Documentary on Cleveland baseball history to screen at 2022 Cleveland International Film Festival
A new documentary highlighting the tragedy of Ray Chapman and how that sparked an eternal rivalry with the New York Yankees is premiering at this year’s Cleveland International Film Festival.
Growing up in the 1970s, I used to listen to Pete Franklin, a sports talk show host on Cleveland AM radio.
Franklin would discuss Cleveland sports and callers would ask him questions and provide opinions. In fact, well-known talk show host Mike Trivisonno was an early caller to Franklin’s show.
While on air and talking to fans, Franklin would often let the listener know that he did not like the Yankees.
This disdain for the Yankees led Franklin to a promotional idea.
Fans attending the September 5, 1977 Labor Day doubleheader at Municipal Stadium against the Yankees would receive a Yankee Hanky. They were inspired by Franklin to wave the hanky around at the games. A large crowd of over 28,000 attended and Cleveland won both games to break a long losing streak.
As this was such a popular promotion, you may have wondered about how this rivalry with the Yankees began. In order to do so, you may be interested in attending the screening of a new documentary, War on the Diamond.
Directed by Andy Billman, producer of the Cleveland sports documentary Believeland, War on the Diamond explores how a Carl Mays pitch that struck Ray Chapman led to an intense rivalry between the Guardians franchise and the New York Yankees.
The film features interviews with current Cleveland Guardians coaches Terry Francona and Sandy Alomar Jr. In addition, former Guardians players appearing in the documentary include Bob Feller, Kenny Lofton, and Andre Thornton. Also, Guardians front office staff such as Bob DiBiasio, Senior VP of Public Affairs, and team historian Jeremy Feador also appear in the documentary.
Fans can attend screenings of War on the Diamond on April 2 and April 3 at the Cleveland International Film Festival. Information about attending the screening or watching the screening online can be found here.