In a role filled with hopes and dreams, Will Ferrell will be at five different spring training ballparks in Arizona tomorrow as production begins on a new HBO special from Funny Or Die, in partnership with Major League Baseball. Dedicating the special to the fight against cancer, Ferrell is also honoring the historic feat of Bert Campaneris five decades ago by playing every position on the field, and maybe some off the field, for ten different teams in the same day.
Ferrell’s historic day, which will be covered on social media using #FerrellTakesTheField, will be chronicled in the exclusive HBO special, which will air later this year and also feature MLB players, managers, coaches, executives and fans.
“We hope to always be in the Will Ferrell business,” says Michael Lombardo, president, HBO Programming. “This latest collaboration is one of those things only Will could pull off. I can’t wait to see him take the field.”
Baseball Commissioner Robert D. Manfred, Jr. said, “Spring training affords an appropriate setting where our game can serve as the backdrop for an event that will benefit organizations that fight cancer. Will is a big fan of our game, and many of us in baseball – among our clubs, players and our millions of fans – are big fans of his. Major League Baseball is happy to take part in what will surely be a fun and memorable day for a great cause.”
Ferrell’s goal is to honor “Campy” Campaneris while also helping organizations dedicated to fighting cancer, including Cancer for College. Formed in 1993, Cancer for College is a charity that helps individuals adversely affected by cancer to realize their dream of a college education.
Ferrell will be playing in the following games as part of the special:
March 12 (all times Pacific; subject to change)
12:05 p.m. Seattle Mariners at Oakland Athletics (HoHoKam Stadium)
1:10 p.m. Chicago Cubs at Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim (Tempe Diablo Stadium)
2:10 p.m. Cincinnati Reds at Arizona Diamondbacks (Salt River Fields at Talking Stick)
4:05 p.m. San Francisco Giants at Chicago White Sox (Camelback Ranch)
6:15 p.m. Los Angeles Dodgers at San Diego Padres (Peoria Stadium)
An important part of the fundraising efforts will be game-used memorabilia from Ferrell’s journey across the five ballparks, to be auctioned at MLB.com with proceeds being donated to Cancer for College, as well as Stand Up To Cancer, a groundbreaking initiative created to accelerate innovative cancer research. MLB is the founding donor to Stand Up To Cancer.
On Sept. 8, 1965, Bert “Campy” Campaneris, in only his second major league season, went 0-for-3 playing all nine positions for the Kansas City Athletics in a game against the California Angels. Campaneris is expected to be there with Ferrell as he begins his journey tomorrow.
Ferrell previously appeared on HBO in the 2009 comedy special “Will Ferrell: You’re Welcome America. A Final Night with George W Bush.” He was also an executive producer of and guest-starred in HBO’s “Eastbound & Down” and “Funny Or Die Presents.”
The new special is executive produced by Will Ferrell in association with Gary Sanchez Productions, Funny Or Die’s Mike Farah and Joe Farrell, and Stuart Miller, and directed by Brian McGinn.
Funny Or Die launched in April 2007 and has become an award-wining top destination for comedy on the web. The site has over 19 million unique users per month, over 60 million video views per month, and has grown into a vertically integrated digital studio that produces high quality content over numerous platforms, operating a social media and marketing division with over 9 million Twitter followers, approximately 11 million Facebook fans (#1 Comedy Brand on both Twitter and Facebook) and devoted followers on numerous social networking and sharing sites.