Written by: Curt Ashcraft (@cashcraft740)
Edited by: Matt Shock (@shockwave_music)
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I don’t know about all of you, but one of my favorite things to do is sit down and enjoy a good movie. Some movies are obviously better than others, but for me, there are a few movies that either over-use my DVD player, or are a must watch when on television. One of those movies happens to be a fictional film about my beloved Cleveland Indians called, “Major League” and as of this past Monday, it has been around for 25 years.
This famous film may be one year older than me and I probably didn’t see it until I was 10-years old, but I always felt that “Major League” was something I grew up with. When I was younger, I liked it simply because it was hilarious and it was about my Indians. What’s not to love, right? As I grew older I began to enjoy the movie for what it truly was. A rag tag group of misfits, wannabes and guys past their prime that should’ve never been successful, but turned out to be when they wanted to prove their greedy owner wrong. “Major League” is a fictional, yet real underdog story and in all honesty, they couldn’t have picked a better team than the Cleveland Indians.
As all of you Cleveland sports fans know, we have experienced our fair share of heartbreak over the years. From “The Drive” to “The Shot” to Jose Mesa, it has just been one let down after another in the city of Cleveland. Granted, this movie came out before two of these disappointments, but you get the picture. Being a small market, the Indians have never been able to sign the highest-profile players and just had to work with their farm system, or sign “project” players. When it always seemed that the small market mold didn’t work in Cleveland, writer & director David Ward gave the city something to believe in.
After the wonderful magic that is Hollywood, the Cleveland Indians were comprised of California Penal League pitcher Ricky Vaughn, an “end of the road” catcher in Jake Taylor, the speedy Willie Mays Hayes, prima donna Roger Dorn, the snot ball king Eddie Harris, voodoo master Pedro Cerrano and the old-school manager himself, Lou Brown. To make this masterpiece more enjoyable, the Indians play-by-play announcer was none other than the colorful Harry Doyle who was either cheering the team on or hitting the bottle because of the Tribe. Nobody in their right mind would want this group, but as the feel good story goes, that is what the Indians were blessed with.
This is the kind of team the Cleveland fans are always looking to rally around and it never works. I don’t think real life would ever let this group succeed the way they did in the movie, but it sure gives us something to hope for. I still today see Ricky Vaughn jerseys at the ballpark and Harry Doyle’s crafty & blunt game calls might be the most popular thing in sports. ‘Our Sports Report’ would like to wish “Major League” a happy 25-year anniversary and not only is it a movie that will withstand the hands of time, but it gave the city of Cleveland something to believe in when all it had ever experienced was disappointment.