Movies give us another set of all-stars

sports@macon.comJuly 15, 2013 

The film “42,” which was partially filmed in Macon, has enjoyed an all-star run this spring and summer, already grossing more than $93 million.

With the Midsummer Classic, Major League Baseball’s All-Star game, set for Tuesday at Citi Field in New York, I came up with an all-Hollywood all-star team based on real and fictional diamond stars from the silver screen.

We had a lot of choices at catcher and chose from a list that includes James Earl Jones, playing the role of Leon Carter in “The Bingo Long Traveling All-Stars & Motor Kings,” which was also partially filmed in Macon, Tom Berenger as Jake Taylor in “Major League,” Kevin Costner, who was Crash Davis in “Bull Durham,” Paul Winfield in the role of Roy Campanella in “It’s Great to Be Alive,” and Robert DeNiro as Bruce Pearson in “Bang the Drum Slowly.” My pick: Kevin Costner as Crash Davis from “Bull Durham.”

First base was easy for me. I picked Gary Cooper as Lou Gehrig from the 1942 flick “Pride of the Yankees.” The other options were Tom Sellick as Jack Elliott in “Mr. Baseball” and Chris Pratt as Scott Hatteberg from “MoneyBall.”

I went with “42” star Chadwick Bozeman as Jackie Robinson at second base, picking him over Tom Sizemore as Pete Rose in “Hustle” and Bill Erwin as Eddie Collins in “Eight Men Out.”

The only shortstop movie roles I could find were Lucas Black, who played Pee Wee Reese in “42,” and Gene Kelly as Eddie O’Brien in “Take Me out to the Ball Game.” Black was a real easy choice, although I am sure he couldn’t tap dance as well As Kelly.

The two choices at third base were John Cusack in the role of Buck Weaver in “Eight Men Out” and Corbin Bernsen as Roger Dorn in “Major League.” I liked Cusack as Weaver better.

The left fielder is Shoeless Joe Jackson, as played by Ray Liotta, in “Field of Dreams.” He beat out D.B. Sweeney’s portrayal of Jackson in “Eight Men Out.”

Center field was a difficult decision because of so many good performances. The candidates are Anthony Perkins as Jimmy Piersall in “Fear Strikes Out,” Charlie Sheen as Happy Felsch in “Eight Men Out,” Thomas Jane as Mickey Mantle in “61,” Tommy Lee Jones as Ty Cobb in “Cobb” and two different roles by Wesley Snipes, the first as Bobby Rayburn in “The Fan” and as Willie Mays Hayes in “Major League.” I went old school here, taking Perkins as Piersall in the 1957 movie.

There were a lot of choices for the right field position. Robert Redford as Roy Hobbs in “The Natural”, John Goodman as Babe Ruth in “Babe,” William Bendix as Ruth in “The Babe Ruth Story,” Barry Pepper as Roger Maris in “61” and Stephen Bishop as David Justice in” Money Ball.” Naturally, I went for Redford’s portrayal of Hobbs.

There have probably been more baseball movies about pitchers than any other position, and I made my selection from Tim Robbins as Nuke LaLoosh from “Bull Durham,” Charlie Sheen as Ricky Vaughn in “Major League,” Jimmy Stewart, who played Monty Stratton in “The Monty Stratton Story,” Dan Dailey as Dizzy Dean in “The Pride of St. Louis” and Kevin Costner as Billy Chappel in “For The Love of the Game.” I took two here: Robbins as LaLoosh as the starter and Sheen as Vaughn as the reliever.

If you had to pick an all-star announcer from a film, it would be no contest: Bob Uecker as Harry Doyle in “Major League.”

I don’t think you would win many games with this “all-star” team.

Bobby Pope is the executive director of the Georgia Sports Hall of Fame. Email him at bobbypope428@gmail.com

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