Paramount via Everett Collection
It's hard to believe that it's been 25 years since Charlie Sheen's Ricky Vaughn emerged from the bullpen to the strains of "Wild Thing" to help the Cleveland Indians win a division title. Coming out during an era of more high minded baseball movies like Bull Durham and Field of Dreams, Major League was pure goofy fun… more interested in laughs than in the game's potential life lessons.
For many baseball fans, an annual viewing of Major League is as much a part of spring as Opening Day. As with Caddyshack, there are fans that can quote the movie's best lines from memory. Even if you have your own home shrine to voodoo god Jobu, here are some fun facts about the movie that you might not know:
1. Although the movie is set in Cleveland, the scenes inside the ballpark were shot at Milwaukee's old County Stadium. Bob Uecker, who played announcer Harry Doyle, has really worked in Milwaukee since 1971 as the play-by-play man for the hometown Brewers... a fact that writer-director David S. Ward didn't know when he cast him. He had based the casting strictly on Uecker's work on the sitcom Mr. Belvedere and in a series of Miller Lite commercials (if you look closely, that's the beer that Doyle is drinking in the movie).
2. Sheen really was a pitcher in high school for Santa Monica High. He now claims that he took steroids prior to doing the movie so that his fastball would be more realistic. Dennis Haysbert, who later became famous as President David Palmer on 24 and played Cuban slugger Pedro Cerrano, was a football and basketball player in high school before switching to fencing at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts.
3. Haysbert's hitting as Cerrano looked real because it was. Even though he didn't play baseball past Little League, Haysbert actually cleared the fences multiple times during filming.
4. Despite playing a speedy outfielder in the movie, Wesley Snipes was so slow that they ended up showing him running in slow motion in the film to provide the illusion of speed.
5. The original ending featured the scheming owner played by Margaret Whitton — the widow of the beloved former owner — as secretly being behind the team's winning, with her devious threats meant to bring the boys together. When test audiences hated it, they reshot it to keep her as the bad guy.
6. Entourage's Jeremy Piven shot multiple scenes for the movie, playing a bench player who likes to heckle the opposing team. When they started editing, they realized that the scenes didn't work, so they completely cut his character from the film.
7. Prior to making her film debut as Lynn Wells, the ex-girlfriend of Tom Berenger's character, Rene Russo was known primarily as one of the top models of the '70s. A Los Angeles native, one of Russo's classmates growing up was sitcom-star-turned-director Ron Howard.
6. Pete Vuckovich, who plays evil Yankees first baseman Clu Haywood, was actually a star Major League pitcher who won the American League Cy Young Award in 1982. Playing largely in games with a designated hitter, Vuckovich only rarely batted during his career.
7. According to Ward, during the celebration scene at the end where Corbin Bernsen's third baseman Roger Dorn punches Sheen for sleeping with his wife, Bernsen actually connected with the shot, leaving a welt on Sheen's face.
8. Neil Flynn, who went on to bigger roles on television as the Janitor in Scrubs and a suburban father in The Middle, plays one of the long-suffering Cleveland fans complaining about the state of the team.
9. Flynn and Stacy Carroll, who plays Dorn's wife who has revenge sex with Ricky, both also appeared in a short-lived TV show called Sable, which starred Russo as the girlfriend of a children's book writer who transforms into a superhero at night.
10. The song that plays at the beginning of the movie is "Burn On" by Randy Newman. Written in 1972, it is an ode to an incident in 1969 when the Cuyahoga River in Cleveland caught on fire due to an oil slick and other debris floating in the polluted water.
Look at that face. Is that the face of a 41-year-old? No. Chris Hardwick is clearly 17. But take a look at his IMDB page and you'll see that he's been hosting shows since 1993. 20 years ago. So that means he must be aging backwards. Regardless of how his face is aging, you've probably seen it all over the place throughout the years. Let's journey together through a retrospective of Chris Hardwick's career.
Hardwick broke onto the scene and shot into young girls' hearts as co-host of MTV's wildly popular dating show Singled Out in 1995. His dynamic with Jenny McCarthy as the nerdy funny guy and the hot chick who can throw down was a winning combination, so much so that he caught the attention of Aussie model and The Real World: London cast member Jacinda Barrett, whom he was engaged to but never married.
Since Singled Out, he's accumulated a laundry list of steady hosting gigs and acting roles. In 1998, he starred on UPN's comedy Guys Like Us, and appeared in Rob Zombie's House of 1,000 Corpses in 2003 and Halloween II in 2009. From 2007 to 2011, he voiced Otis the Cow for Nickelodeon's Back at the Barnyard, and is currently the voice of Craig on Sanjay and Craig. And those are just a few of his acting gigs.
Perhaps the most prolific host, talking-head personality, and cameo-maker of the last 20 years, Hardwick has appeared on everything from MTV Spring Break to Hollywood Squares to Boy Meets World. Some regular gigs he's had where he just shows up and is himself include The Late Late Show With Craig Ferguson, Chelsea Lately, and Late Night With Jimmy Fallon. Concurrent with Chelsea Lately and Jimmy Fallon, he hosts Talking Dead and Talking Bad, companion shows to the two AMC giants, Walking Dead and Breaking Bad. Where does he have the time to do all this?
