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Carl Erskine film ‘The Best We’ve Got’ coming to Gainbridge Fieldhouse

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — The story of a Hoosier baseball legend is coming to Gainbridge Fieldhouse.

Carl Erskine’s name will soon ring loud once again from center stage, this time on the big screen above the Indiana Pacers home court, as the documentary film “The Best We’ve Got” is screened in a gala at Gainbridge Fieldhouse on Thursday, Jan. 5.

“The Best We’ve Got,” by award-winning Indiana filmmaker Ted Green, takes viewers through the life journey of 96-year-old Erskine starting from his youth in Anderson and highlighting his Major League Baseball career. The documentary also sheds light on Erskine’s friendship with teammate Jackie Robinson, who broke baseball’s color line when he joined the Dodgers in 1947.

Making the film took months of compiling research and historical images — including home movie footage — and interviews with many well-known sports and public figures, including late Indiana Pacers legend Bobby “Slick” Leonard, former Indiana governor Mitch Daniels, and late Hall of Fame sports broadcaster Vin Scully.

In addition to Erskine’s baseball career, the documentary also shines a spotlight on a very important part of Erskine’s life and legacy: his impact across the state and on the Special Olympics.

Special Olympics Indiana is calling next week’s gala a “Night of Inspiration,” giving Hoosiers a chance to see Erkine’s lifetime of work geared towards acceptance and inclusion.

The film also features Erskine’s role as a father to a son with Down syndrome.

Jeff Mohler, president and CEO of Special Olympics Indiana, says the organization was just getting off the ground when Jimmy Erskine was growing up in the 1960s and 1970s.

Mohler tells News 8 that at the time, Erskine and his wife Betty joined the movement and used their platform to raise awareness for people with special needs and disabilities.

“The doctors recommended they institutionalize Jimmy. ‘Put him away and the state of Indiana will take care of him for the rest of his life.’ And they and the other three kids could move on with their lives. Betty said no. Because of Carl and Betty leading the way, we are here, and people with disabilities have rights,” Mohler said.

Special Olympics Indiana will also spotlight its programs, athletes, coaches, and volunteers before the movie.

Tickets for the Jan. 5 gala at Gainbridge Fieldhouse are on sale now via Ticketmaster.