Underrated Baseball Movie Filmed in Davenport, Iowa Is One You Should See
Back in 2007, Davenport's baseball stadium, known as John O'Donnell at the time, was overtaken by lights, cameras, dozens of camera operators, and actors to film a baseball movie unlike any that had been made up to that point.
Sugar follows Dominican pitcher Miguel Santos as he gets his break, leaving the Dominican to come to the United States in the minor league system.
During production, the filming of many of the game scenes were shot at the stadium, and the film asked the Quad Cities to come to be extras in the stands - and thousands showed up to be a part.
Filmmakers Ryan Fleck and Anna Boden worked hard to show the experience of playing minor league baseball - from long bus rides to cramped locker rooms to the experiences of living with a host family.
"It was fun to see the stadium used for something other than baseball," Ben Burke - who was serving as the general manager of the Swing - told MiLB. "We put ads in the paper to get extras and awarded them prizes for staying all day. The stadium would be quiet, and then you'd hear 'action!' and all of a sudden everyone would be yelling and cheering."
Gift cards, TVs, and even cash prizes were given out through a raffle of extras who came to the filming, and a selected number of "featured extras" were paid to be in closer shots throughout filming.
The film is available to watch on HBO Max, but there are physical copies of the movie still in circulation.
The film is highly regarded by critics, receiving a 92% on Rotten Tomatoes by critics, and a 79% by audience score. Personally, I think it's a highly underrated movie about the struggles behind the scenes of what looks like a cool and fun career.