I had the incredible opportunity to interview J.B. Bernstein, from Disney’s Million Dollar Arm movie.
Mr. Bernstein is the agent who along with his partners came up with the idea of putting together a Million Dollar Arm contest to find and recruit the next great baseball player. Mr. Bernstein said the idea came to him over a period of time, and was inspired from watching the TV shows.
J.B. Bernstein shared his excitement and how hard it was to believe that “Disney Studios and their awarding winning team wanted to make a movie about our story – Rinku and Dinesh’s story”
I asked Mr. Bernstein where Dinesh and Rinku were in their careers and he shared that Dinesh went home in 2010 after playing 2 seasons and is now pursuing a career as a pitchcing instructor in India. There are plans for the MLB to set up an academy in India as well. As for Rinku, he continues to play AA and has a great shot at the majors.
Next I asked Mr. Bernstein what doors had opened for himself and the boys and what opportunities had they been able to take advantage of. For the boys, it gave them the opportunity to not only be able to pursue a new life,but to go home and share with kids in their home country all they are able to do and give them hope to follow their dreams – “to serve as an example of what is possible” Rinku and Dinesh also had the opportunity to meet President Obama and have their jersey archived in the presidential library. For Mr. Bernstein, meeting his wife Brenda and having a family and “a lot more notoritey” “his crazy ideas are more respected” after Million Dollar Arm was released.
Mr. Bernstein shared how although the movie side of Million Dollar Arm is done, the contest continues. Now in its 3rd year starting this fall, running from November to June, the contest has a life of its own and is something he and everyone involved are very proud of. This year they expect to see 500,000 kids be a part of the contest nationwide in over 100 cities and 1000 colleges, HS campuses and parks.
Stay tuned for updates to the next Million Dollar Arm contest coming to a location near you.
My name is Loretta Garcia and I am the Entertainment Writer for Chip and Co.
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