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Sunday, May 12, 2019

‘The Natural’ at 35: Here’s how Robert Redford hit that explosive home run

Thirty-five years ago, Robert Redford stepped into the batter’s box in a Buffalo stadium, and smashed a home run that immediately entered the Sports Movie Hall of Fame. Held aloft by composer Randy Newman’s soaring score, and director Barry Levinson’s literally explosive imagery, the climactic scene of The Natural is on instant replay in the minds of moviegoers who saw it in theaters on May 11, 1984 or in its three-decade afterlife as a home entertainment and cable staple.

The Natural had a regular place in my family’s VCR in the mid-’80s, and I’d rewind the final scene multiple times in order to watch Redford’s blast shatter the stadium lights, and then take his victory lap through a shower of sparks. I wasn’t what you’d call a die-hard baseball fan, but I loved Richard Donner’s Superman, and that home run is a comic book moment on par with Christopher Reeve reversing the Earth’s rotation. “It’s pretty spectacular,” agrees the film’s producer, Mark Johnson. “And, needless to say, it does not exist in the Bernard Malamud book.”

Yeah, about that book. It’s no secret that if you were keeping score of a movie’s fidelity to its source material, The Natural would finish towards the back the pack. Published in 1952, Malamud’s first novel took its inspiration from various bits of baseball lore, including the shooting of ’40s-era first baseman Eddie Waitkus and the infamous Black Sox scandal of 1919. The film version follows the broad strokes of the book charting the journey of Roy Hobbs (Redford), a gifted ballplayer whose career is derailed after he takes a bullet in the gut fired by a female fan.

What, no references to the Fisher King?

QLE Posted: May 12, 2019 at 03:55 AM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: anniversaries, home run, the natural

Saturday, May 04, 2019

Machado homers, admires ball in first at-bat against Kershaw

Manny Machado went from the Los Angeles Dodgers to the San Diego Padres this offseason, and now he’s starting to punish his former team.

In his first at-bat against Clayton Kershaw on Friday, Machado took the Dodgers ace deep to left, and then admired the ball.

He even tipped his own cap.

I forget- under the unwritten rules, should Machado expect a fastball to the goolies, or to be chased by folk with aluminum baseball bats?

 

 

QLE Posted: May 04, 2019 at 04:09 AM | 15 comment(s)
  Beats: clayton kershaw, home run, manny machado

Friday, May 03, 2019

MLB roundup: Syndergaard homers in 1-0 shutout

Noah Syndergaard did it all for the New York Mets on Thursday afternoon, as the right-hander tossed a four-hitter and produced the game’s only run with a third-inning homer in a 1-0 win over the visiting Cincinnati Reds.

Syndergaard’s second career shutout — and his second homer of the season and the sixth of his career — gave the Mets a split of the four-game series. He walked one and struck out 10.

The 1-0 win Thursday was the first in the Mets’ 58-year history in which the starting pitcher accounted for the run with a homer. Syndergaard (2-3) is the first pitcher to homer for the only run in his shutout since Bob Welch did it for the Dodgers on June 17, 1983, also against the Reds.

The opposite-field homer by Syndergaard off Tyler Mahle (0-4) was the fourth of the season for a Mets pitcher, tying the franchise record set previously in 2016.

But remember! We can mock relievers as failed starters all we want, but any suggestion that designated hitters are failed position players gets folk looking at you like you’ve killed their dog!

QLE Posted: May 03, 2019 at 03:59 AM | 28 comment(s)
  Beats: home run, noah syndergaard

Saturday, April 27, 2019

Nationals prospect homers in MLB debut and his parents’ reaction was priceless

Vladimir Guerrero Jr. might be getting all the headlines, but he wasn’t the only top prospect to make an impact in his major league debut on Friday night.

Carter Kieboom, long regarded as a future stalwart on the Washington Nationals infield, received the call ahead of their series opener against the San Diego Padres and provided plenty of fireworks.

For his first MLB hit, Kieboom launched a home run off respected veteran reliever Craig Stammen. The booming eighth-inning blast temporarily tied the game and it sent his parents into a joy-filled frenzy as they watched from the stands.

 

 

QLE Posted: April 27, 2019 at 09:31 AM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: carter kieboom, home run, parents

 

 

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