Kings/ The Duke

During my career in the performing arts, I spent some time in Hollywood. While there, I wrote a screenplay on spec about the First World Series in 1903.

The National League was formed circa 1850 and was the only baseball league until 1902. 

A sportswriter named Ban Johnson thought there should be a second league and formed the new American League. Johnson put together a stellar team to head the League and called it the Boston Pilgrims which later became the Boston Red Sox.

Johnson’s team included some top players: Cy Young; Jimmy Collins, star 1st baseman and later Hall of Famer; Chief Bender, American Indian, also a pitcher and left fielder and Hall of Famer; Dummy Hoy, deaf/mute and center fielder; and Germany Schaefer. (I added some of these colorful characters of the era to spice up the story, but the basic events were true).

The fans of the National League hated the new team and the new league. There were fights and some stadiums were burned down. The whole 1903 year was one of discord and violence.

The Pilgrims went on to beat the Pittsburg Pirates in the First World Series with Bill Dineen winning 4 games and Cy Young 3 games for the new Boston team. 

I knew a guy who lived in New Port Beach next to Wayne who got my script, The Kings of October, to him and his film company, Batjac Productions. The Duke loved it (he was to play the part of Jimmy Collins who managed the Boston team) and they optioned the film. 

He said he wanted to do one last major film, but, we were too late. He passed on before we could go into production.