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Redford's No. 9 a tribute to Ted did a lot of stories this week on the No. 9 in baseball in honor of the once-a-century date of 9/9/09. Go here to read one that would be interesting to a lot of WNY folks: The connection to Ted Williams as Robert Redford wore No. 9 in the Buffalo-filmed 1983 flick "The Natural"

"I wanted to make a baseball movie for many, many years because baseball had been such a big part of my life. The No. 9 that I wore, that I was dedicating to Ted," Redford said in a recently released Ted Williams documentary on HBO. "I just had it in my head as the perfect character to pattern myself after in terms of hitting and determination and the ability to block things out and focus on just what you were there for."

As we sit 25 years later, there is basically no better baseball flick than "The Natural." Sure, it's sappy in spots. But great fantasy -- and great Buffalo locales -- make it a time-tested classic.

---Mike Harrington


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