Negron: Gehrig The Luckiest Man

I remember as a little boy I used to love to stay up late at night and watch old movies. On CBS TV at 11:30 pm there was no such thing as Letterman, they use to have “The Late Show.” We “old timers” remember exactly what that was, old classic movies every night. I must have been eight years old and this movie came on called “The Pride of the Yankees.” In between smiling and crying, I fell in love with Lou Gehrig and Gary Cooper, the actor that played Gehrig in the movie, baseball and naturally The New York Yankees. As faith would have it, I would get to join the fabled organization and become very close to the man who would become the most powerful man in sports, George M Steinbrenner. I loved the arts very much especially films and every once in a while I used to love to talk about movies with him. I remember once asking him that if they ever made a movie about him, who would he like to play his character and he told me Brian Dennehy.

Another time, I remember asking him what his favorite all time movie was and he told me it was “The Pride of the Yankees.” He said the reason it was so great was the heart and soul that Gary Cooper put into the role. On the Boss’s 75th birthday I gave him a beautiful framed picture of Gary Cooper in a Yankees uniform and Cooper In his cowboy outfit from the film “Highnoon”, which was the Boss’s second favorite film. I was very proud ofc the fact that he really seemed to like this gift because of the way he stared at it.

Today in the Hollywood community it was announced that a film called “Gehrig” was going into pre-production.
Jay Russell was brought on to direct the film, which is based on the Jonathan Eig book, “The Luckiest Man,” and Dan Kay wrote the script. The producers of the film are Michael and David Uslan, from Batman fame. Armando Gutiérrez, who I worked with in “Walt Before Mickey and now here is the kicker– the other producer is the reason that I feel so good about this project. His name is Robert Molloy. I have known Robert since he was born and I know his passion for sports and entertainment, his heart and soul to win and succeed and how much he cares about people.

Don’t cross him though because if you do, he will bite back. Sounds like someone that I use to work for doesn’t it? Well that’s because Robert Molloy is the grandson of none other than George M. Steinbrenner himself. I probably know Robert better than any of the other grandkids and feel confident that his love of the Yankees will help protect the brand and the dignity of both the Yankees and of course the Lou Gehrig name. I know that Robert wanted the rights to the Gehrig book because of the incredible context, probably never before heard or really known. Such as the fact that after baseball Gehrig became a parole officer and actually sent the future world middleweight champion Rocky Graziano back to prison. Also how when Gehrig was in a weak physical state he still tried to deal with the unjust done to many black and Puerto Rican inmates. There are a lot more incredible facts that will make this film great. The process of casting this film will probably be the most fun and I know that Robert is anxious to participate in this part of the film’s process. Molloy is just completing the film Little Mermaids with Gutiérrez starring Academy Award winner Shirley McClain. He is also in pre-production with Bill Chartoff, of Rocky, Karate Kid and Creed fame, in a film called “Stano.” “Stano” stars Joe Manganiello, Sofia Vergara and Whoopi Goldberg with the screenplay by Robert Bruzio. Robert has worked very hard to try to bring great films to the silver screen. If he runs his production company the way his Grand Pop ran the Yankees, then I hope we are talking about future academy awards!

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