Earlier this year, Patrick Montgomery set out to write a book about legendary baseball coach Marvin “Towny” Townsend. He did so because he knew of Townsend’s impact on the baseball community in Hampton Roads through the area’s first AAU program.
He also knew Townsend shaped the lives and careers of thousands of athletes, including future Major League Baseball players like Michael Cuddyer, David Wright, Ryan Zimmerman, Mark Reynolds and brothers Melvin “BJ” and Justin Upton.
So I penned the book, “The Baseball Miracle of the Splendid 6 and Towny Townsend, Heartbreak, Inspiration, and How Baseball Can Be.”
Montgomery is in Hampton Roads this weekend to promote the book, which will be officially released on Monday. I did a book signing from 1-3 pm Saturday at Barnes & Noble at the Peninsula Town Center in Hampton and from 1-3 pm Sunday at Barnes & Noble at the Virginia Beach Town Center.
But now his book will become a movie.
The movie idea came about after Montgomery shared his book with his friend, Aaron Paderewski, who is an actor, producer, director and writer. He’s known for his work with The Inspectors (2015), American Nightmare (2019) and Halloween (2018).
“I’m actually excited because movies can be bigger and grander, but with that, you get more in-depth,” Montgomery said. “You’re able to explore different viewpoints and angles as well as see a richer depth of the characters. I’m looking forward to seeing that play on screen.”
Paderewski remembers when Montgomery told him about the book idea on Townsend. I encouraged him to write it. When it was finished, Montgomery gave him a copy and Paderewski was blown away.
“This story of Towny Townsend, it has a lot of integrity to be a great feature film that I think the American and worldwide audience would really enjoy,” he said.
Townsend’s sons, Sean and Chase, were already skeptics when Montgomery approached them about writing the book about their father, who passed away on April 4, 2007.
So, imagine their response when they learned that Montgomery wanted to turn it into a movie.
“If they end up making a movie out of it,” Sean said, “it would be really awesome. Not a lot of people can say that.”
They, along with their mother, Cathy, are taking a wait-and-see attitude to it all.
Montgomery said Cathy will serve as a consultant to the film.
“She’ll be one of the technical advisors to make sure that the tone is correct and to make sure we’re doing it right,” he said.
Paderewski has his own production company called The Moment After Productions. He’s currently working on a feature film called “The Sins Beneath.”
He’s also a former athlete. He grew up playing golf in the San Diego Country Junior Golf Association alongside many big-name players such as Phil Mickelson. But he gave up golf to become an actor.
He and Montgomery are looking forward to this film.
For Montgomery, he wants people to realize just how special Townsend was to so many.
“You see the Sports Illustrated article and you don’t know what’s fact and what’s real,” he said. “Then when you peel it back, you realize it is real. There is so much more to these players, these programs, and to Towny Townsend than one book could ever do. That’s hopefully what the movie will be able to do is really show his legacy.”
Paderewski hopes to start filming in the fall of 2023. He said it would take about 36 to 38 days to shoot.
“We’d love to shoot it in Virginia, but we haven’t gotten to that point yet,” said Paderewski, who will star in an upcoming action thriller film directed by Ian Nelms and Eshom Nelms, starring Orlando Bloom and Andie MacDowell.
He, like Montgomery, is looking forward to sharing Townsend’s story.
“His life just seems amazing with what he did with baseball and what he did for the kids. It’s just an amazing story,” he said. “His story of helping these players get through and making it to the big leagues and their life of getting there and all these other coaches involved, it’s just something that needs to be told.”
He knew he had a great script when he showed a mock draft of the last scene of the book to his wife.
“She said, ‘You’re going to make people cry and cheer in a couple minutes of time,'” he said. “And I said, ‘Thank you’ because that’s exactly what I want to do. This could be something great.”
A print version of the book is available at BookBaby, https://store.bookbaby.com/book/the-baseball-miracle-of-the-splendid-6-and-towny-townsend. To receive an author-signed copy, go to [email protected]
Larry Rubama, 757-575-6449, [email protected]. Twitter @LHRubama.