Written by Joe Scotchie Friday, 23 September 2011 00:00
Don’t forget, this Sunday, Sept. 25, at both 7 and 9 p.m., A Mile in His Shoes, the made-for-television movie adapted from the novel The Legend of Mickey Tussler, written by Massapequa resident Frank Nappi will air on Gospel Music Channel (GMC) TV.
This station, as Nappi has told The Massapequan Observer, isn’t part of the regular programming that Nassau County residents receive. However, the film can be seen through both DirecTV and Verizon Cable outlets.
The movie stars the veteran actor, Dean Cain (Lois and Clark: The New Adventures of Superman) as Coach Arthur Murphy and newcomer Luke Schroder, son of Ricky Schroder, who plays the star pitcher, Mickey Tussler.
The Legend of Mickey Tussler tells the story of a young man with autism who is recruited to play for the Milwaukee Brewers, then a minor league affiliate of the Boston Braves (now the Atlanta Braves) in the 1940s.
As the publisher’s comments claim: “Arthur Murphy, a scout and coach for the Brewers, swears that Mickey is a phenom—-one who has the greatest arm Murph has ever see – but Mickey is also autistic, before autism was given a name, and his Asperger’s keeps him sealed off from a world he scarcely understands. But Arthur wants to take the chance. The Brewers have had one of the worst records in baseball history, and he needs to do something to shake the team up. But can Mickey survive? Tormented by the memories of an abusive father and heckled by fans and teammates alike, the odds are stacked against him. But his inimitable talent…just might give him a chance. Can he survive a real life dream? Or are the harsh realities of life too much for him?” In all, the novel is about a talented young man “with an extraordinary gift who comes of age in a harsh and competitive world that may not be ready for him.”
The novel received critical acclaim in numerous media outlets. It was also praised by such former and current baseball stars as Hall of Fame pitcher Ferguson Jenkins, former New York Mets great Darryl Strawberry and current New York Yankee superstar, Alex Rodriguez.
Needless to say, Nappi is excited about the upcoming production.
“It’s a surreal experience,” Nappi recently told The Massapequan Observer. “When I see it on TV and when I see the credits that say ‘based on the novel by Frank Nappi’ it will be neat.”
Frank, too, is hoping that the movie is just as popular and well-received as the novel. And indeed, the success of the novel and the upcoming film have reaped more benefits for the Massapequa educator.
In April 2012, Manhattan-based Sky Horse Publishers will release both a paperback of The Legend of Mickey Tussler and its sequel, Sophomore Campaign. The releases are set to coincide with both the start of the baseball season and with the fact that April is Autism Awareness Month.