New movie honors Richie Ashburn

April 15, 2008 5:09:21 AM PDT
Phillies red dominated the red carpet on Monday night. It had all the makings of a Hollywood premiere, complete with flashing cameras, stars and audience cheers. It was all for a film that honors Phillies' great, Richie Ashburn.

"It's very exciting and I'm sure Rich would be absolutely thrilled because we're kind of small town people and this is a very special occasion," said Ashburn's widow, Herbie.

"Richie Ashburn: A Baseball Life" chronicles an amazing journey that takes fans from Ashburn's humble beginnings in Nebraska all the way to his enshrinement in the baseball hall of fame. His family and friends, including close friend and colleague Harry Kalas, tell Ashburn's story.

"He and I were together for 27 years in the broadcast booth and he not only brought expertise to the booth, but he would make you laugh every single day we worked together. He was such a joy to be around," said Kalas.

Ashburn, who died of a heart attack in 1997, was one of the most beloved athletes in Philadelphia sports. Known as Whitey, he was a six-time all-star, won two batting titles and helped the Phillies get to the World Series in 1950.

In the movie, audiences get to see rare Ashburn home movies. Family and friends say through these candid moments, the two-disc d-v-d set gives a glimpse at not only a great baseball player and broadcaster, but also a genuine and warm man with a great sense of humor.

"What we hope is a whole generation of young fans gets to see a little insight as to what Rich Ashburn was all about," said Phillies President David Montgomery.

If you missed tonight's screening, there will be another screening at the Prince Theater on Tuesday night at 5:00.