Nobody went home winning the $1 million Disney offered to anyone who could pitch a 100 mile-per-hour fastball at the Tuesday premiere of “Million Dollar Arm,” but sports agent J.B. Bernstein, who is portrayed by “Mad Men’s” Jon Hamm in the film, did sign a contract with Josh Dahl who clocked in a 94.9 mph throw.
“I probably couldn’t break 60,” Hamm said before the pre-party for the feel-good baseball drama in Hollywood that featured a green carpet made of Astro Turf, and served up Pink’s hot dogs and Budweiser before the film unspooled inside the El Capitan Theater where Los Angeles Dodgers organist Nancy Bea played “Take Me Out to the Ballgame.”
Nine finalists, who received tickets to the ESPY Awards, competed in Disney’s pitching contest.
“I hope people will be inspired by the film,” said Hamm. “It is a feel good movie and it is about family and that’s what you want from a good baseball film.”
In the film, Hamm plays a down-on-his-luck sports agent who stages an “American Idol”-like contest in India to find the next great Major League Baseball pitcher.
Hamm’s co-stars Lake Bell, Alan Arkin, Bill Paxton, Aasif Mandvi, Suraj Sharma, Madhur Mittal and Pitobash were also in attendance, along with former pro-baseball player Barry Bonds, who posed with Dinesh Patel and Rinku Singh, the real subjects of the movie.
ESPN’s “Baseball Tonight” covered the event live from the green carpet, with hosts Karl Ravech, Barry Larkin and analyst Tim Kurkjian. Hamm will be a guest analyst on “Baseball Tonight” on Sunday.
Disney releases “Million Dollar Arm” on May 16, putting the baseball pic on the same mound as Legendary’s “Godzilla,” that Warner Bros. is distributing.
As for “Mad Men,” which is ending its run this season, “Everyone wants that thing to end quickly,” Hamm joked.