Hollywood came to Minnesota in 1994, and Edina played a starring role. Castle Rock Entertainment filmed much of the feature film Little Big League at the Metrodome—not surprisingly, since the movie is about a 12-year-old boy who inherits his grandfather’s baseball team, the Minnesota Twins. But much of the off-field action was filmed right here in Edina.
When character Billy Heywood (played by Luke Edwards) isn’t trying to coax his team to victory, he’s at home in a Country Club District house on Arden Avenue and plays baseball with friends at Countryside Park. And sharp-eyed locals have noted a movie umpire wears an Edina T-shirt.
With all the choices for filming in the metro area, why choose Edina? The city’s quarterly newsletter About Town reported in 1994 that, according to Hollywood scouts, “With its well-groomed field and picturesque tree-lined background, Countryside was a ‘perfect choice.’ ” Also, second unit director Bill Pohlad grew up in Edina – he went on to become a film producer for several successful movies, including 12 Years a Slave, which won a Best Picture Oscar earlier this year. In addition to having strong ties with the Twins (his father Carl was the owner), he knew first-hand the settings his hometown had to offer. The Edina Baseball Association provided about 200 extras as players and fans. In exchange, EBA received a generous donation from Castle Rock Entertainment and the thrill of a lifetime.
For more entertaining stories from Edina’s past, check out the Edina Historical Society blog at edinahistorical society.org/blog.