Adam Goldberg, series creator of The Goldbergs, is originally from the Philadelphia suburbs, as anyone who watches the series can guess because practically every episode is peppered with references to the Philadelphia area. Tonight’s episode, “The Lost Boy,” will pay homage to Philadelphia’s beloved baseball team as young Adam (Sean Giambrone) and his dad (Jeff Garlin) attend a Phillies game only for Adam to be separated and lost, which was based on an actual series of events that happened to Goldberg.
However, seeing as The Goldbergs tends to err on the side of authenticity. One major hurdle was nailing down Philadelphia’s Veterans Stadium, which was imploded in 2004. With help from Phillies Director of Marketing Michael Harris, they just decided to recreate it; NBD! From MLB.com:
It was a challenge. The show does not have a massive budget, so it could not build something from the ground up. It could not use CGI. It essentially reconfigured a college football stadium near Los Angeles and had two days to shoot everything.
A crew recreated the stands, yanking out the seats and replacing them with the ones Goldberg remembered. It recreated the concourses, concession stands and bathrooms, looking at old photographs as a guide.
“Those bathrooms,” Goldberg said. “Those giant troughs that you had to pee in with the drunk fans. You’re so crowded in. I remember having stage fright for the first time, having to go so bad, but being so freaked out by the experience, I couldn’t go.
Thankfully, being a lady-type, my early memories of Veterans Stadium decidedly did NOT involve a terrifying peeing trough. At any rate, Goldberg and his team reached another hurdle when it came to recreating the Phanatic, which would have cost $8,000 to reproduce. So, the Phillies offered to send them the real thing! That had to have been an awkward baggage check.
Both the scripts from “The Lost Boy” as well as “Barry Goldberg’s Day Off” (which featured a scene at a Phillies game) had to be cleared with the MLB before proceeding, and there was just one joke they had to take out…
Goldberg said he “very cavalierly” wrote a joke in “Barry Goldberg’s Day Off” about Barry Goldberg (Adam’s older brother, portrayed by Troy Gentile) being pelted by batteries at a Phillies game after he caught a ball.
“And here come the batteries,” the announcer said.
“That one line they were like, ‘Oh, boy. That’s a nonstarter. That’s something we never want to happen again. We don’t want to encourage it,’” Goldberg said. “When I heard that was the concern, I was like, ‘Oh, I totally get what you’re saying. We’ll remove it.’
Philadelphia fans not being good sports? I’ve never heard of such a thing.