Jay Roach to direct movie about 1970s wife-swapping baseball scandal

Jay Roach to direct movie about 1970s wife-swapping baseball scandal

Peterson, Kekich, and their wives. Photo: Marty Lederhandler/AP
Peterson, Kekich, and their wives. Photo: Marty Lederhandler/AP

Long before professional baseball was rocked by allegations of steroid use among its top players—and long after it was rocked by allegations that the Chicago White Sox threw the 1919 World Series—the sport was mildly jostled by allegations that a couple of players had swapped wives. In 1973, New York Yankees pitchers Mike Kekich and Fritz Peterson started living not only with each other’s wives, but also with each other’s children and pets. Their tale went on to inspire Ben Affleck and Matt Damon—a duo we’re willing to bet have at least swapped lawnmowers or grills or something—to tell their story, as a movie called The Trade. The original plan was for Affleck and Damon to star as the pitchers and for Affleck to direct, but the pair was too busy to commit the time and the movie slipped into development limbo.

Now, armed with a new script by Affleck family heir apparent Casey Affleck, The Trade is finally moving forward. Warner Bros. is currently in negotiations with Meet The Parents director Jay Roach to helm the picture, with Affleck and Damon remaining on as producers, but no longer expected to star. Variety reports that The Trade will be made in the vein of sophisticated social satires like Shampoo, which should hopefully prevent it from being saddled with taglines like “Swap till you drop” or “Swing and a Mrs.” Of course, that depends on whether Roach uses the eye for detail he brought to political dramas like Game Change and Recount, or the exploding wackiness he brought to Austin Powers In Goldmember.

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