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Major League

Can the Cleveland Indians rise from their tradition of mediocrity, learn to play strong professional baseball, attract crowds to see the winning team and bring honor to themselves and to the city of Cleveland? This is the loaded question that the movie Major League seeks to answer, and it answers enthusiastically in the affirmative.

In the movie, the hapless Indians are inherited by an ex-show girl from her late husband. She wants to move the team to Miami and, in order to get out of the stadium lease, needs for attendance to drop below 800,000. As a result, the widow puts together a ragtag team of over-the-hill players, a pitcher who has a rapid fastball but no control, and a team which is overall comprised of movie stereotypes, with the result that the prospect of assembling a winning team seems next to impossible.

This being the movies, Lou Brown, the manager (played by James Gammon) is challenged to bring out the best in his players. As the team realizes the owner's intent to move the team (but not necessarily the players) to Florida, they begin to come together. The pitcher learns control (after being fitted for eyeglasses), Willie Mays Hayes makes a game-saving catch, and a Cuban player who practices voodoo (Pedro Cerrano) hits a strategic home run. As the team begins to coalesce into a winning organization, attendance at the games goes up, not down, and the team realizes the once impossible goal of reaching the championship.

Although strictly a Hollywood fantasy, the use of the Cleveland Indians name, logo and even stadium lends an air of reality to the film (particularly since the real-life Indians are as hapless as those in the movie). Charlie Sheen, who plays the myopic pitcher, also attended a baseball school in his youth, with the result that he is able to lend additional credence to his character.

While the movie itself is predictable and even corny, and it is played for laughs as much as anything else, ...

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Major League. (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 18:26, May 24, 2020, from