On This Day: ‘Major League’ Released in Theaters in 1989

by Keeli Parkey

One of the most beloved sports movies ever made was released 32 years ago today (Wednesday, April 7). That film is “Major League” and it will make you fall in love with baseball all over again.

The 1989 film starred Tom Berenger, Charlie Sheen, Wesley Snipes, Rene Russo, Bob Uecker, Dennis Haysbert, Corbin Bersen, James Gammon, and Margaret Whitton.

It tells the story of a Cleveland Indians franchise that has pretty much hit rock bottom. So, the late owner’s wife, played by Whitton, wants to sell the team and move the organization to Miami (this was before there was an MLB franchise in that part of Florida). In order to do that, the Indians have to lose as many games as possible.

To ensure that she can move the team, Whitton’s character puts together a roster that she believes simply cannot succeed. In her mind, the team is certain to finish in last place. However, that bunch of misfits finds out about her scheme and they do all they can to keep it from happening.

Comedic Baseball Film Led to Two Sequels

Hilarity ensues, of course, and what you have is a baseball film that captures the ability the sport has to bring people from vastly different backgrounds together around a common purpose.

The success of “Major League” led to two sequels. There was “Major League II,” which included most of the original cast. It was released in 1994. Next came “Major League: Back to the Minors.” This film was released in 1998.

The original movie is a great film to watch at the start of the Major League Baseball season. So, grab your DVD or Blu-Ray, or head to your favorite streaming service, and watch this film about a group of misfits who come together to overcome obstacles and find success. It will definitely make you laugh.

Who doesn’t love an underdog story, after all? And, an underdog story that starts with a song by Randy Newman shouldn’t be missed.

You can watch the trailer for “Major League” below.


‘Major League’ Gave Fans Very Memorable Quotes

In addition to being a pretty funny movie – and inspirational in its own way, too – “Major League” gave its fans some pretty memorable quotes.

Many of these quotes come from Bob Eucker. He plays the team’s radio announcer, Harry Doyle. One of the most famous of Eucker’s quotes comes as Charlie Sheen’s character, pitcher Ricky “Wild Thing” Vaughn, is having a difficult time getting within about a mile of the strike zone.

Here’s what Eucker has to say as the “Wild Thing” goes wild” “Vaughn into the wind up, and his first offering … juuuust a bit outside. He tried the corner and missed. … Ball four. … Ball eight. … Low, and Vaughn has walked the bases loaded on 12 straight pitches. Boy, how can these guys lay off pitches that close?”

This joke works on so many levels. It’s even funnier if you have ever been to a youth baseball or softball game where this exact thing happens. In that setting, you feel terrible for the young pitcher. But, in “Major League” watching Eucker react to a grown man not being able to find the strike zone, but still try to be nice about it, is pretty darn funny.

Another great quote from the film comes early on when Whitton’s character is talking to her staff about the roster she has put together for the team. They are reviewing the list of players and one of the staff members says, “This guy here is dead.” And, in the sassiness and anger Whitton brings to the character, she says matter of factly, “Cross him off, then.”