|Directed by||William Dear|
|Written by||W. William Winokur|
|Produced by||David Salzberg|
Mark W Koch
|Starring|| Clifton Collins Jr. |
Jake T. Austin
Emilie de Ravin
|Cinematography||Bryan F. Greenberg|
|Edited by||Chris Conlee|
|Music by||Bill Conti|
Lone Runner Entertainment
Independent Producers Alliance
|Distributed by|| Lionsgate |
The Perfect Game is a 2009 American drama film directed by William Dear, based on the 2008 book of the same name written by W. William Winokur.The film is based on the events leading to the 1957 Little League World Series, which was won by the first team from outside the United States, the Industrial Little League of Monterrey, Mexico, who defeated the heavily favored U.S. team. Mexican pitcher Ángel Macías threw the first, and so far only, perfect game in championship game history.
César Faz (Clifton Collins Jr.), moves to Monterrey, Mexico, after he is let go by the St. Louis Cardinals from his job as a clubhouse attendant. There he meets local children being led by Padre Esteban (Cheech Marin), enjoying baseball; he takes pitcher Ángel Macías (Jake T. Austin), under his wing and brags about his own pitching skills and how he used to coach the Cardinals. Ángel convinces César to help recruit and coach Monterrey's first-ever Little League team. With César's skills and Padre Esteban's support, the boys hone themselves into a competitive team worthy of international competition. At the final game of the World Series of Little League, Monterrey defeated the team of West La Mesa, California, 4–0. Enrique Suárez (Jansen Panettiere), hit a grand slam home run, and Ángel Macías pitched a perfect game, a feat that has not since been repeated in Little League World Series history.
When the team arrives in the United States, they are met with racism, a language barrier, and visa troubles. Though the underdogs, the team scores a series of victories that endear them to the media, and new fans. They befriend a sports reporter, Frankie (Emilie de Ravin), and the groundskeeper, Cool Papa Bell (Louis Gossett Jr.), who then assist the boys in reaching the final game.
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The film is based on a true story about a group of boys from Monterrey, Mexico, who became the first non-U.S. team to win the Little League World Series in 1957. Their team was Industriales de Monterrey, nicknamed "Los pequeños gigantes" (The little giants). Before traveling to the United States, the Little League team of the Industriales de Monterrey Baseball Club, played two seasons on the local 4 team Little League circuit before qualifying, as the second Little League team coming from outside of the United States and Canada; they participated in the southern area regional tournaments, which qualified them for the Little League World Series, held every August in South Williamsport, Pennsylvania.
The Industriales won all qualifying tournaments, to many rather unexpectedly, and advanced to the Little League World Series as the first Mexican team. There, they made it to the finals and defeated the highly favored team from La Mesa, California by a score of 4–0. The pitcher from Monterrey, Angel Macías, threw the first and only perfect game in championship history.The Industriales de Monterrey little league team was so dominant that year, that they were able to repeat their success in the following year in the 1958 Little League World Series.
The film scenes in Monterrey, which is the leading industrial center, one of the largest Mexican cities for over 100 years and a major center for science and research in Mexico, depicted the city as a two-burro village where the children played ball in the dirt choked streets with pigs and chickens serving as bases. The border between Mexico and Texas was portrayed as an out-in-the-middle-of-nowhere border crossing along a dirt road, instead of a bridge border-crossing over the Rio Grande. The digital work to recreate the separate looks for the United States and Monterrey in 1957 was done by Post Logic Studios.
The film has received mixed reviews. Patrick Goldstein of the Los Angeles Times said he felt that "the film did a nice job of telling the story of the surprise upset when a youth ball team from Monterrey, Mexico, won the 1957 Little League World Series." He also commented that, "although the story seems like a fable, it reflected true events." He further expressed concern over Lionsgate's suspending the original release date.Ben Apatoff of MLB.com felt that the film was a strong family movie that appeals to baseball history buffs or any person who could relate to a child in love with the game. Roger Ebert wrote: "You sort of know how these underdog sports movies turn out. Doesn't matter. The Perfect Game so expertly uses the charisma and personalities of the actors, especially the young ones, that it's thrilling anyway."
A. O. Scott of At the Movies said, "[From] the second minute of the movie I knew every single thing that was going to happen and there was not a single surprise."Michael Phillips of the Chicago Tribune wrote, "The movie feels fraudulent, whether it's sticking to the historical record or going its own way with the customary composites and revisions and fabrications." The film ranking website Rotten Tomatoes reports that 57% of critics have given The Perfect Game positive reviews, based upon a sample of 44.
