PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – A former Pirates pitcher is one of the main villains in “42″- the movie about Jackie Robinson breaking baseball’s color line.
In one scene, Fritz Ostermueller “beans” Robinson, hits him in the head with a pitch.
Now, Ostermueller’s daughter is speaking out defending her father.
She says she has proof: press clippings from the time show that Ostermueller never hit Robinson with a pitch out of malice.
“I’d just like people to know that the man that they portrayed was not Fritz Ostermueller, was not my dad,” his daughter Sherrill Ostermueller Duesterhaus said. “It was Hollywood taking maybe a little piece of history and rewriting it their way.”
“I can understand Hollywood making a good story,” she continued, “but not at an expense of someone else and someone else’s memory and legacy.”
KDKA talked to a local lawyer who is an expert on the motion picture industry.
He says the Ostermueller family has little-to-no legal recourse in the matter.
The Pirates also released a statement saying:
“With Mr. Ostermueller passing away more than fifty-five years ago, it is impossible for us to comment either way on the accuracy of his specific portrayal in the movie “42”. Overall, the movie is a great reminder of Mr. Jackie Robinson’s character, strength and determination. When he stepped foot on a Major League Baseball field for the first time it was not only the game’s proudest moment, but also its most powerful social statement. As an organization, thanks to Mr. Robinson, the Pirates are also proud to be the first team in Major League Baseball to field an all-minority starting line-up some 24 years later.”