ESPN putting “Bobby V” on deck for documentary

By Paul J.
Gough

NEW YORK
(Hollywood Reporter)

ESPN is
shooting a two-hour documentary about former New York Mets manager Bobby
Valentine’s transformation into a hero of Japanese baseball.

“Bobby
V in

Japan”
will premiere in the spring on the sports cable network. Valentine, who worked
a year at ESPN as an analyst before going to

Japan, met with ESPN executives and
granted them full access. The filmmakers have been living in

Japan for the
past four months and plan to stay through the end of the Chiba Marines’ season.

ESPN vp
content development Bob Wallace said he was struck by Valentine’s “passion
for baseball, his passion for what he thinks baseball should be, his passion
for Japanese baseball as well as American baseball. It’s very powerful.”

Meanwhile,
ESPN has acquired “Hellfighters,” a documentary profiling the
Harlem high-school football team of the same name. It
debuted in April at the Tribeca/ESPN Sports Film Festival.

Reuters/Hollywood
Reporter