Sports Movie of the Week — ‘Major League’ [VIDEO]
With more than a century of history to its credit, baseball has inspired many movies. Few are as funny as ‘Major League,’ our Sports Movie of the Week.
In the 1989 film, the owner of the Cleveland Indians dies and leaves the perennially terrible franchise to his new bride, Rachel Phelps (Margaret Whitton), a former exotic dancer with little interest in baseball or Cleveland. Phelps conjures a plan to stock the Indians’ roster with terrible players who will lose enough games to allow her to move the team to Miami.
Phelps adds aging catcher Jake Taylor (Tom Berenger), middling prospects Ricky Vaughn (Charlie Sheen) and Willie Mays Hayes (Wesley Snipes) and power-hitting enigma Pedro Cerrano (Dennis Haysbert) to the other Cleveland players already under the direction of manager Lou Brown (James Gammon) with the hope they’ll finish last. The team struggles to play well at first, but once they discover Phelps’ motives they rally together to make baseball magic.
Five Reasons to Watch ‘Major League’
1. Every 10 minutes of screen time you’ll hear at least one line of dialogue that is still used for a laugh by present-day baseball fans, announcers and pundits nearly 25 years after the film’s original release.
2. Real life play-by-play guy Bob Uecker is cast as Indians’ announcer Harry Doyle, a caricatured version of himself and legendary Chicago Cubs broadcaster Harry Caray. While it’s not a stretch of his acting ability, Uecker’s delivery helps land some of the film’s biggest laughs.
3. To fans who may best know him from his role as President David Palmer on the Fox show ’24,’ Dennis Haysbert is nearly unrecognizable as slugging Pedro Cerrano, thanks to a goatee and a shaved head.
4. The Indians’ home game scenes were filmed at Milwaukee’s County Stadium, which has since been demolished. At the time the film was made, Cleveland played at Municipal Stadium, which has also since been razed.
5. Charlie Sheen was capable of throwing more than 85 miles per hour. He has since admitted to using performance-enhancing drugs to prepare for his role as a fast-throwing relief pitcher.
Click the play button to watch the original trailer of the film below: