Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Gil Hodges in "The Geisha Boy"

Steiner Sports, the famed retailer of sports memorabilia, is currently running their Winter Classic Auction, and it happens to include a very unusual item that is notable to both Dodger fans and fans of Jerry Lewis. Featured above is a 1958 Day Player Agreement between Dodgers first baseman Gil Hodges and Paramount Pictures (auction link here).

As you can see, the agreement is for his appearance in an Jerry Lewis 1958 comedy called "The Geisha Boy." Having never seen the flick and being the curious sort, I decided to do some research and share that here. Per IMBD, we find out what this movie is all about:
Gilbert Wooley (Jerry Lewis) is a second-rate magician who is sent to entertain the troops in the pacific. During his time in Japan he becomes attached to a little orphan boy.
I'm not exactly sure how the Dodgers fit into the film, but we do know that he was paid $500.00 to spend the day under the lights and cameras at ol' Wrigley Field in Los Angeles - onetime home of the Hollywood Stars of the PCL. Other Dodgers in the film include Carl Erskine, Walter Alston, Gino Cimoli, Carl Furillo, Jim Gilliam, Charlie Neal, Pee Wee Reese, John Roseboro and Duke Snider.

On the left is a screen grab of Gil Hodges that I took from a movie trailer I found on YouTube. You can watch that trailer below.

YouTube Link:

As I searched more deeply, I ran across numerous photos from the filming with the Dodgers. Check them all out below.
(Pic via Thom Loverro on twitter)

Above is Jerry Lewis with Dodger skipper Walter Alston, and below is Lewis with his other cast members; including a famous Japanese wrestler named Ryuzo Demura. Also featured is Junior Gilliam and Gino Cimoli (standing on third base).
(Pic via Rob Martinez on Pinterest)

Here, we see an action photo showing Jerry Lewis (I think?) getting tagged out by Gil Hodges, while future Hall of Famer Pee Wee Reese looks on in the foreground.
(Pic via Osborne Street on Pinterest)

Lastly, below are a couple more pics with Jerry -- one of which includes Roy Campanella (via Getty Images).

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1 comment:

  1. As an old Brooklyn/LA Dodger and Jerry Lewis fan, your photos and story brought back great memories. I just have one correction. That’s not Roy Campanella behind the plate. That’s Johnny Roseboro. Unfortunately, Roy Campanella never was able to play in 1958 or for LA. His career ending injury happened in the off season between Brooklyn and LA. He spent the rest of his life as a paraplegic.


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