Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

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July 11, 2012

Indiana man suits up for the story of '42'

ANDERSON, Ind. — Jeremy Hazen was intrigued by a casting call notice he spotted. The fact that he could hit, throw and catch a baseball may have been the difference in earning him a shot in front of the cameras.

Now Hazen is getting a role in the upcoming movie “42” -- a movie about Jackie Robinson's first year with the Brooklyn Dodgers.

Hazen currently works at a baseball facility in Nashville, Tenn., but for the past few months he was in Atlanta.

Just performing in front of the movie cameras put him in a situation as critical as any he ever faced in a real game.

“There was a spring training scene where they were filming a third baseman taking ground balls,” explained Hazen, who played college baseball at Anderson University. “Harrison Ford (playing Dodgers general manager Branch Rickey) was in the scene watching. The third baseman couldn’t really play that well so they put me there for the scene. So Harrison Ford is there and they’re hitting grounders to me, and I’m thinking to myself, ‘Please don’t miss it.’”

Probably not many skilled baseball players like Hazen have ever been in a position of being scrutinized by someone of Ford’s notoriety and fame.

“It was surreal to hear that voice and have it come from a real person rather than the screen,” said Hazen. “It was very intimidating working next to him. But he seemed very nice. He said hello to people he came in contact with. We’d see him off and on during the filming.”

Hazen had some mutual friends who were involved in gathering players for the film, which will premiere next spring.

The first casting call drew between 800 and 1,000 to Atlanta, and from there 300 were picked for tryouts at a baseball facility in East Cobb, Ga.

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