Dodgers’ Film & TV Hits

(Pictured above: Sandy Koufax and Mister Ed. Source: YouTube screenshot.)

With the Los Angeles Dodgers returning to the World Series tonight for the first time in 29 years, we thought we’d take a look at film and TV appearances by Hollywood’s first major league home team over the six decades since the franchise fled Brooklyn six decades ago. Well, actually we’ll be looking at just the late ‘50s and early ‘60s, when the newly arrived Dodgers became the toast of Tinseltown.

The Savvy Screener is indebted to Jeff Katz, author and Cooperstown, NY mayor, whose article “Everybody’s a Star: The Dodgers Go Hollywood” from the Society for American Baseball Research, guided us to the following clips:

The Geisha Boy

The late Jerry Lewis provides a player-by-player guide to the Dodgers’ first West Coast team in 1958’s The Geisha Boy. You can stream the complete movie from $2.99 at YouTube and other sites.

The Rifleman

Fresh off winning the 1959 World Series, Dodger centerfielder and future Hall of Famer Duke Snider guest-starred in a small role during the first season of ABC’s western The Rifleman. Snider plays bad guy Jeff Wallace in the episode:

Mister Ed

Four years later, in a show that TV Guide in 1997 would name the 73rd best episode in TV history, Dodgers coach (and another future Hall of Famer) Leo Durocher met CBS’ talking horse Mister Ed:

Colt .45

We couldn’t track down any complete episodes or clips of Dodger pitching greats Sandy Koufax or Don Drysdale in their numerous TV acting appearances, but did want to mention that Koufax guest-starred on the third season of ABC western Colt .45 in 1960 (show’s intro below). Two years later, an expansion baseball team called the Colt .45s debuted in Houston. Later changing their name to the Astros, they will play the Dodgers tonight in the World Series. You can watch over-the-air on Fox stations, game time 8:09 pm ET.




About Les Luchter

Les Luchter is a former managing editor of Multichannel News, editor-in-chief of Cable Marketing, and news editor of Broadcast Week.

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