LA VERNE BASEBALL VIDEO: Still BEST After All These Years by Peter Bennett

March 10, 2011
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La Verne Online Publisher Peter Bennett has aged, but award-winning BEST baseball video on its 10-year anniversary, has stood the test of time!

La Verne Online Publisher Peter Bennett has aged, but award-winning BEST baseball video on its 10-year anniversary, has stood the test of time!

Has it been 10 years?

Ten years ago, I set out to make a baseball video, with more bravado and chutzpah than good sense.

Like James Fenimore Cooper who wrote The Last of the Mohicans in the early 19th century because he was unhappy with the state of American literature (in fact, American Lit was almost nonexistent)), I thought I could make a better baseball video than the ones I had viewed with my three boys Ryan, Roger and Brett.

So, I wrote a 50-page script, tapped a producer with whom I had worked on several video projects when I was the public information officer of the City of Ontario, secured the talent, found a field (Claremont College), and started shooting for what I thought would be three days.

It took closer to 30, each day a little more grueling, as we hauled equipment, set up shots, re-shot shots because of interfering noise from planes landing and taking off at nearby Cable Airport, and engaged in some honest, but spirited directorial disagreements. But we got it all in the can.

I took one demo to a large baseball supply outlet in Riverside. The owner summarily rejected it out of hand. I left it with him, but I’m sure he never looked at it. I clearly remember his saying, “All these videos are the same, why would yours be any different!” I tried to tell him, but it was a losing battle.

On the way home with my tail between my legs, I began thinking about how to make my video really different. So I called my video guy when I got home and told him I wanted to reshoot the opening. I was going to rent a helicopter and the players and I were going to drop out of the sky and rescue this poor coach who had a team that was worse than the Bad News Bears. It was right around 9/11, so I called the video BEST for Baseball and Endurance Survival Training and dressed our paratroopers in fatigues. It was a lot of fun. We felt like Rambo or Jean Claude Van Damme.

I polished some voice-overs in the studio, designed the cover, wrote copy for the video jacket and ordered 2,500 VHS videos. When they arrived at my La Verne home, I didn’t realize how exhausting it was to stack that many videos. The bigger problem was, what was I going to do with all of them?

Fortunately, the Good Lord smiled and intervened. The Los Angeles Times’ Larry Stewart reviewed and praised the video in Page 2 of the Times’ Sports section, and not long after both Sports Chalet and Chick’s Sporting Goods began selling them. We also debuted on eBay, and today it remains a strong seller and one of eBay’s highest-rated baseball videos, if not the highest. Check out some of the glowing testimonials.

What tickles me most about the video is that all the years I was coaching my boys, I took few pictures and even less video. So I told myself and all who inquired about my crazy project that even if I didn’t make a dime doing what I loved, I would always have that 83 minutes of rare footage. And you know what, it gets better every year! We were still in the innocence of our youth and we had big ideas.

While other videos half as good and half as long sold for $39.95 or $29.95 (I should know I have a garage full of them somewhere), we sold ours for under $15.

Next week in honor of the March 19, 2011 Little League opener and in honor of the 1999 La Verne Little League Team that is being recognized (my oldest son Ryan was on the team), we will be selling the DVDs for $10. We will donate part of the proceeds to the League.

If you have a son or daughter playing, you should consider picking up a copy and as an investment in their baseball success and enjoyment. I know I wish I had the opportunity to purchase one when my children were all playing Little League baseball in La Verne.

Here’s the copy on the DVD jacket:

“Don’t let another game go by without first viewing the Baseball Endurance and Survival (BEST) video.

BEST will dazzle you with dozens of drills and demonstrations that add fire, flair and fun to your practices and help make you a better ballplayer.

Besides learning how to bat, bunt, steal, slide, field and throw like a pro, you’ll be dodging barrels, whacking tires, skipping through ladders, bounding over boxes, smacking soccer balls off toilet plungers and much, much more – all to take your game to the next level.

Like a walk-off home run, BEST explodes with information, instruction and inspiration that you won’t find anywhere else. Next to your bat and glove, BEST is your No. 1 tool for increasing your baseball development and enjoyment.

Learn from the BEST to be the best. For ages five and up. All instruction is for baseball and softball players alike.

  • Hitting
  • Bunting
  • Base Running
  • Sliding
  • Fielding
  • Throwing
  • Individual Positions

Bonus Section

  • Mental Approach
  • First Aid
  • Stretching Exercises
  • Strength & Agility Drills”

See you on March 19, 2011, when two players, Ryan Bennett and Marcus Hinojosa who played on the 1999 La Verne Little League World Series Team and also appear in the video, will sign your individual copy of BEST baseball!

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