Poster promoting the movie “3,000”, by Skip Font. (Supplied)
The afternoon of Saturday, September 30, 1972, became a historic date for baseball lovers in the world and especially for all Puerto Ricans. That day, Carolina Roberto Clemente Walker hit a double between left and center field that became the 3,000th hit of his career. In this way, the Pittsburgh Pirates star became the 11th player in Major League history to reach that mark and, more significantly, it was the last regular season hit connected by Clemente Walker. who would lose his life on December 31 of that same year.
To commemorate this feat of the first Latino to be inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame, next Wednesday, September 30, for a period of 24 hours, the short film “3,000 The Short Story” will be available on YouTube , created and directed by Skip Font in 2015 and starring Modesto Lacén .
“We are celebrating all these days for the recognition that Roberto Clemente has had in the Major Leagues. For this reason, and to celebrate the 48th anniversary of the hit 3,000, the short film will be available on YouTube starting at 12:00 am on September 30, for 24 hours ” , indicated Font, who was also in charge of the script and other aspects production technicians. “This is a way for all of us to celebrate this event and for new generations to enjoy it and get to know it.”
The idea of creating a short film about Clemente had been in Font's head for many years, due to the great passion he had for the sport of baseball since he was little. In fact, according to the director, one of the role models in his life was always Pedrín Zorrilla, founder of the Santurce Cangrejeros. This character is a key piece in the story, since not only did he see Clemente's potential to sign him for his team, but he is also one of the protagonists of the first part of the short film.
Modesto Lacen, on the left, starred in the short film “3,000”, directed and created by Puerto Rican Skip Font, on the right.
“This story always captivated me and it took me many years of research. I interviewed many players of the time, the Zorrilla family and people close to Clemente, “ said Font. “All that is reflected in the short film. I wanted the recording to be as faithful and exact as possible to what really happened, so we put a lot of emphasis on Modesto's movements and behavior on the field of play, but also on the behavior of the rest of the people who were on the pitch. the field when Roberto hit his 3,000th ”.
For the filmmaker, the figure of Roberto Clemente is one that should be exalted much more due to everything he represented on and off the field of juice. “Clemente was consistent, disciplined, intelligent, agile, aggressive and straight, among many other adjectives. His record in the majors is ridiculously impressive, but so were his feats off the field, “ added Font. “Something that really moved me a lot when it came to learning more about the history of Clemente and Zorrilla was the support they both received from their wives, which gave them a sense of tranquility that allowed them to do their job in an excellent way. Besides that, they continued his legacy after passing away, which I think is a beautiful story worth telling. ”
After completing the short film, Font was left with the desire to show more about Clemente's life, which is why he does not shrink when it comes to making it clear that he would love to make a feature film here in Puerto Rico. “I'm ready to do it, something that was demonstrated with the short film and it would be a dream come true for me if it were achieved,” added the filmmaker, who is currently working on the post-production of the film “Rémora.” “If a large-scale film about Roberto Clemente were made in Puerto Rico, it would be a great step for the local film industry, as well as being one of the greatest feats that could happen on the island. Puerto Rico has all the resources, from actors, scriptwriters, producers, directors, crew and everything related to visual effects. We just need to give us the opportunity ”.