1987: ‘Eight Men Out’ brings World Series to Bush Stadium

Posted at 5:30 AM, Oct 06, 2022
and last updated 2022-10-06 13:49:08-04

INDIANAPOLIS — Fresh off the success of “Hoosiers,” Tinstletown returned to the Hoosier State to shoot another sports-themed movie in 1987.

The film “Eight Men Out,” was based on Eliot Asinof's 1963 book, “Eight Men Out: The Black Sox and the 1919 World Series.”

It told the scandalous story of game-fixing by eight Chicago White Sox players during the 1919 World Series against the Cincinnati Reds.

The movie adaptation featured appearances by Christopher Lloyd, John Mahoney, John Cusack and Charlie Sheen.

Sheen talked to WRTV’s Reid Duffy about portraying White Sox center fielder Happy Felsch.

“[He was] only making two or three grand a year, tops, and he saw it as a way to make some cash playing for one of the cheapest owners of all time,” Sheen said.

The production filmed at several locations around Indianapolis including Metro Stadium on Rural Street and Bush Stadium.

WRTV reporter Linda Lupear was at Metro Stadium as crews shot one of the film’s final scenes amid Indiana’s quickly-changing fall weather. It featured disgraced player, Joe Jackson, who had found a way to continue playing the game despite being banned from Major League Baseball.

“Joe Jackson, one of the most famous of the banned baseball players, is playing on one of these minor league teams in 1925, really showing the audience that baseball was the love of his life and he couldn’t give it up,” a production member told Lupear.

The movie shoot would then move to Bush Stadium which was transformed into Cincinnati’s Redland Field. The ballpark presented a few challenges for the production crew. Most notably, its bright orange plastic seats which were covered with a wood grain contact paper to make the stadium look era-appropriate.

“We’re doing this for a relatively low budget, what we wanted to do was make sure that pretty much every cent counted,” production designer Nora Chavooshian told Lupear. “A lot of the little details were dropped because on this scale we probably won’t even see it.”