MAJOR LEAGUE: BACK TO THE MINORS
Locations and Sets
To capture the nostalgic charm of minor league baseball, director
Warren and his creative team of production designer David Crank
and cinematographer Tim Suhrstedt researched small ball parks
in several states before choosing the Charleston, South Carolina
area. Within the city and its environs they discovered six of
the seven minor league ball parks in the script. An hour north
in Orangeburg, they found the seventh-the unspoiled Mirmow Field.
"What I liked about these old ball parks," says Warren,
"is that they still have wooden bleachers and they're not
too sleek. They're kind of like my ball players. They're not polished
College Park became the "Littleville" home field of
the Buzz. Built in 1907 as part of the Citadel campus, College
Park was home to the Charleston Rainbows SingleA minor league
team and currently the practice field for Citadel baseball. The
production filmed seventeen days at the "home" field.
Two days were spent at the historic Mirmow Field in Orangeburg.
Built in 1947, Mirmow had exactly the quality that Warren and
Crank needed for the feel of a smalltown minor league park:
wellpreserved, classic Americana whose character has been
preserved for 50 years.
The other ball parks utilized were the exteriors of Remley's Point
(the sports complex of the College of Charleston), Collins Park
(a small American Legion park in North Charleston) and the Summerville
High School field. Joe Riley Stadium (a stateoftheart
complex modeled after Baltimore's Camden Yards and the home of
the Charleston River Dogs) provided interiors dressed as Dorn's
skybox at the Metrodome. The Charleston Coliseum doubled for the
Metrodome's tunnels and locker rooms.
The versatile city of Charleston offered not only its semitropical
climate and ball parks but various other locations which were
suitable for the film's offthefield sequences. Of
particular interest was the historic Francis Marion Hotel in downtown
Charleston, where four sets were constructed in the grand ballroom.
Built in 1924 by famed architect W. Lee Stoddard, the recently
restored hotel was named after General Francis Marion (the "Swamp
Fox"), South Carolina's foremost hero of the Revolutionary
At the former Charleston Naval Base the production created a ministudio,
complete with staff offices, wardrobe, construction, transportation,
casting and editing departments, as well as a screening room.
The dismantled Naval commissary was transformed into a sound stage
where several small cover sets were built.
The company completed filming in Minneapolis, Minnesota, shooting
four days of the challenge game between the Buzz and the Twins
inside the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome. (Ironically, during the
filming the Minnesota Twins franchise made the controversial decision
to leave Minnesota for a temporary stadium in South Carolina.)
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