Finalists have been announced in the Million Dollar Pitch sweepstakes, which offers contestants the chance to win a million dollars for a 100 mph (or faster) pitch. Each of them will have three chances to throw a strike worth big money in front of a live audience at the Million Dollar Arm premiere, May 6, 2014.
The contest’s nine finalists are:
James Brunswick, New York, N.Y.
Josh Dahl, Glendale, Ariz.
Collin Franklin, Kissimmee, Fla.
Samir Henriquez, New York, N.Y.
Blaine Jones, Rancho Santa Margarita, Calif.
Brandon Otto, Kissimmee, Fla.
Steven Sirko, Danbury, Conn.
Zackery Neal Watson, Gotha, Fla.
Harrison Russell Pyatt, Corona, Calif.
While the finals are still a day away, each of these contestants is already a winner, taking home prize packages including a $500 gift package from Rawlings, a $250 gift certificate from Under Armour and tickets to the ESPY Awards.
Million Dollar Arm is the story of sports agent JB Bernstein (Jon Hamm), who, in a last ditch effort to save his career as a sports agent, concocts a scheme to find baseball’s next great pitching ace. Hoping to find a young cricket pitcher he can turn into a major league baseball star, JB travels to India to produce a reality show competition called “Million Dollar Arm.” With the help of a cantankerous but eagle-eyed retired baseball scout (Alan Arkin) he discovers Dinesh (played by Madhur Mittal from “Slumdog Millionaire”) and Rinku (played by Suraj Sharma from “Life of Pi”), two 18 year old boys who have no idea about playing baseball, yet have a knack for throwing a fastball. Hoping to sign them to major league contracts and make a quick buck, JB brings the boys home to America to train. While the Americans are definitely out of their element in India – the boys, who have never left their rural villages – are equally challenged when they come to the States. As the boys learn the finer points of baseball – JB, with the help of his charming friend Brenda (Lake Bell) – learns valuable life lessons about teamwork, commitment and what it means to be a family.