Los Angeles- CA: Ted Collins - the 2018 Slamdance Award-Winning Producer and principal of Gritty Film Productions (MR. FISH CARTOONING FROM THE DEEP END and the upcoming 2 MEN AND A PIG starring Dermot Mulroney), has acquired the exclusive rights to develop author David Fanucchi's book MIRACLE ON GRASS.
Fanucchi was the Press Officer for the 2000 USA Baseball Olympic Team. Led by Hall-of-Fame manager Tommy Lasorda - who came out of retirement to lead the charge for his country - they pulled off the greatest upset in Olympic baseball history to win the gold medal at the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney, Australia. Their triumph was remarkable, but the story of their coming together is even harder to imagine. "As arguably the greatest underdog story in American baseball history, I couldn't be more excited to begin working with Ted on a chance to develop this on film," said Fanucchi. "Ted is exactly the type of producer that I was hoping would take our story and run with it. He's passionate, tenacious, and determined, and I believe in his vision for this project."
Lasorda - reached in his office at Dodger Stadium - was equally thrilled. "Managing the USA Baseball Team to an Olympic Gold Medal was the greatest achievement and proudest moment of my life," the Hall of Fame, legendary Dodgers manager said. "I am thrilled to hear that Ted Collins has acquired the rights to turn David Fanucchi's book into a movie. I will do whatever I can to lend a hand, and assist them in creating an outstanding and inspirational film."
Of the deal, Ted Collins said "I love underdog stories, especially ones involving sports. I'm a big fan of baseball and Tommy Lasorda. He's a living legend. It's surprising to me that not too many people know about this amazing accomplishment -- how Lasorda assembled a rag tag bunch of baseball players, brought them to Sydney and beat the heavily favored, Cuba. All to minimal fanfare. While most of America was asleep, (this happened in the middle of the night in USA time), Lasorda led the Americans to gold in Sydney. In fact, it's the only time the Americans won gold. David Fanucchi was there and lucky for us he captured the glory in riveting detail in his book "Miracle on Grass." Tommy considers this his greatest accomplishment and did it for his beloved country. Tommy wants to leave something behind to inspire kids. He came from humble beginnings, but always believed he could accomplish anything he set his mind to. That's the message and we're going to make this movie for Tommy!"
MIRACLE ON GRASS tells the true story of how this unknown squad of American minor leaguers stunned the international baseball powerhouse from Cuba. In his account of this incredible true story, Fanucchi gives readers a behind the scenes look at how Lasorda persuaded management into giving him the opportunity to coach the team; how the Major League Baseball executives in charge of this operation for the United States went about selecting the players; how the Americans narrowly qualified for the Olympics during a gut-wrenching game; and how capturing the gold medal in Sydney changed the lives of every player, coach and administrator involved.
Told with warmth and an uncanny eye for detail, MIRACLE ON GRASS is an intimate, perceptive portrayal of three incredible weeks in Australia and a story that appeals to American pride. It features the wisdom and determination of one legendary manager, and the heart, guts, and passion of several young baseball players on their attempt to win an Olympic gold medal, as they harness the power of the passion in your heart for family and country.
The USA Baseball organization is currently in the process of selecting the players that will come together in November, and compete in the qualifying tournament of the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan. "Our triumph in 2000 to win the Olympic Gold Medal remains the ultimate moment in the history of this organization," said USA Baseball Executive Director/CEO Paul Seiler. "So to have the opportunity to work with Ted and Gritty Productions on telling that story to the world, is exciting. We look forward to assisting with a feature film production in any way that we can."
Fanucchi currently teaches Journalism at M.L. Wisdom High School in Houston, Texas.
For press inquiries and interview requests contact:
Ryan Bruce Levey Film Distribution and PR Services