Sunday, April 28, 2013
Over the past couple weeks, I've had the pleasure of speaking with Fritz Ostermueller's adopted daughter Sherrill Ostermueller Duesterhaus. She was born in Canonsburg, PA - just outside Pittsburgh - and was adopted just after her birth. She now lives in Joplin, Missouri.
Sherrill learned about the less than flattering (and frankly, inaccurate) portrayal of her father in "42" on the Monday after the film's opening. No one from the studio ever contacted her to inform her that her father would be one of the movie's primary villains opposing Jackie Robinson.
"It's broken my heart," she told me over the phone.
Since our first conversation, Sherrill has seen "42" for herself. She recently put her reaction into words, and posted it as a comment under my previous post on Fritz Ostermueller on this blog. She also shared some press clippings from her personal scrapbook of her father's career. It includes the best evidence I've seen that Ostermueller did not hit Jackie Robinson with a pitch out of malice.
I've become very invested and passionate about Fritz Ostermueller, and how he's portrayed in "42". However, I could never speak or write with the same honest and heartfelt emotion as his daughter does. The man she knew was not a racist. He was a good man. A great father. Now, she's taken up what she calls her duty to defend his good name.