Philadelphia, PA - The Philadelphia Phillies will step up to the plate and hit one out of the park in an upcoming episode of ABC-TV's hit comedy, The Goldbergs, entitled, "Opportunity of A Lifetime," airing on Wednesday, May 2 at 8 p.m. EST / 7 p.m. CST.
In "Opportunity Of A Lifetime" Barry Goldberg (Troy Gentile) wins a SportsRadio WIP call-in contest to throw out the first pitch at a Phillies game at Veterans Stadium. Infamous smother Beverly (Wendi McLendon Covey) becomes convinced her sensitive son will embarrass himself and dissuades him from participating, smashing his hopes and dreams of being recruited by the Phillies. After realizing opportunities like this are once in a lifetime, Barry puts aside his fear to live out his dream and throw out the first pitch in a filled baseball stadium.
The idea for the story came after the Phillies invited the real Barry Goldberg and the actor who portrays him on TV, Troy Gentile, to throw out the first pitch at a Phillies game at Citizens Bank Park in September 2017. The event was part of a City-wide recognition of "The Goldbergs Day in Philadelphia" as proclaimed by Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney.
"At first, the Phillies approached me about the first pitch," said Adam F. Goldberg, Executive Producer, The Goldbergs. "Anyone who has seen the show will know that throwing a ball in front of a crowd is my worst nightmare. My immediate response was that my brother Barry would jump at the idea. For him, it's the opportunity of a lifetime."
The Goldbergs is a real-life recreation of Adam F. Goldberg's experiences of growing up in a suburban family in the 1980s. In the show, Barry is an over-confident dreamer who fancies himself a world-class athlete.
"When I asked my brother if he was nervous he'd tank the pitch he said, 'My pitch is so powerful, if anything, I'll throw it too far into the stands.' You can't make up a Barry response as good as that!" remarked Adam F. Goldberg.
The real Barry Goldberg's childhood hero was Phillies Hall of Fame third baseman Mike Schmidt, who surprised the crowd with an appearance. Schmidt's appearance is featured at the end of the episode, rendering the real Barry Goldberg speechless.
"Throwing out the first pitch may have been an 'opportunity of a lifetime for Barry,' but Mike Schmidt was just as excited about being involved with the surprise," said the Phillies Vice President of Communications Bonnie Clark. "Mike is a huge fan of the show so it took about five seconds for him to agree to take part. The entire night, followed by an episode to capture the experience, was incredibly special for everyone involved."
"My family grew up attending Phillies games at the old Veterans Stadium," recalled Adam F. Goldberg. "I'm grateful to the Phillies for being part of this episode and helping my brother, Barry, live out his dream."
Adam F. Goldberg and Doug Robinson are executive producers. The episode is produced by Adam F. Goldberg Productions, Doug Robinson Productions, and Happy Madison in association with Sony Pictures Television.