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Block Cinema Screens Rare Baseball Footage

Screening will feature some of the sport’s greatest players, including Willie Mays, Ted Williams, Gil Hodges, Phil Rizzuto and Babe Ruth.

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June 3, 2009 | by Judy Moore
Watch highlights from the 2009 rare baseball film screening. Video produced by Matt Paolelli
EVANSTON, Ill. --- Chicago-area baseball fans will have the opportunity to view rare films from the Baseball Hall of Fame for the fifth consecutive year at Northwestern University’s Block Cinema. The annual screening, which is free and open to the public, has become a popular spring event at Block Cinema for young and old alike.

Block Cinema will screen about 70 minutes of rare baseball footage at 7 p.m. Thursday, June 11, in the James B. Pick and Rosalyn M. Laudati Auditorium of the Mary and Leigh Block Museum of Art, 40 Arts Circle Drive, on Northwestern’s Evanston campus.

The screening will feature some of the sport’s greatest players, including Willie Mays, Ted Williams, Gil Hodges, Phil Rizzuto, Babe Ruth and major league pitcher, manager and team owner Clark Griffith.

The program will include commentary by David Filipi, film and video curator at Wexner Center for the Arts, Ohio State University. Filipi, the organizer of the program, will introduce each selection of film clips, which he culled from a large selection of footage from the archives at the Baseball Hall of Fame.

“Some of this eclectic mix of rare films is strictly historical, some purely fun and others shed light on aspects of baseball history that many people did not know about,” said Filipi. “Older audience members may have witnessed some of these events when they were young, and younger people get the chance to see something they may only have read about.”

The June 11 screening will include footage from Willie Mays’ 511th home run; newsreel of the 1954 World Series game between the New York Giants and the Cleveland Indians; and excerpts from the 1951 National League Diamond Jubilee featuring famous sportscaster Mel Allen, National League President (at the time) Ford Frick, and Hall of Fame players Rogers Hornsby and Tris Speaker.

Also screened will be an excerpt from a post-World War II documentary on Ted Williams; Gillette Razor television commercials from the mid-1950s featuring Gil Hodges, Phil Rizzuto, Eddie Lopat and Carl Erskine; and 1954 footage of Washington Senators owner Clark Griffith’s 85th birthday celebration featuring J. Edgar Hoover, the first director of the FBI.

For more information, call Northwestern’s Block Cinema at (847) 491-4000 or visit www.blockmuseum.northwestern.edu.
Topics: Campus Life