Tom Vandergriff rightfully lived to see the Texas Rangers play in the franchise’s first World Series. He did not live to see a movie made about his efforts to secure the Major League Baseball team for the North Texas region, though he did know it was in development.
Junior might be too young to know the story, but Vandergriff, as mayor of Arlington back in the day, played a key role in transforming the Washington Senators into your Texas Rangers. He did a lot of other stuff, too — a General Motors plant, Six Flags over Texas, the University of Texas at Arlington, D/FW Airport, mayor, congressman, judge — but let’s stick to baseball for the moment.
His Senators-to-Rangers tale is the subject of a movie, aptly titled “Tom Vandergriff The Movie,” with the tagline “The Greatest Untold Story in Baseball.”
Producers need a crowd for the old Turnpike Stadium in Arlington to film a scene. Since Turnpike Stadium no longer exists, they’ll use Fort Worth’s LaGrave Field, and extras — that would be you — need to be dressed in mid-'60s style.
The filming takes place April 30, so you have a couple of weeks to pull together the wardrobe. Check with the producers at 817-277-7104 or via e-mail about the exact time and to indicate your interest in being part of a cinematic legacy to a North Texas legend.
Bruce Felps owns and operates East Dallas Times, an online community news outlet serving the White Rock Lake area. He’s got a healthy respect for Tom Vandergriff.