Fresnans nearly packed Chukchansi Park Saturday night to root for the Fresno Grizzlies and get a sneak peak at a Hollywood superstar. KMPH News spoke to Billy Crystal exclusively and he has a personal message that he asked us to deliver.
“Bette Midler and I are the stars of this movie and we had a great time in Fresno tonight. Thank you everybody for coming out to the ballpark. That meant a lot to us.”
Bette got the night off but Billy was everywhere. He tossed out the first pitch. He also spent a little time in the dugout and worked his magic behind the microphone. “He turns to Berra and says ‘Yogi how’s he throwing’ and Berra says ‘I don’t know I haven’t caught one yet.'”
Crystal stars in the film that spotlights minor league broadcaster Artie Decker — the voice of the Fresno Grizzlies.
He and director Andy Fickman believe they’re deserving of the key to the city. “It’s a very pro Fresno movie. One of the first. I think maybe the only one. We’re not saying that there’s a Fresno Hall of Fame and we would be in it. But if there was a Fresno Hall of Fame we would totally be in it. Yeah next to a big box of raisins would be our picture.”
Billy Crystal and company hit town Saturday which turned out to be one of the hottest days of August. During the game a helicopter hovered high above the field.
Despite the heat Crystal said the buzz around the park pumped up the crew. “When you start writing things in a script and it says exterior you know ballpark Fresno that’s one thing on a page. When you get here and the park is beautiful and the people are great it makes making these movies kind of fun.”
The cast and crew worked well past the final out of the game. Good movies take time. But don’t expect to see a premiere anytime this summer. “And when we come back and screen it here… Why are you promising? By screening we mean when we come and show the movie in a movie theater.. In the winter.. In the winter.. When it’s less hot.”