4/1 “The Natural” at Wrigley

Actor Robert Redford said he wanted to film the baseball classic, “The Natural,” at Wrigley Field but couldn’t because the ballpark didn’t have lights at the time. Redford, 74, was at Wrigley on Friday to throw out the ceremonial first pitch before the Cubs’ season opener against the Pirates. The movie, “The Natural,” was released in 1984; Wrigley didn’t get lights until 1988.

Redford did play baseball at Van Nuys High School in Los Angeles, where he was a teammate of Don Drysdale. A pitcher, Redford received a scholarship to the University of Colorado. But he didn’t expect to throw any heat for the first pitch.

“If I throw a ‘smoker,’ my arm’s going to go with it,” Redford said. “I’ll just try to get it over the plate.”

He did, although he did not stand on the mound to throw to Cubs pitcher Kerry Wood. This was the actor’s first trip to Wrigley in about 40 years, he said.

“I feel honored to be here,” he said.

– Carrie Muskat

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