Besides his many TV appearances and acting roles, he is the co-president of Legendary Films' digital division, which incorporated his former media network, Nerdist. And as if that weren't enough, starting this fall, Hardwick will host a half-hour comedic panel show called @Midnight four nights a week literally at midnight. All of this raises the question: when does Hardwick sleep? And how does he age so well without getting any shut-eye? Could he be a living, breathing key to the fountain of youth? Maybe, maybe not, but he certainly is a hard-working and entertaining guy.
In baseball, they say “It’s not over ‘til it’s over.” But for those hoping to be inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2013, it’s over.
Apparently, Cooperstown isn’t willing to fit another inductee into the shrine this year. The National Baseball Hall of Fame announced today that no one was voted into the club in 2013 after the players on the ballot all failed to attract the 75 percent portion of votes required to receive the honor.
Victims of what the Hall of Fame is calling a shutout include former San Francisco Giants left fielder Barry Bonds, former Mets catcher Mike Piazza, and former New York Yankees pitcher (and seven-time Cy Young Award winner) Roger Clemens. The only players to come close to nabbing the vote were Craig Biggio from the Houston Astros and Jack Morris, former pitcher for the Minnesota Twins, with 68 and 67 percent, respectively.
While many fans are surely staring wide-eyed and saying “Goll-eee, gee-wiz” right about now, Clemens tweeted that he wasn’t shocked he didn’t make the cut. “After what has been written and said over the last few years, I’m not overly surprised. Thanks to all the teams I’ve worked with and to fans and friends for all the fantastic letters, voice mails and texts of support over the last few years. To those who did take the time to look at the facts … we very much appreciate it,” said Clemens via a photo posted on Twitter.
Votes for new Hall of Famers are cast by the members of the Baseball Writers Association of America, comprised of 569 voters in 2013 (increased by over a 100 since last year) and in order to qualify for induction into the Hall of Fame, players needed to pick up 427 votes. Unfortunately for all involved, this game doesn’t have the option of extra innings.
It makes sense that folks like Bonds and Clemens, both of whom were embroiled in steroids scandals in the late 2000s, would be left out of the honorable Hall. But in fact, it’s not even as shocking as it should be that the voters came up with nothing... again. This is the eighth year with no inductee since 1996.
”The standards for earning election to the Hall of Fame have been very high ever since the rules were created in 1936. We realize the challenges voters are faced with in this era. The Hall of Fame has always entrusted the exclusive voting privilege to the Baseball Writers’ Association of America. We remain pleased with their role in evaluating candidates based on the criteria we provide,” says Hall of Fame president Jeff Idelson in a press release.
Tyler Kepner, a 15-year veteran of the BWAA, says in an article for The New York Times that the issue might be the oversaturation of the voting pool among BWAA members, and calls for diversification of the voters in order to level the playing field.
Still, with or without the honor of earning a spot in the Hall of Fame, at least folks like Bonds and Clemens will see their legacies live on in their own ways... in the pages of celebrity gossip history.
Follow Kelsea on Twitter @KelseaStahler
[Photo Credit: Justin SullivanGetty Images]
Anatomy of a Baseball Movie - INFOGRAPHIC
Summer Olympics Forever: 8 Movies to Keep the Spirit Alive
Monopoly to Replace One Token: Save the Thimble!
From Our Partners:
Guess the Celebrity Bikini Body! (Celebuzz)
30 Hottest Lingerie Scenes from the Past 30 Years (Celebuzz)
It was fun while it lasted. After nine months of dating, Nick Jonas and his much-older Australian pop star girlfriend, 27-year-old Delta Goodrem, have decided to call it quits. Goodrem's rep confirmed the news in a brief statement, saying, "Nick and Delta have decided to mutually end their relationship. At this point in time, they are both focused on their careers as they go on different paths. They remain friends and wish each other the best for the future."
Jonas, 19, began dating Goodrem shortly after she split from Irish boy band singer Brian McFadden, whom she was with for seven years. For his part, Jonas was romantically linked to to Miley Cyrus from June 2006 to December 2007.
But Jonas has plenty of projects on his plate to keep his mind off the recent breakup. In fact, he's starring in Broadway's How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying in a role previously played by actor Daniel Radcliffe and Glee's Darren Criss. Additionally, he's also scheduled to make a guest appearance on NBC's recent hit Smash on Feb. 27. Jonas Brothers fans must be thrilled.
Click on the picture above for more photos of Nick Jonas.
Once again, James Cameron is king of the world. Barely six weeks into its theatrical run, Cameron’s sci-fi opus, Avatar, has officially been crowned the world’s all-time highest-grossing film. According to Paul Dergarabedian, President of Box Office at Hollywood.com, the 3-D epic claimed the top honor sometime yesterday afternoon, when it surpassed the $1.843 billion global gross of another Cameron blockbuster, 1997’s Titanic. Avatar still has some work to do before it can claim stateside honors, however, as its domestic gross still lags about $46 million behind Titanic’s record $600 million tally. Avatar now sits at $1.859 billion.
Avatar’s stunning achievement comes with the usual set of caveats, of course. Higher ticket prices, especially for 3-D and IMAX showings, provided a significant boost to the film’s bottom line, and economic hair-splitters will be quick to note that Avatar’s inflation-adjusted numbers still rank well behind those of Gone With the Wind, whose domestic gross alone approaches $1.5 billion in today’s dollars — the movie industry equivalent of Cy Young’s untouchable record of 511 wins. To surpass that remarkable number, Avatar will have to maintain its current box office pace for roughly six more months.
For more in-depth box office news and analysis, visit www.hollywood.com/boxoffice.