On the mound for 'Fever Pitch'
Stow resident and Yawkey League player Dave Mitrou shares his story about playing a pitcher in the new Farrelly brothers film.
A few days after I auditioned I got a call back asking me to show up at Fenway on the night of September 16 (the Sox were playing the Devil Rays).
I was sent to wardrobe, where Frank (the local wardrobe director), fitted us in authentic Red Sox uniforms. No one was given a number of any current Red Sox players, so I wore the never-popular "68" on my back. After being outfitted, approximately 20 of us in Red Sox and Tampa Bay uniforms hung around the wardrobe office in Kenmore Square waiting for our cue to head over to Fenway. We had no idea what the plan was for the night, but we were pretty excited.
As we waited, hundreds of people were gawking and wondering if we were real players. People asked for photos and autographs, and we got heckled a little bit too. Finally, in about the 7th inning of the game, we got the call to head over to Fenway. They took us through the players entrance, and fans were screaming at us, especially the dead-on Johnny Damon look-alike. (A few days later during a break in filming, late at night, several women really thought he was Johnny Damon as we sat in the .406 club eating a midnight meal.)
As the 9th inning approached, we all gathered under the stands in centerfield right next to "the triangle" and waited for our instructions. One of the producers had us huddle around and began pointing at people and telling them where to go once we got on the field. You head to first base, you head to third base, you to left field, and so on. There were more extras than positions and when the producer finished picking people I hadn't been selected. The producer was starting to walk away when I realized that he hadnt assigned anyone to take the hill. I shouted out, "Hey, what about a pitcher?" After thinking about it for a second the producer said, Right, youre it!
The real game ended, (Curt Schilling had his 20th win of the season) and the fans were really jacked up about the win and about the chance to be part of the filming. Bobby Farrelly got on the microphone and said a few words, and then the centerfield doors opened and we came running to our spots in front of 30,000 screaming fans. I ran to the mound and just took in the surroundings. Everything felt close -- you can really hear the loud guy berating you from behind home plate or the woman screaming at you from behind the dugout. I don't know how players block it out.
Standing up on the mound, I dug in at the rubber, wound up, and threw my first pitch, which was a strike, and the crowd cheered. It was unbelievable. The next two pitches were in the dirt, and the fans were ruthless.
We filmed for about 30 minutes that night, and as we headed back to wardrobe in Kenmore Square, a girl who had been at the game yelled at me, Hey, weren't you the pitcher?" I smiled and thought, yeah, for one great night, I was.