If you've been watching MLB Network lately, you've probably seen a commercial for Dick's Sporting Goods. The commercial, which was filmed at Blair Field in Long Beach, Calif., is called "Every Pitch," and if you haven't seen it, here it is . . .
The commercial, which was created by the Anomaly agency and produced by @radical.media, strives to capture the drama on the field beyond simple home runs or diving catches.
A public-relations spokesman for Anomaly said that when the agency began working on the spot with Dick's, the creators wanted to capture the subtitles of the game. They did that by paying attention to detail. The uniforms were designed by the company and the casting was authentic, including several players with professional experience. The spot was also filmed on 35mm film to give it a richer, throwback feel.
"It was all about authenticity," the spokesman said by e-mail. "We wanted to show that this moment in baseball (between pitches), which is typically seen as being boring by the casual fan, is actually anything but that. We took a misunderstood aspect of the game and featured it in a way that true baseball players understand it to be.
"Cinematically, we were looking to build some serious tension. That, and a full dose of honesty. Not cutting helps to accomplish both. Zooms brought us into individual spaces. When all of those decisions come together to create a single piece, you get an authentic look at a very intense moment in a baseball game—you see the game inside the game, something you've never seen before if you're a casual fan, and something you connect with deeply if you're a baseball junkie."
The players on the field add to the authenticity. Dick’s and Authenticity provided a cast list for the commercial, and the most notable member is on the mound: Rangers righthander Cody Buckel.
Buckel ranks as the Rangers’ No. 8 prospect after reaching Double-A last season, but he grew up near Hollywood and dabbled in singing and acting while he was in high school.
Buckel is the big name, but some of the other players also have pro experience or relevant acting experience:
Casey Bond: Bond played at Lipscomb and was a 25th-round pick by the Giants in the 2007 draft. He spent two years in their system, and played the role of Chad Bradford in “Moneyball”.
Mike Cosgrove: Cosgrove was drafted by the Twins in the 31st round of the 1997 draft out of Tennessee. A righthander, he spent 11 seasons in pro ball with the Twins, Astros, Rockies and in various independent leagues. He is now an assistant coach at Tustin (Calif.) High. Cosgrove played Tim Hudson in “Moneyball” after pitching against him in college.
Lee Ellis: Ellis was a 46th-round pick of the Orioles out of California Lutheran in 2007. He spent two years in their system and one year with Big Bend in the independent Continental League.
Robert Ninfo: Ninfo played Eric Byrnes in “Moneyball”.
Melvin Perdue: Perdue played Ray Durham in “Moneyball”.
Luke Salas: Salas was an outfielder at Pepperdine, and then signed as a nondrafted free agent with the Rangers and played in their system in 2007.
Corey Vanderhook: Vanderhook played Ramon Hernandez in “Moneyball”.
Other actors included: Eli Cantor, Matt Faigh, Aaron Gomez, Matt Hall, Jordan Hubbard and Thomas Kratky. More information about the shooting of the spot can be found in this article on AdWeek.