Julie Tam, NBCDFW
The life story of former Arlington mayor Tom Vandergriff soon may be told on the silver screen.
The life story of former Arlington mayor Tom Vandergriff soon may be told on the silver screen. His family is shooting a promotional film this weekend, in hopes of getting a full-length feature made. They want to take audiences behind the scenes of how Vandergriff brought Major League Baseball to North Texas.
Parker Vandergriff is telling the story of his late grandfather Tom Vandergriff and how he brought the Texas Rangers to Arlington.
"To be a small-town mayor in the middle of nowhere, to go up against the people he went up against in the highest levels of professional sports is just remarkable," said Parker. "He nearly imploded his family life because of what was happening with Major League Baseball, because he couldn't give all of himself to his family."
"It's someone that gave his life for the community. And I think this is symbolic of how much time he spent trying to help the Dallas-Fort Worth area and the Arlington area," said Mack Mercer, son of former Dallas-Fort Worth Spurs owner Tommy Mercer.
Fort Worth's LaGrave Field is standing in for Turnpike Stadium during filming. Set designers used actual photographs from the 1960s to recreate the space including a program booth, popcorn wagon, turnstiles, and ticket windows showing 1960s prices. Fans cast as extras filled the seats, dressed in '60s attire, for filming on Saturday.
Parker Vandergriff calls it the greatest untold story of baseball.
"You can't script a better story. And we honestly feel like we have our script, our story as something that people had no idea even went on," said Parker.
The promotional film shoot continues Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. in Arlington. Extras are needed to shoot a 1960s parade on Main Street and a political rally outside City Hall.