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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 yet."

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 War.

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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