Wednesday, September 26, 2012

The "42" Trailer: Shot By Shot

We now present an even closer examination of the series of events that apparently depicts a Pittsburgh Pirates pitcher beaning Jackie Robinson in the head during the trailer for the movie "42". Fritz Ostermueller is the culprit. We know this from newspaper reports on the filming in Birmingham, Alabama earlier this year. However, Ostermueller may not be the only Pirates pitcher shown. There may be someone else. Watch the trailer one more time. The initial sequence of events involving the Pirates begins around the 1:00 mark of the trailer.

Now, let's take a closer look at the sequence of shots involving the Pittsburgh Pirates.

This is the first Pirates pitcher we see in the trailer for "42", but it may not be Fritz Ostermueller.
The next shot shows Jackie Robinson in a Montreal Royals uniform, but it appears this is from another scene.
That's because the next shot is most certainly Robinson in a Brooklyn Dodgers uniform. You can see the loop of the "g" just under his left arm. 
The cutaway during the swing shows that we are at Forbes Field in Pittsburgh. You can see the iconic scoreboard in left field. It is 1947, Robinson's rookie season.
Looks like a home run, even though records show Robinson didn't have any extra base hits during his first series as a Dodger at Forbes Field. Regardless, Robinson casually tosses aside his bat. The #21 on the back of the pitcher's uniform is the clue that led us to discover that the character is real-life Pirates pitcher, Fritz Ostermueller.
The next shot shows that Ostermueller is not amused. He is played by actor Linc Hand. Also, look at the attention to detail in this shot. You can see the roof of the Carnegie Museum of Natural History over the left field wall in the background. The scene was shot at Rickwood Field in Birmingham, Alabama. There is no such building there in real life. It was added during post-production.
At this point, the trailer goes off on a bit of a tangent. It returns to the scene seconds later.

A Pirates pitcher delivers. Is it Fritz Ostermueller, or someone else? Compare the pitcher in this shot to the one we know is Ostermueller in the shot directly above. To me, it looks like someone else. Specifically, it looks like the pitcher in the very first shot at the top of this article.
The pitch is traveling directly at Jackie Robinson's head.
Certainly not trying to make light of the situation. The trailer shows the ball striking Robinson directly in the head. That contradicts at least one report from the time, which stated that Robinson appeared to get his arm up to protect his face. Perhaps the reporter meant to say that Robinson tried to get his arm up to protect himself, but was unable to do so.

As far as a second Pirates pitcher, I'm not sure what to believe. It makes sense for it to be Ostermueller alone. Perhaps I'm looking too closely. Take a look for yourself and share your own feedback. It's always appreciated. Thanks for reading.