Baseball

Special Screening Of “Branca’s Pitch” Thursday At Avon

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One of Bobby Valentine’s passionate but lesser-profiled ventures is his role as executive producer of Makuhari Media, a collaborative effort putting out an eclectic mix of documentaries. The first release, “Ballplayer: Pelotero,” was the well-received story of two Dominican baseball players trying to navigate the bumpy road toward their Major League dreams.

The company’s latest release is much closer to Valentine’s heart. “Branca’s Pitch” is about the former Brooklyn Dodger great Ralph Branca, infamously known as giving up “The Shot Heard Round The World” to the Giants’ Bobby Thomson in 1951, clinching the National League pennant. Branca’s life story is much more varied and compelling.

He is also Valentine’s father-in-law.

“What happened was he decided to do a book and as he was running around with this author we had a film crew with him,” Valentine told The Ruden Report last month. “So we made the documentary about the making of the book. It was really cool. It was really cool. He’s an amazing guy. Being the last living member of the ’47 Dodgers, living a life of stardom, being the youngest guy on that team at the time, winning 21 games when he was 21, marrying the owner’s daughter, being a real successful businessman in the insurance industry, and living with the one pitch he threw on Oct. 3, 1951. It’s an amazing story, his life.”

The film is already available for rent on iTunes, but the Avon Theater in Stamford is holding a special event Thursday night at 7. After a screening of the film, there will be a question and answer session with Branca, Valentine and Andrew Muscato, who produced the documentary “The Zen of Bobby V,” which followed Valentine through the 2007 season when he managed in Japan, for ESPN Films. Muscato formed Makuhari Media with Valentine, and “Branca’s Pitch” marks his directorial debut.

Tickets for the event are $10 for members and $15 for non-members.

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For more information on the film, you can check out the film’s home page here.

For more information and background, you can check out the Avon website here.

Below is the trailer for the film.