The Baseball Reliquary Presents “Hano! A Century in the Bleachers,” November 15, 2015, Pasadena, CA

Arnold Hano with producer-director Jon Leonoudakis, Laguna Beach, California.

Arnold Hano with producer-director Jon Leonoudakis, Laguna Beach, California.

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The Baseball Reliquary presents the Los Angeles premiere of Hano! A Century in the Bleachers, a documentary film chronicling the extraordinary life and times of Arnold Hano, one of the most prolific writers of the 20th century, on Sunday, November 15, at 2:00 p.m., at the Donald R. Wright Auditorium, Pasadena Central Library, 285 E. Walnut St., Pasadena, California.  The free screening will be followed by a panel discussion with the film’s producer-director Jon Leonoudakis, and esteemed writers Chris Epting, Ron Rapoport, and John Schulian, who were interviewed for the film.  DVDs of Hano! A Century in the Bleachers will be available for sale and signing by the filmmaker.

You may not know the name, but you’ve probably read him at some point over the past sixty years.  Between 1955 and 2013, Arnold Hano authored twenty-seven books, which collectively sold over one million copies, and penned 500 magazine articles.  Hano! A Century in the Bleachers is the untold story of a man who is arguably the “Babe Ruth of writers.”  But this is not just a tale about a writer.  It’s the journey of a man who lives what he believes, fighting social injustices and lending a hand to the less fortunate.  After almost a century, Hano has demonstrated how one person can make the world a better place.

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Hano’s fingerprints are on the pages of 20th century American culture.  He wrote one of baseball’s most iconic books, A Day in the Bleachers, his spirited account of attending Game One of the 1954 World Series, where Willie Mays made one of the greatest catches in baseball history.  As a freelancer, he wrote profiles and stories for The New York Times, The Saturday Evening Post, Sport, Sports Illustrated, TV Guide, The Los Angeles Times, Esquire, Seventeen, Good Housekeeping, and other periodical staples of the day.  As a result, Hano interviewed a constellation of sports, TV, and movie stars, including Marlon Brando, Mickey Rooney, Carol Burnett, Willie Mays, Roberto Clemente, and Muhammad Ali.

In 1963, Hano pulled off a rare double play: he was voted Magazine Sportswriter of the Year by his peers and awarded the prestigious Sidney Hillman Memorial Award for his incisive piece on the mistreatment of migratory farmworkers in California’s Central Valley.

Hano is a transplanted New Yorker, now living in Laguna Beach, California, who has brought a strong social conscience to his journalism.  He successfully battled racism and land developers in Laguna Beach in the 1960s and early 1970s.  When Lyndon Johnson proposed new hydroelectric dams in the Grand Canyon, Hano’s article in the New York Times Magazine helped defeat it.  When Disney wanted to build a resort development at Mineral King in the Sequoia National Forest, Hano’s article about the project was cited in a Supreme Court decision, saving hundreds of trees and pristine land enjoyed by hikers today.  As a sportswriter, Hano championed the efforts of Latino ballplayers to gain full acceptance in the major leagues in the late 1950s and early 1960s.  He wrote profiles of Orlando Cepeda, Roberto Clemente, and other Latino stars for Sport magazine, describing the struggles they faced, the stereotypes they encountered among sportswriters, and the racism that persisted in major league baseball long after Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier in 1947.

Producer-director Jon Leonoudakis interviews Hall-of-Famer Orlando Cepeda at his home in Fairfield, California. (Photo by Karl Mondon)

Producer-director Jon Leonoudakis interviews Hall-of-Famer Orlando Cepeda at his home in Fairfield, California. (Photo by Karl Mondon)

Hano has also taught writing at the University of Southern California, Pitzer College, and the University of California, Irvine.

This singular American story is told through the perspectives of Arnold Hano, as well as prominent sportswriters such as George Vecsey, Ray Robinson, John Schulian, and Al Silverman, and baseball greats Orlando Cepeda and Felipe Alou.  The 53-minute film was shot on location in Los Angeles, Phoenix, San Francisco, and New York.

Hano! A Century in the Bleachers is produced and directed by award-winning filmmaker Jon Leonoudakis, one of the producers of the internationally-acclaimed music documentary, The Wrecking Crew.  His previous documentaries, The Day the World Series Stopped and Not Exactly Cooperstown, are in the permanent collection of the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum in Cooperstown.

The screening is supported, in part, by a grant from the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors through the Los Angeles County Arts Commission.  For further information, contact the Baseball Reliquary by phone at (626) 791-7647 or by e-mail at terymar@earthlink.net.

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