Tags: Hollywood | boston | oconnor | urchela | tampa

Affleck Film: Positive View on Looking Back, Moving Forward

willie randolph ray negron gio urshela

From left to right: Willie Randolph, Ray Negron, and Gio Urshela (Photo Credit- Ray Negron) 

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Thursday, 27 February 2020 12:58 PM Current | Bio | Archive

Yankees current and past, join with local youth in Tampa learning life stories in "The Way Back" (Warner Bros.)

The title of Ben Afflecks latest film is "The Way Back," but in reality it's a story about moving forward; overcoming lifes challenges no matter what age and finding the positive in all we do. That sentiment has not been lost in influencer screenings Warner Brothers has done around the country in the last few weeks, many featuring athletes who have overcome issues themselves like former Mets and Yankees pitcher Doc Gooden in New York and longtime NHL star Kevin Stevens in Boston.

This past Tuesday night in Tampa, the Yankees community turned out to see the film, with stars of today, like Gio Urshela, joining former players like Willie Randolph and even actor Luis Guzman, to watch and then talk about the life lessons of the film with a large group of young people, including some who have overcome challenges themselves, from schools like Northeast High School in St. Petersburg, Florida.

The result was a great shared experience about the Gavin OConnor directed film that may have seen like a basketball story, but had amazing life lessons for all who watched, and for all who will be going in droves to theaters to see the film starting on March 6.

"This was a terrific film that is about life more than basketball," said Urchela, who will emerge as a star for the Yankees at third base last season and will look to advance even further this year, "Ben Affleck is great as a coach, he really made me believe the character," Urchela also said.

This believability was also not lost on Randolph, the former Yankees star and New York Mets skipper, who is in Tampa at Yankees camp as well for spring training.

He enjoyed the film, but also marveled at the irony of the fact that a dyed in the wool Red Sox fan — Affleck — was entertaining milennials at an event hosted by his hated Bronx Bombers. "Even though Ben Affleck is a Boston guy, this film tells stories in the Yankee way," Randolph added. "You work hard to find solutions and teach strong lessons to those around us, especially young people. It is a very powerful film all should see."

The packed house of close to 100 openly cheered the storyline of the young high school team that found its way under their new coach, even as he struggled to find his own way through personal problems. Guzman, one of the great character actors of our time, who was also in town to watch spring training, was also impressed by Afflecks performance and the impression it left on the theater goers. "I am very proud of Ben Affleck for taking on a role like this and telling the story we all can relate to," he added.

"Its all about how we can work to overcome life's issues for positive results."

Those positive results should also translate into strong reviews and new fans of the work when it opens in a few weeks. It leaves you with strong, authentic feelings for the characters and the actors; and being able to summon those feelings on film is very powerful; a power not lost on the audience, or anyone who will see "The Way Back" in the coming weeks. There are other screenings coming up with elite athletes in other cities; we think they will also enjoy and be able to relate to the story; it is one which may seem like a look back but has some really positive messages for all going forward.

A special thank you to Shawn Drouin and TASCO, the largest teen program in America, located in St Petersburg, Florida.

Ray Negron is a sports executive with over 40 years of experience in baseball. His first job came from a chance encounter with George Steinbrenner as a youth. He has become an American film producer, a best-selling author, and a philanthropist. His memoir is entitled, "Yankee Miracles: Life with the Boss and the Bronx Bombers." For more of his reports, Go Here Now.

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RayNegron
There are other screenings coming up with elite athletes in other cities; we think they will also enjoy and be able to relate to the story; it is one which may seem like a look back but has some really positive messages for all going forward.
boston, oconnor, urchela, tampa
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2020-58-27
Thursday, 27 February 2020 12:58 PM
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