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Blog: Documentary Shows Unorthodox Look at America's Pastime

The film is not only for baseball fans who need an America's Pastime fix after the too-short World Series, but also for those who enjoy offbeat humor, and poignant, misty-eyed tales of reconciliation.

“Not Exactly Cooperstown,” a just released, full-length documentary will be screened in the Community Room on Friday, November 9 at 7:00 p.m.  This is a new date because there was a chance that the Game 7 of the World Series could have been played on the previously scheduled date.  The program is free and

will also feature filmmaker Jon Leonoudakis whose lifelong love affair with
America’s National Pastime was snuffed out in 2002 during the game’s ignoble
steroids era.  But then Jon experienced a profound and lasting personal
transformation.

Leonoudakis attended an alternative baseball Hall of Fame ceremony in 2002 where fans could actually vote in the inductees. An organization called The Baseball Reliquary staged the event, and honored ‘Shoeless’ Joe Jackson, Mark ‘The Bird’ Fidrych, and Minnie Minoso, ‘The Cuban Comet’ by electing them to their ‘Shrine of the Eternals.’ Jon found himself surrounded by enthusiasts who loved the game with a fervor that matched his own.

“The Reliquary’s approach to the game is very different,” says Leonoudakis. “It
loves baseball, but not reverentially. The Reliquary is run by people steeped
in the arts who operate it as a grass-roots affair. The organization fosters an
appreciation of American history and culture through the lens of baseball.” Jon
spent a year in the life of the Reliquary, “to see what makes it tick,” and to
share the results. Leonoudakis calls his film “a star-spangled journey into the
heart and soul of baseball that can’t be quantified by numbers.”

“Cooperstown is for statistics, and the Reliquary is for stories and the great characters of the game,” producer/director Leonoudakis adds. “My documentary is an unorthodox look at America’s most orthodox game. “This isn’t your father’s baseball documentary,” says Jon. “My film is a bold stew of Americana, folklore,
scandal, fandom, poetry, sport, and art.” Interviews with a cavalcade of
experts, fans,  and  free-thinkers abound, including former major
league pitchers Jim Bouton (Ball Four) and Bill “Spaceman” Lee,  as
well as the San Diego Chicken, filmmaker Ron Shelton (Bull Durham),
author Arnold Hano (A Day in the Bleachers),  and Terry Cannon, the
Executive Director and founder of the Reliquary.

Jon Leonoudakis has been a producer since 1985, leading teams on a diverse range of projects for clients and project partners like the Disney Theme Parks
worldwide, the United Nations, Disney Cruise Lines, Pixar, Mercedes-Benz, and
Universal Studios/Hollywood, as well as producing and directing, 5:04 p.m.:
A First-Hand Account of the 1989 World Series Earthquake Game
.

The program is presented by the South Pasadena Public Library, the Friends of the South Pasadena Public Library, and the Baseball Reliquary.  Audience members are asked to “dress baseball” and a trivia contest with prizes will start the event. The Community Room is located at 1115 El Centro Street. Doors will open at 6:30 p.m. and no tickets or reservations are necessary. Refreshments will be served.

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