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.
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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.