From the dirt-poor alleys of Anderson, Indiana, to a record-breaking career on a legendary team, on the grandest stage in sports, Carl Erskine has lived the American dream and spent a lifetime giving to others. His life as a famed Brooklyn Dodger and human rights advocate is featured in an inspiring new documentary, “The Best We’ve Got: The Carl Erskine Story,” which will premiere Aug. 11 at the historic Paramount Theatre in downtown Anderson, Indiana.
Directed and produced by award-winning filmmaker Ted Green, the documentary shares the inspiring story of Erskine and the pivotal role he played in two of the great human rights movements of our time. He helped break down racial barriers as a teammate and close friend of Jackie Robinson, and he fought for people with intellectual disabilities, their acceptance and the services available to them.
“In baseball circles and among many in Indiana, Carl has been revered for decades,” Green said. “And we’ll show that in the most fun, comprehensive light yet. But the true beauty of the film will be what Carl has done, quietly but so powerfully, to integrate society and make all feel accepted and welcome. He is a living testament to the ability a humble, dedicated person has to make a mountain of difference, and the Indiana Historical Society and I are beyond grateful that he’s trusting us with his legacy story.”
The film includes commentary and perspectives from the Erskine family, Timothy Shriver of Special Olympics International, Hall of Fame broadcasters Vin Scully and Bob Costas, former Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels, and Hall of Fame basketball player and coach Bob “Slick” Leonard. Daniels inspired the film’s title. When presenting Erskine with a Sachem Award, the state’s highest honor, Daniels said, “He’s the best we’ve got.”
As the last living member of the Brooklyn Dodgers’ “Boys of Summer,” the 95-year-old Erskine played in five World Series, set the Series single-game strikeout record, threw two no-hitters, and pitched the Dodgers’ first game in Los Angeles.
The film is co-produced by Ted Green Films and the Indiana Historical Society. Tickets for the world premiere are on sale now at www.carlerskinefilm.com.