Disney is staging a Million Dollar Arm Pitching Contest to celebrate the opening of the movie “Million Dollar Arm.”
The May 16 release tells the true story of two young men from India who went from never throwing a baseball or cradling a glove to getting a Major League tryout. And yes, there’s a huge Pittsburgh connection.
Amateur baseball pitchers — male or female, who are legal United States residents at least 18 years of age or older — are invited to qualify to compete in the preliminary rounds of the contest at either Walt Disney World Resort in Florida, Disneyland Resort in California or at the Tribeca/ESPN Sports Day at the Tribeca Family Festival in New York City.
The three contestants from each location who throw the fastest pitches will advance to the finals and have a chance to compete for a $1 million prize at the world premiere of Disney’s “Million Dollar Arm” in Hollywood.
Presented by Subway restaurants, the three qualifying events will take place on April 25 and 26, from 7 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., at both Downtown Disney District in Anaheim, Calif. and ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at Walt Disney World and on April 26 only, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., at the Tribeca/ESPN Sports Day during the Tribeca Family Festival in New York City.
Contestants will throw three pitches, each tracked by a radar gun, in an attempt to throw the fastest pitch. All participants will receive tickets for themselves and a guest to see an advance screening of Disney’s “Million Dollar Arm” at an AMC theater later that evening.
Nine finalists chosen during these qualifying events will have a chance to compete for the $1 million prize at the world premiere of Disney’s “Million Dollar Arm.”
The top three eligible pitchers with the fastest pitches from each qualifying round location will be flown with his or her guest to the final contest, which will take place at the world premiere of Disney’s “Million Dollar Arm” in Hollywood, Calif., on May 6.
Each of these finalists will throw three pitches on Hollywood Boulevard. Any eligible finalist who throws one 100 mph strike (out of three pitches) will become a potential winner of the $1 million grand prize.
The nine finalists and their guests will be VIPs at the film’s premiere along with stars, filmmakers, major league players, coaches, scouts and celebrities.
The movie is about a sports agent, J.B. Bernstein (played by Jon Hamm) who travels to India looking for a young cricket player he can turn into a MLB star. There, he discovers Dinesh (played by Madhur Mittal from “Slumdog Millionaire”) and Rinku (played by Suraj Sharma from “Life of Pi”), two 18-year-old boys who have no idea about playing baseball, yet have a knack for throwing a fastball.
They come to the States where they have a lot to learn. And so, it turns out, does Bernstein. The film will arrive in theaters May 16.