Another game filmed for the movie was the September 16, 2004 game against the Tampa Bay Devil Rays, which Boston won 11-4. The shooting consisted of Drew Barrymore running across the field to where Jimmy Fallon was sitting, near the Red Sox dugout. This was filmed after the game, with about half the crowd staying after to be extras.
The Opening Day sequence was filmed on 4 September 2004 with Stephen King throwing out the first pitch; the Red Sox lost that game, ending a ten-game winning streak and King was blamed for it in the Boston Globe.
Ben has a gigantic replica of Fenway Park's left field wall (a.k.a. "The Green Monster") on the wall of his apartment. In real life and in his apartment, the wall includes a hand-operated scoreboard. The particular game immortalized on Ben's mural is that of Game 3 of the 1999 American League Championship Series, won by the Red Sox over the N.Y. Yankees, 13-1. Before Boston's conquest of New York in 2004 (depicted at the end of the film), the '99 game was one of the most memorable Boston wins in recent memory.
The film mentions the long standing story that former Red Sox owner and Broadway producer Harry Frazee traded Babe Ruth in order to finance the musical "No, No, Nanette". While it may have some truth to it, the deal was much more indirect and complex. Babe Ruth was traded to the Yankees for $100,000. "No, No, Nanette" was originally a non-musical stage play named "My Lady Friends". Without the Babe Ruth trade, "No, No, Nanette" would not have been on Broadway.
During the flashback to the first game that Ben's uncle took him to we see three actual former 1980 Red Sox players playing themselves. Two are very recognizable star players Dennis Eckersley and Jim Rice. The other is Keith MacWhorter who only pitched one season in the majors. His career record was 0 wins and 3 losses in his 24 game career.
On 27 October 2004, Game 4 of the 2004 World Series between the St. Louis Cardinals and Boston Red Sox, the finale of this film was shot. After the last play of the game in the bottom of the ninth during the Red Sox celebration, stars Drew Barrymore and Jimmy Fallon were filmed also celebrating together on the field. A brief shot of the filming could be seen live on the Fox broadcast of the World Series. Rewrites by Peter Farrelly and Bobby Farrelly had to be done immediately following the World Series game 7 clincher of the ALCS against the New York Yankees to include the historic 2004 Boston Red Sox post-season.
Footage from a game in Toronto, Canada between the Yankees and the Blue Jays on 1 October 2004 was shot for the movie. Drew Barrymore and Jimmy Fallon were present at the game and she threw out the first pitch.
Exactly 17 members from the Boston Men's Baseball League were selected to appear as player extras in full uniform in the film. Filming took place at Fenway Park from September 16-23, 2004 from 5pm to 5am nightly. Included in the cast from the BMBL were: - Boston Athletics: John Howe - Boston Cardinals: Dan Jalbert - Boston Marlins: Andy Katz - Boston Rockies: Dave Mitrou - Boston White Sox: Ryan Gray & Jason Hoye - Cambridge Cubs: Billy Burton & Jamie Waters - Medford Mets: John Collins - North Andover: Paul Laurin - Somerville Senators: Michael Sawyer & Russ Ward - T's Pub Dodgers: Scott Gilefsky & Andy Hickey - Wayland White Sox: Jerry Dawson, Dana Johnson & Steve Wolf
This film is loosely based on author Nick Hornby's autobiographical account of his fanatical obsession with soccer football while growing up (filmed in its original setting as Fever Pitch (1997)). Both the book and this film focus on a team winning a championship after a long trophy drought. The original story looked retrospectively at the time Arsenal F.C. had won the (English) Football League First Division in 1989, the first time in 18 years, so the sporting happy ending was built in. Famously this film, originally not based on the Red Sox actually winning, had to be rewritten since the Red Sox did achieve their first World Series for 86 years in the very season while it was being made.
In the scene where Ben and the guys are in the bar and see members of the Red Sox eating, one of them mentions that Ted Williams would roll over in his freezer if he saw this. Fever Pitch was released in 2005, 3 years after his death.
In the scene where Drew Barrymore's character Lindsey gets sick from food poisoning and vomits in the bathroom on the night of her date with Ben (Jimmy Fallon), Barrymore and producer Nancy Juvonen wanted the scene to be shot so that Barrymore is never seen vomiting and directors Peter and Bobby Farrelly agreed.
James Sikking played in two episodes of Charlie's Angels (1977-1979) the t.v. series, Drew Barrymore starred in the blockbuster 2000 movie Charlie's Angels followed up by Charlie's Angels- Full Throttle.
A great deal is made about the long suffering of Red Sox fans, but as of the release of this film in 2005 two Major League Baseball teams had longer World Series win droughts. The Chicago White Sox and Cubs have both subsequently won World Series while the Red Sox have won two more titles.
During the scene where Lindsay's dad is watching SportsCenter the announcer mentions "last October" he is referring to game 7 of the 2003 ALCS where the Yankees Aaron Boone hit a walk off home run in the bottom of the 11th to end the Red Sox season.