Is Running the Bases (2022) Based on a True Story?

Directed by Marty Roberts and Jimmy Womble, ‘Running the Bases’ is a sports drama film that follows Luke Brooks, a small-town baseball coach who gets the offer to coach a successful high school team. As a result, he shifts his family to new surroundings and is forced to reexamine his religious faith. The movie provides an exciting blend of sports and religion through the heartfelt and emotionally driven story, making one curious about its inspiration. So, if you are wondering whether ‘Running the Bases’ is based on actual events, here is everything you need to know!

Is Running the Bases a True Story?

No, ‘Running the Bases’ is not based on a true story. The film is fictional and adapted from a screenplay written by directors Marty Roberts and Jimmy Womble. It revolves around a high school baseball coach whose religious beliefs and approach to the game cause a conflict with the school management and players. As a result, the movie explores the roles of religion and faith in sports and whether they have any place on the playing field.

Interestingly, the premise is eerily similar to actual incidents in Washington- Luke Brooks’ character has a lot of commonalities with real-life football coach Joe Kennedy. The latter is a former US Marine who left service in 2006 after working as a gunnery sergeant for several years. Two years later, he was residing in Bremerton, Washington, with his wife and five children when he was offered the job of coaching a high school football team and joined Bremerton High School as an assistant football coach.

Kennedy stated that he watched the movie ‘Facing the Giants’ and was inspired to pray on the playing field after his team’s games were finished. As a result, he would kneel on the field at the 50-yard line and pray to God after the matches. Soon, some players from his team and opposing teams started joining the post-match prayers. However, the school administration grew concerned with the coach’s religious actions and suspended him; eventually, he was fired from the job.

In August 2016, Kennedy sued the school district for violating the First Amendment and trampling his civil rights. The case lasted for several years until the Supreme Court ruled in his favor in July 2022. Kennedy’s case gained the media spotlight, and the filmmakers possibly learned and were inspired by about the actual events in Bremerton. Nevertheless, they opted to tell an imagined tale based on the basic premise of a high school coach’s fight to display his religious beliefs openly.

Luke Brooks is depicted as a baseball coach in the Marty Roberts and Jimmy Womble directorial, and his kneeling to pray during games is a cause of corner for the school administration, leading to a tumultuous period in his life. Moreover, the characters in the movie are fictional and do not share names with real-life figures. As a result, the makers explore a complex subject prevalent in the real world through Luke Brooks and his journey.

Ultimately, ‘Running the Bases’ is a fictional story that has some similarities to the real experiences of coach Joe Kennedy. Albeit, since the makers haven’t directly confirmed the same, it is safe to assume that the character of Luke Brooks is purely a product of creativity. Nonetheless, the themes and subjects that the film explores resonate with viewers and create an exciting mix of sports and religion. Hence, the narrative is rooted in reality and allows viewers to introspect on their own beliefs and faiths.

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