About the Film

Lefty O’Doul was one of the most remarkable figures in baseball history, holding the fourth highest batting average in MLB history (.349), an influential pioneer developing Japanese baseball, and one of the game’s greatest ambassadors.

In 1949, General Douglas MacArthur was concerned post-WWII Japan was a nation adrift, it’s soul in pieces, economy in tatters, and Communists making entreaties to a desperate country. Lefty O’Doul, who had made several trips to Japan with MLB all-stars in the 1930s, including bringing Babe Ruth there in 1934, conducted clinics and cultivated lifelong friendships while falling in love with the country and its people. MacArthur sent Lefty and his San Francisco Seals Pacific Coast League team there and the trip was a massive success, building a bridge between the two WWII enemies and healing the soul of a nation. MacArthur called it, “the greatest act of diplomacy ever,” and Lefty was inducted into the Japanese Baseball Hall of Fame in 2002.

When O’Doul retired after the 1934 season, he went on to become the winningest manager in Pacific Coast League history, notching over 2,000 victories. As a manager, he helped Joe DiMaggio, Dominick DiMaggio and Ted Williams with their hitting. Each of them said O’Doul was the greatest hitting instructor they’d ever seen.

For all his achievements and impact on the game at home and abroad, Lefty O’Doul is not in the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown. He passed away in 1969, and only the most ardent baseball fans and historians remember him. Most think he’s a fictional character along the lines of Betty Crocker.

Lefty O’Doul truly is America’s forgotten hero, and this documentary film will bring him out of the shadows of time and into the light of the 21st century to tell his incredible story in film for the first time.

I’m working closely with Lefty’s cousin, Tom O’Doul, and author Dennis Snelling, who penned the excellent 2017 biography, “Lefty O’Doul: Baseball’s Forgotten Ambassador” to bring this story to a worldwide audience. We are also working with noted baseball historians Rob Fitts and Kerry Yo Nakagawa, along with many other experts, scholars, and a large family of fans who comprise Lefty’s extended family.