Ga. man portrays Jackie Robinson as stunt double in film '42' - KMSP-TV

Ga. man portrays Jackie Robinson as stunt double in film '42'

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Jasha Bolcom Jasha Bolcom
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ATLANTA -

This week the movie 42, about the life and baseball career of Jackie Robinson will premiere on the big screen, and a Georgia man plays the stunt double for the player who did so much for the game of baseball.

Jackie Robinson, who's also a Georgia native, was the first African-American to take the field for a major league team in the 1940s. It turns out the 42 stuntman, Jasha Bolcom, has a lot in common with the baseball legend.

"From the stealing and the running, to feeling the motions you go through what he used to do, and how he played the game on his tip toes, you had to become that," said Bolcom.

Bolcom played for the Chicago Cubs and St. Louis Cardinals. He now runs a baseball coaching facility in Duluth to help others master the game.

"I sent my info, my photos, and I got a call from the stunt director," Bolcom said.

It was Bolcom's look, size, and passion that stood out to the movie makers.

"I ended up winning the role because there was some specific scenes he really wanted to capture the athletism that Jackie portrayed, and I nailed those scenes. And he told me he wanted me to be the double and the rest is history," Bolcom said.

As Bolcom studied the moves, and even the personality of Robinson, he realized there was a lot more to the baseball legend off the field.

"I learned about him as a human being, as a husband, and as a family man, and the things he went through," Bolcom said.

Robinson was the first African-Amercian to play major league baseball when the Brooklyn Dodgers started him on first base in 1947. For Bolcom, the stunt double role turned into a personal passion.

When Bolcom played ball he says he was one of a few African-Americans on his team. He says as work on the film progressed, Robinson's story became real to him, and was "amazing."

Bolcom says he has a greater appreciation for the players in Robinson's days. He describes the shoes they had to wear in the film as uncomfortable bowling shoes with cleats on them. 42 premieres in theaters on Friday.

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