Synopsis by Hal Erickson
Originally telecast October 9, 1983, Tiger Town was the first feature film made specifically for the Disney Channel cable service. Roy Scheider stars as a veteran Detroit Tigers right fielder, whose chances of getting into at least one World Series before retirement diminishes with each Tigers loss. Scheider's biggest fan is preteener Justin Henry, so devoted to baseball that his mother wakes him up each morning by playing "The Star Spangled Banner." Recalling the words of his late father--"If you really believe deep in your heart, there's always hope and you can make it happen"--Henry closes his eyes and "wills" Scheider to hit a winning home runs. Wham! It works! Thereafter, Henry shows up at every game, convinced that the Tigers will lose if he doesn't "will" a few homers from the bleachers (indeed, whenever Henry is absent, the Tigers tank). A crisis develops when it appears as though Henry will not be on hand for the deciding pennant game between the Tigers and the Orioles. Beautifully acted and directed for the most part (the scene in which Henry learns of his father's death is particularly well-handled), Tiger Town falls apart about ten minutes before the ending, when it degenerates into a standard "Disney movie," complete with a destructive slapstick chase. Otherwise, Tiger Town, the maiden directorial effort of Alan Shapiro, is a first-rate baseball picture, one of the best of the genre. Watch for cameo appearances by ex- "Supreme" Mary Wilson, Tigers manager Sparky Anderson, and sportscasters Ernie Harwell, Ray Lane and Al Ackerman.
boy, fan [devotee], baseball, mentor, pennant