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Home Run Leader's Wisconsin Beginnings

By: Justin Williams
By: Justin Williams

An exclusive film premiere in Eau Claire Saturday night involved a documentary entitled "Henry Aaron's Summer Up North," a 77 minute story which examines the beginning of Hammerin' Hank's career.

Aaron would go on to earn the crown as baseball's home run king, but the film shows his roots will always stretch back to northwestern Wisconsin.

For 10 years, Bill Povletich and Joshua Adams searched for an opportunity to work on what they term a "passion project." When Bill finished reading "Henry Aaron's Summer Up North," he knew he'd found this opportunity, so he called Josh.

And he replied, "Ironically enough, I'm on page 30 and I love it! Let's do it!" Bill recalls.

The two called up the book's author, Jerry Poling, who admits he and his wife have always thought the story was meritorious of a movie.
"They spent close to as much time on shooting the documentary as I did writing the book," says Poling.

"It was an intense process, some of it and we worked really hard to get it done for this summer," Josh explains.

One hurdle, the absence of any film of Aaron's summer in Eau Claire, which forced the fellas to utilize recreations and archived photos to tell the story.

"They really are genuinely attracted to the people of Eau Claire, and Hank Aaron's story and wanted to do it in a way that people in Eau Claire would be proud of," declares Poling.

The two filmmakers say they're especially proud of having written, produced, and recorded the entire film, right here in Wisconsin.

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