Post Impressions Films, located in Nevada City, has completed preproduction on “Never Admit Defeat: The Steve and Debbie Palermo Story,” and plans to initiate location production this summer.
The feature documentary will chronicle the life of former American League umpire Steve Palermo, who was shot and partially paralyzed in the summer of 1991 when, following a Rangers-Angels game, he came to the aid of two waitresses being mugged outside Campisi’s Restaurant in Dallas. At the time of the shooting, Palermo was the top-rated umpire in the AL and only five months earlier had married Debbie Aaron from Kansas the love of his life.
“Never Admit Defeat” will explore the tragic event that ended Palermo’s umpiring career and the amazing love that has endured through all the challenges Steve and Debbie have faced. The Palermos reside near Overland Park, Kansas. Steve Palermo is now a supervising umpire for Major League Baseball, beloved and respected by people who know the story of his unselfish act of heroism. As recently as last summer, Steve was honored by Major League Baseball at the All-Star Game when he was invited by Commissioner Bud Selig to accompany the umpiring crew to home plate to accept the starting lineups from managers Tony LaRussa and Ron Washington.
But “Never Admit Defeat” is more than a baseball story. It is a compelling love story, an inspiring story of courage and a powerful story of perseverance under extraordinary conditions.
“We are honored that Steve and Debbie chose us to tell their story,” said Carolyn Voss, owner of Post Impressions Films.
Voss will direct the documentary and reports that several people –– in and out of baseball –– have already committed to the project. Nolan Ryan, Fay Vincent, Pat Gillick, Sandy Alderson, Bobby Valentine, Curt Schilling, George Brett, Frank White, Dave Righetti, Al Newman, Rene Lachman and others will appear, along with journalists Bob Costas, Bob Ley, George Will, Dan Shaughnessy and Dave Kindred.
Other guests include Judge John Cruezot, who presided over the trial of Steve’s assailant; Dixie Bistrow, one of the two waitresses mugged that fateful night in 1991; restaurateur Corky Campisi; Parkland Hospital emergency room physician Dr. Phil Huber; and others involved with Steve and Debbie’s life before and after the shooting. Former CBS News anchor Dan Rather will narrate.
“There has been an amazing reaction to our requests for on-camera guests,” Voss noted. “Steve is a revered baseball figure, and Debbie is a remarkable example of strength under stress. We are privileged to be able to tell their story and are optimistic that the necessary funding will be found this spring so that we can move forward with the production phase during the summer.”
Post Impressions Films is a full-service production and post-production company –– also currently producing “Following the White Line,” culled from more than 350 hours of never-before-seen interviews with Negro Leaguers who traveled the country playing a game they loved.