As in the “Major League” series, or “Rookie of the Year.”
YOU LIKELY KNOW of the Major League films as the source of many one-liners that oft get repeated as gags during baseball games. There even are moments when all those high-tech video boards inside modern-day stadiums are used to show snippets of them for laughs.
And it was the Major League series that gave us that eternal philosophical question – can Jesus Christ hit a curve ball?
Then, there was Rookie of the Year – a film largely intended to be something that parents can take their children to see. It tells the tale of a 12-year-old boy who suffers a freak injury to his throwing arm that makes it possible for him to throw 100-mile-an-hour fastballs.
Because the kid supposedly lives on Chicago’s North Side, he signs a contract to pitch for the Cubs. And supposedly leads them all the way to a playoff game, when his arm supposedly snaps back into place and he begins throwing again like a not-particularly-athletic 12-year-old kid.
ALL IN ALL, a ridiculous premise. But no more silly than a film that answered a ballplayer’s request to snap out of a hitting slump and sacrifice a chicken by providing him with a bucket of Kentucky Fried.
Although I always thought the Major League series, which uses the Cleveland Indians as its heroes in humor, to be more absurd. The sequel film Major League II was the low point – because it was the one that treated the Chicago White Sox as the all-powerful team that needed to be vanquished by an underdog Indians squad.
Not even the most drunken of Sox fans would ever think that their team was all-powerful – except at offering up the best-tasting Polish sausage at the ballpark concession stands.