The film screened at the 2009 Guadalajara International Film Festival,with Eva Longoria invited to the preview. Louis Gossett Jr. was also in attendance for the premiere. The film was originally to be released in theaters on August 8, 2008, but it was bumped from that date, which Lionsgate said was due to marketing monies another party pledged but did not deliver.
A perfect game in Major League Baseball is a game by a pitcher that lasts a minimum of nine innings with no batter reaching first base. To achieve a perfect game, a team must not allow any opposing player to reach base by any means: no hits, walks, hit batsmen, uncaught third strikes, catcher's or fielder's interference, or fielding errors; in short, "27 up, 27 down". The feat has been achieved 23 times in MLB history – 21 times since the modern era began in 1901, most recently by Félix Hernández of the Seattle Mariners on August 15, 2012. A perfect game, by definition, is also a no-hitter. Until a rule change in 2020, a perfect game was also necessarily a win and a shutout. A fielding error that does not allow a batter to reach base, such as a misplayed foul ball, does not spoil a perfect game. Weather-shortened contests in which a team has no baserunners and games in which a team reaches first base only in extra innings do not qualify as perfect games.
Alphonse Dante Bichette Sr. is an American former professional baseball player and currently employed by the Toronto Blue Jays organization. He played in Major League Baseball (MLB) as an outfielder for the California Angels (1988–1990), Milwaukee Brewers (1991–1992), Colorado Rockies (1993–1999), Cincinnati Reds (2000), and Boston Red Sox (2000–2001). He was also the hitting coach for the Rockies in 2013. He batted and threw right-handed.
Little League Baseball and Softball is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization based in South Williamsport, Pennsylvania, United States, that organizes local youth baseball and softball leagues throughout the United States and the rest of the world.
The Little League Baseball World Series is an annual baseball tournament in the Eastern United States, held in Williamsport, Pennsylvania for children – typically boys – aged 10 to 12 years old. Originally called the National Little League Tournament, it was later renamed for the World Series in Major League Baseball. The Series was first held in 1947 and is held every August in South Williamsport, Pennsylvania.
Professional baseball leagues, amateur-baseball organizations, sportswriting associations, and other groups confer awards on various baseball teams, players, managers, coaches, executives, broadcasters, writers, and other baseball-related people for excellence in achievement, sportsmanship, and community involvement.
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The Estadio de Béisbol Monterrey is a baseball stadium in Monterrey, Mexico. It is the home venue of the Sultanes Monterrey Mexican League baseball team. It holds 21,906 people, making it the largest baseball stadium in Mexico and the third largest in Latin America.
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Clifton Craig Collins Jr. is an American actor. After starting in 1990, with small roles in film and on television, Collins gained attention for his performance as Cpl. Ramon Aguilar, a prisoner "serving" under an imprisoned general played by Robert Redford in the 2001 film The Last Castle. His extensive work includes featured roles in films such as One Eight Seven (1997), Traffic (2000), Capote (2005), Star Trek (2009) and Pacific Rim (2013). Collins extensive work on television series includes Crisis Center (1997), Thief (2006), which earned him a Primetime Emmy Award nomination, The Event (2010–2011), and Westworld (2016–2020).
Jansen Rayne Panettiere is an American actor. He is known for his roles in films The Perfect Game, Ice Age: The Meltdown, The Martial Arts Kid and How High 2. His elder sister is actress Hayden Panettiere.
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Mexico participated in the Little League World Series as part of the Latin America Region from 1957 to 2000. In 2001, when the LLWS expanded to sixteen teams, the Mexico Region was created, so that each year the Mexico Little League championship team has an automatic berth in the World Series. The country currently has about 450 active leagues, making it the third-largest country in Little League participation.
The 1957 Little League World Series took place during August 21 through 23 in Williamsport, Pennsylvania. Industrial Little League of Monterrey, Nuevo León, Mexico, defeated Northern La Mesa Little League of La Mesa, California, in the championship game of the 11th Little League World Series. Ángel Macías threw the first and, to date, only perfect game in an LLWS championship.
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The 1958 Little League World Series took place on August 19 through 22 in Williamsport, Pennsylvania. Industrial Little League of Monterrey, Nuevo León, Mexico, won its second consecutive Little League World Series by defeating the Jaycee Little League of Kankakee, Illinois, in the 12th Championship Game.