Irish Eye on Hollywood:
Play Ball: The Duke of Tralee
Just in time for the start of another baseball season, one of Irish America’s first great athletic stars is set to be the subject of a major film, with one of his descendants even producing the film.
The Duke of Tralee is based on the life of Roger Bresnahan, a slugger from an Irish immigrant family who dominated baseball in the early 20th century.
Sandlot director David Mickey Evans is in talks to shoot the film, which is being produced Dave Bresnahan, Roger’s distant cousin.
Bresnahan was just 16 when he began playing pro baseball, though his factory-working Irish immigrant father discouraged this. The film will focus on Bresnahan’s efforts to both please his father and pursue his dream of playing baseball.
Bresnahan played many different positions for different teams in the 1900s and 1910s. He also revolutionized the game, popularizing protective equipment for catchers and helmets for batters. He also managed several teams and was elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown in 1945.
Filming for The Duke of Tralee is currently slated take place in Utah, Ohio, and Ireland this summer. ♦