Alcoa Premiere (1961–1963)
6.9/10
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4 user 2 critic

Flashing Spikes 

An old ballplayer, thrown out of baseball due to a bribery scandal, becomes friends with a young phenom. The younger player is at first tainted by his association with the oldtimer, but ... See full summary »

Director:

John Ford

Writers:

Jameson Brewer (teleplay), Frank O'Rourke (novel)
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Cast

Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Fred Astaire ... Himself - Host
James Stewart ... Slim Conway
Jack Warden ... Commissioner
Patrick Wayne ... Bill Riley
Edgar Buchanan ... Crab Holman
Tige Andrews ... Gaby Lasalle
Stephanie Hill ... Mary Riley
Carleton Young ... Rex Short
Willis Bouchey ... Mayor
Charles Seel ... Judge
Bing Russell ... Hogan
Harry Carey Jr. ... Man in the Dugout
Vin Scully ... Announcer
Walter Reed ... 2nd Reporter
Sally Hughes ... Nurse
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Storyline

An old ballplayer, thrown out of baseball due to a bribery scandal, becomes friends with a young phenom. The younger player is at first tainted by his association with the oldtimer, but eventually the truth about the scandal is revealed. Written by Jim Beaver <jumblejim@prodigy.net>

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Genres:

Drama

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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

4 October 1962 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Avasta Productions See more »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Trivia

The last of the tiny handful of television segments to be directed by John Ford. See more »

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User Reviews

 
The old ballgame
26 March 2017 | by bkoganbingSee all my reviews

John Ford assembled a few of his stock company regulars for this fine Alcoa Premiere story about a young ballplayer accused of throwing a game in the World Series. The proof, that star rookie first baseman Patrick Wayne was seen taking an envelope from former star player James Stewart who back in the day was banned from baseball for doing just that.

Stewart's character is based on Shoeless Joe Jackson of the infamous Black Sox and debate rages to this day just what and how much Jackson did to throw the 1919 World Series. In fact he led both teams in batting, hit the only home run in the series, and made no discernible bad plays. He did however except money from the gamblers.

Most of the story is told in flashback at an emergency hearing the Commissioner of Baseball played by Jack Warden is holding. I'm glad that Ford documented the barnstorming that players used to do in the off season for extra money. This was in the days of the reserve clause and many Major League players including lots of stars as gate attractions played in these pickup games. Like the one you see here where Pat Wayne's high school championship team meets some oldtimers like Stewart. These things were beyond the control of organized baseball, Shoeless Joe Jackson and other banned players played on these barnstormers and in 'outlaw' leagues. That's all in the past.

Edgar Buchanan has a nice role as a sportswriter and the game's official scorer and Tige Andrews does well as Wayne's manager. The one to really look out for is Carleton Young playing a bottom feeding sportswriter. I believe he's based on one Dave Egan who was a sportswriter in Boston who was known for riding both Casey Stengel and Ted Williams in his columns.

And you can also see John Wayne in a brief cameo appearance. You'll have to spot him. Have fun trying, he's a figure of authority.


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