Quincy Pitching Legend Wrongfully Negatively Portrayed in Jackie Robinson Biopic “42”
A Quincy baseball legend who won 114 games as a Major League pitcher between 1934 and 1948 is featured prominently in the Jackie Robinson biographical movie ’42′; but unfortunately — and inaccurately — he’s not portrayed in the best light.
Fred “Fritz” Ostermueller, who was born in Quincy in 1907 and died in Quincy 1950, is portrayed in the movie as a villain after beaning Robinson in the head in a game while pitching for the Pittsburgh Pirates. In reality, Ostermueller did hit Robinson with a pitch but the ball struck Robinson in the wrist. Another factual mistake in the movie: Ostermueller was left-handed but is depicted as a right-hander. Actor Linc Hand portrays Ostermueller in the film.
Sherrill Ostermueller Duesterhaus, Fritz’s daughter who currently lives in Joplin, MO, has taken to social media to defend her father’s honor. “The truth is making its rounds,” Sherrill said on her Facebook page. “Reporters are calling and even TMZ called this morning. I guess the truth is going viral on Twitter also…people apparently don’t like it when an innocent man was portrayed so badly.”
Fritz Ostermueller played for 15 seasons in the Major Leagues, pitching for the Boston Red Sox, Pittsburgh Pirates, St. Louis Browns and Brooklyn Dodgers. In later years he owned and operated the Diamond Motel in Quincy.