They say that it is impossible to make a bad baseball movie. While this is debatable, it is definitely not hard to make legendary baseball characters. The game itself leads to many nuances that writers can explore to bring the character to life and make them seem as real and interesting as any player you see on Sports Center. And while the casual fan may not be familiar with late 1990’s New York Yankees bench player Luis Soho, they are most assuredly familiar with Ricky “Wild Thing” Vaughn.
So, in honor of the all-star festivities, we have put together the All-Movie All-Star Baseball team.
Crash Davis, Catcher Bull Durham
A twelve year minor league veteran, Davis once spent 21 days in the show describing them as “The best 21 days of my life.” A cerebral catcher who seems to get the best out of his pitchers; this stable pony is no one trick horse. The switch hitting, speech-making veteran is the all time minor league record holder for homeruns. The only concern is if his pitcher shakes him off, you can best believe the next pitch is going over the outfield wall.
Jimmy Dugan, 1B A League of Their Own
The alcoholic manager of the Rockford Peaches of the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League was also an alcoholic ball player. As it turns out he was pretty good at that too. His 482 homeruns helped lead his team to the World Series. Tragically, his career ended when he fell out of a building he set on fire. Jimmy will also serve as bench coach unless he sells off all the team’s equipment like he did when managing San Antonio.
Juan Lopez #1 and Juan Lopez #2 2B/SS Major League: Back to the Minors
The fleet footed, double play making brothers are a dangerous tandem to have up the middle. Unfortunately they don’t get along very well. In fact most times they don’t even speak to each other and it results in some friction on the field. When they are civil, there is no better movie tandem of middle infielders.
Writer’s note: there really is just not another set of middle infielders that got any screen time, thus Major League: Back to the Minors even appearing on this list.
Roger Dorn, 3B Major League
Roger Dorn was once considered a “high priced talent” but later in his career was just considered “high priced.” Generally more concerned with his future off the field, which would lead to him at separate times owning the Cleveland Indians and the Minnesota Twins. When he is focused, Roger can be an asset both in the field and at the plate. Sometimes the best way to get results out of Roger is have his wife sleep with a relief pitcher.
Pedro Cerrano, OF Major League
Pedro Cerrano, the massive Cuban voodoo man is the power heart of the line-up. He “hit straight ball very good,” but struggles with the curve despite his many offerings to Jobu. One thing is for sure, if he gets a hold of a pitch it is going long and not coming back.
Willie Mays Hayes, OF Major League
As manager Lou Brown said about this speedy outfielder, he “may run like Hayes but hits like shit.” Willie Mays Hayes is at the top of the order, leading off and extending many singles into doubles or triples. His cockiness can sometimes get in the way but his natural athletic ability trumps it. His action movie with Jesse “The Body” Ventura Black Thunder/White Lightning is proof that sticking to your wheel house (in this case baseball) is never a bad thing.
Roy Hobbes, OF The Natural
Roy Hobbes had the potential to be the greatest ball player of all time before tragedy struck him. In his lone season of professional ball, the 35-year old rookie and his “Wonderbat” helped revitalize the slumping New York Knights and lead them to the playoffs (all of the while, tapping Kim Bassinger). That man was a true 5-tool player.
Jake Taylor, DH Major League
The former all-star in Boston and Mexican league stand out provides veteran leadership to this team. While he was a fantastic catcher in his time, his knees are giving up on him so DH is the logical spot for him.
Benjamin Franklin “Benny the Jet” Rodriguez, Utility The Sandlot
Benny “The Jet” Rodriguez is a legend. Rotating all 9 positions on his sandlot team growing up, Benny was an amazing talent that would eventually make it to the majors as a member of the Los Angeles Dodgers. His pickling of the Beast, with no special equipment other than a new set of PF Flyers, should be ranked as one of the greatest athletic feats of all time.
Steve Nebraska, Starting Pitcher The Scout
Steve Nebraska, the pride of Mexico; a legend in the making. Every team put in a bid but it was George Steinbrenner’s NY Yankees that won his services. After fighting off many emotional issues, he made a spectacular debut in Game One of the World Series, pitching a perfect game and going 4-4 at the plate; hands down the most spectacular theatrical baseball performance ever.
Kenny Powers, RP Eastbound and Down
The all-star, World Series winning relief pitcher/MFCEO of K-Swiss was not originally on this list. However, I was told if he didn’t make an appearance, I would be freaking out because he is freaking in. While his career was short, it was both an astounding success and a spectacular failure. His love of big-chested women, drugs, booze and hatred of everyone else could have possibly led to his demise. But I doubt it.
Ricky “Wild Thing” Vaughn, Closer Major League
Wild Thing Rick Vaughn and his terminator of a fastball set the standard for movie pitchers. While paying his dues in the California Penal League over a misunderstanding about a stolen car, Ricky really hit his stride as a member of the Cleveland Indians. Control problems almost sent him to the minors but a set of glasses fixed that up and he went on to lead them to the World Series.
Well with the line-up set we need to give some respect to the supporting staff. Lou Brown, formerly of the Indians, the international league Mudhens, and Tire World will be managing our club. On the broadcasting side of things, Major League’s Harry Doyle will take the color spot while play-by-play will be handled by Scotty Smalls of The Sandlot. We have a phenomenal team here. Talented, captivating, and most importantly: every single person is available for work. Scripts are being written and agents are being called. I’m thinking of calling it Field of Dreams.
Brian Glynn is a former employee of ESPN with clearly too much time on his hands. Comments, praise and money offers can be sent to email@example.com. Hate mail can be sent to his ex-girlfriend (name and address withheld).