Michael Volpe: The Free Agent Fan

The 1996-97 quest of a lifelong baseball fan to find a new favorite major league team to support has been documented in an entertaining 18-minute home video, “The Free Agent Fan” by filmmaker Andrew M. Volpe, a 2009 Virginia Commonwealth University BFA graduate. Volpe’s video is dedicated to his father, Michael Volpe, a Falls Church VA resident. When the senior Volpe’s favorite baseball team suddenly traded his favorite player, he declared himself a “Free Agent Fan” and went shopping for a new team. What followed was the equivalent of a six-month fantasy camp. Michael Volpe visited a number of major and minor league ballparks. He met with officials from the Baltimore Orioles, New York Mets, Philadelphia Phillies, Miami Marlins, Durham Bulls and others. The senior Volpe’s actions captured the attention of national media, who followed his quest for months. His saga was featured in publications including Sports Illustrated, the Washington Post, the New York Times and USA TODAY, and major broadcasting outlets ranging from NPR, the Today Show, and Good Morning America, to the CBS Morning News, CNN, Fox News and the BBC. The elder Volpe eventually chose both a major and minor league team to whom he pledged his loyalty.

Now at the 20th anniversary of his father’s journey, Andrew M. Volpe’s award winning documentary tells of how the Free Agent Fan phenomena occurred, interspersed with videos of major media interviews, print articles and original animation which Volpe learned in the VCU Kinetic Imaging Program.

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