Going to Hollywood: Donald Spivey’s “If You Were Only White: The Life of Leroy ‘Satchel’ Paige”

Apple Studios has secured the rights to the non-fiction book, If You Were Only White: The Life of Leroy ‘Satchel’ Paige by Donald Spivey, to development a drama series that will explore the remarkable story of Negro Leagues Baseball using the life of Paige as a backdrop.

“Apple Studies and Kapital Entertainment have partnered on the series with the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum, which is dedicated to preserving and celebrating the rich history of African American baseball. The project is also supported by MLB.” As reported by Nellie Andreeva at DEADLINE.

Hollywood film director Ron Shelton, who is behind both Bull Durham and White Men Can’t Jump, contacted Spivey after reading the biography that did not “merely recycle old information from an encyclopedia, but a thorough and accurate work that includes new details about the life of the legendary negro League’s baseball star.” As reported by Robert C. Jones Jr. at News@TheU.

Earvin “Magic” Johnson, Peter Guber, Rob Shelton, John Mass, Jason Smith, and Kevin Marco from Kapital entertainment will be executive producers on the project. The Negro Leagues Baseball Museum President Bob Kendrick and Chairman of the Board Kevin Battle, will be also be involved in the show on behalf of the museum.

Donald Spivey, history professor at University of Miami told News@TheU that:

“This is exciting” and “I originally thought that to do a definitive biography of Satchel Paige would take me two years, three tops. I was wrong, really wrong,” Spivey said. “To get the history correct, the historian needs to be intimately familiar with the events, issues, and places. I once joked with Satchel Paige’s son that I started to dislike his father over the years because his travels forced me to read so many more histories and to travel everywhere.” “Even as Spivey continued to work on the book, another biography on Paige published in 2006 ahead of his. “I was not finished then, and I was totally committed to doing more than just rehashing familiar stories,” Spivey explained. “I was committed to developing a full and accurate portrait, to getting the story right. It was too important to me as an African American, a historian, and a sport scholar. I took the time and got it right.”

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Posted: August 3, 2021
Tagged: Clio's Kudos