For baseball fans here at the University of Scranton, this story will be of particular interest. Did you know that the movie Angels in the Outfield was based on a story by Richard Conlin, pseudonym of Father Richard F. Grady, S.J. (1905-1989), who was Chair of the English Department and Dean of the Evening School here at the University of Scranton?
The story began as a 98-page radio comedy written by Father Grady and was sold to M-G-M Studios. Singer and Catholic celebrity Bing Crosby, a Pirates owner, and Branch Rickey, general manager of the Pittsburgh Pirates, made the deal for the story and secured extensive filming rights in the City of Pittsburgh.
The 1951 movie was directed by Clarence Brown starring Paul Douglas and Janet Leigh, just 21 at the time. Action shots were filmed at Forbes Field in April 1951 and include the University of Pittsburgh’s Cathedral of Learning and cameo roles by Ty Cobb, Joe DiMaggio, Ralph Kiner, and Bing Crosby. Ellen Corby, later of The Waltons, is the orphanage Mother Superior.
The Walt Disney Company remade the movie in 1994, moving the team to Anaheim, home of the California Angels (the current Los Angeles Angels). Weinberg Library has DVD copies of both versions of the film, M-G-M’s 1951 version, and Walt Disney’s 1994 version. They are available for check out from the Media Resources Collection located on the 3rd floor.
Angels in the outfield (1951) / PN1995.9.S67 A54 2007
Angels in the outfield (1994) / PN1995.9.B28 A55 2002