The Arkansas Alumni Association honored its third class of Seniors of Significance during a reception at the Janelle Y. Hembree Alumni House on Dec. 2.

Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry Gives $69,000 in Scholarships in 2016-17

The Chemistry and Biochemistry Department congratulates the 22 undergraduate chemistry majors selected to receive scholarships in the 2016-17 academic year.

Faulkner Center Hosts Free 'Elf' Movie Screening and Canned Food Drive on Dec. 10

The Jim and Joyce Faulkner Performing Arts Center will host a free, family-friendly screening of the holiday film Elf, starring Will Ferrell, from 3 to 5 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 10.

Newswire Daily