It’s not easy being a Rangers fan.
I start every season feeling so optimistic and hopeful that this will be the season that the team will finally get itself together and return to the World Series. Every season, that feeling lasts for a game or two and then it’s back to just taking my victories where I can get them. This season, we’re already in last place in the AL West and my favorite Ranger, Elvis Andrus, is now playing for Oakland. However, as bad as things are here at the start, we’ve still won more games than the Yankees, The Twins, and the Tigers. That’s my little victory. The great thing about baseball is that if you get enough of those little victories, there’s a chance that they’ll eventually turn into a big victory.
Earlier today, I watched an old, black-and-white movie called It Happened In Flatbush. It’s about a baseball team that no one is giving much of a chance. Even though the team isn’t given a name in the film, the film takes place in Brooklyn and, in the 1942, the Dodgers were Brooklyn’s team. The owner of the team, Mrs. McAcvoy (Sara Allgood), has promised all of the team’s fans that the team is going to reward their loyalty by eventually making it to the World Series. Looking for a new manager, she sets her eyes on Frank Maguire (Lloyd Nolan). Maguire used to play for the team until he committed an error that led to a crucial defeat. Now, Frank is managing a minor league team in Texas and everyone thinks that he’s washed up. Mrs. McAvoy knows that Frank has something to prove and she hires him to be her new manager.
Just like the team, no one gives Frank much of a chance but he proves them wrong. He wins over the people of Brooklyn when he stands up for a fan who lived out every baseball lover’s dream of punching an umpire. When Mrs. McAcoy dies and the team is inherited by her daughter (Carole Landis), Frank teaches her all about baseball and Brooklyn and the two of them fall in love. With his team sometimes grumbling about his tough coaching style, Frank tries to lead both the team and an untried pitcher into the race for the pennant.
It Happened in Flatbush is an old movie but I liked it. Of course, I also love baseball so that probably helped because the move loves baseball too. I especially liked the courtroom scene where Frank stood up for every fan who has ever gone overboard supporting their team. He talks about what the team means to the people of Brooklyn and how a victory for the team is a victory for the entire borough. Even today, any baseball fan will be able to relate to what Frank’s saying. I also liked that the movie included a lot of footage of actual baseball games from the 40s.
Mostly, I appreciated the movie because it was a classic underdog story. No one gives the team much of a chance but they prove them wrong. It reminded me that, in baseball, anything can happen and just because your team is struggling now, that doesn’t mean that they can’t make a comeback. Watching It Happened in Flatbush made me realize that there’s hope for my team yet!
It Happened in Flatbush is a movie for those of us who love baseball. It isn’t available on any streaming services but it does sometimes air on the Fox Movie Channel.