I’m excited to report the first phase of the project has been completed with spectacular results!

Many thanks to our crowdfunders who covered the cost of production for our first batch of interviews and editorial expenses for the 1949 Goodwill Tour teaser for the project.

The initial group of interviews will form the backbone of the film’s narrative via sessions with author and historian Rob Fitts (Banzai Babe Ruth, Mashi), historian and filmmaker Kerry Yo Nakagawa, author Dennis Snelling (who penned the excellent 2017 biography, Lefty O’Doul: Baseball’s Forgotten Ambassador), Lefty’s cousin Tom O’Doul, and Tadao Kunishi, age 86, who witnessed two games of Lefty’s historic 1949 goodwill tour in Tokyo as a teenager.

The teaser is a ten-minute segment allows viewers to experience the strength of the story and the filmmaking behind it. The focus of the teaser is Lefty’s 1949 Goodwill Tour of Japan. It’s a very powerful and emotional piece.

I worked with artist Brian Kruse to design the official poster for the film, which is on the home page of the web site. Brian has worked extensively with me in the past and he is a valued creative partner.

Lastly, the project was recently featured on The Sweet Spot’s Patreon August 2023 session, with producer Jon Leonoudakis, Tom O’Doul, author Dennis Snelling, and Tadao Kunishi celebrating and exploring O’Doul’s miraculous 1949 Goodwill Tour of Japan. View the Patreon session.

Upcoming Appearances:

Watch this space for updates!

– Jon

Filmmaker Jon Leonoudakis with Tadao Kunishi and Tom O’Doul in Petaluma, CA. Photo by Karl Mondon
Filmmaker Jon Leonoudakis with author Dennis Snelling in Los Angeles, CA. Photo by Ted Baker.
Jon with historian/filmmaker Kerry Yo Nakagawa. Kerry is holding a ball signed by Masanouri Murakami and Wally Yonamine.
Author/historian Rob Fitts on the interview set
Tom O’Doul holds art of Lefty O’Doul by Arthur K. Miller.
Photo by Karl Mondo

Author Dennis Snelling settles in for a long interview for the film.
Jon with author and historian Rob Fitts in Tempe, Arizona.