Monday, April 6, 2015

Where are they now? Major League

By +Ian C

Considering that my local baseball team begins their season long monopoly of the minor local TV channels, I bring you a topical "Where are they now?" post featuring America's favorite pastime. 25 years ago, the movie theaters were packed with people watching baseball and singing along with "Wild Thing" as Major League, the funniest sports movie since Chariots of Fire Slapshot hit the big screens.

Major League Blu Ray
"I hate this fucking song"

When an ex-Vegas showgirl, Rachel Phelps, inherits the Cleveland Indians from her dead husband, she decides she wants to move them to Miami, where it's warmer. The only way to make this happen is if they suck so bad that the city of Cleveland kicks them out, and so she hatches a plan to make that happen by hiring the worst players available.

The crazy mix of characters struggle to play together as a team and as planned, the Indians drop to the bottom of the tables and fans stay away in their droves. Just as things start looking rosy for Ms. Phelps, her secret gets out and the players start playing to win just to piss her off.

The movie ends with a showdown game between the Indians and the New York Yankees, in which Cleveland are victorious and everybody (except Phelps) has a happy ending.

So... where are they now?

Tom Berenger played Jake Taylor, ex-Indian and until re-signed by the Indians, 2nd rate catcher in the Mexican Baseball league. Berenger is the father figure veteran who tries to pull the team together. Berenger was a major league actor before Major League, peaking with multi-Oscar winning movie, Platoon. Berenger continued after Major League with Major League II, as well as a couple of minor hits like Born on the Fourth of July and Inception. He was also the original Sniper, long before Chris Kyle even made his first long range kill. Since Inception he has confined his career to cameo's and TV.

Margaret Whitton played the bad guy girl in the movie, Rachel Phelps. Whitton's breakout movie was 9 1/2 weeks, but nobody knows that because they fast forward to the sex scenes. She followed that up with the role of horny Aunt Vera seducing Michael J. Fox in The Secret of my Success. Like Berenger, she faded after Major League except for a little career spike in 1994 around the time of Major League II.

Charlie Sheen was the hothead ex-con pitcher Ricky 'Wild Thing' Vaughn who had a great arm but awful eyesight. Everybody knows the Charlie Sheen story, especially after 2 1/2 men and the 'Winning' outbursts. Charlie used to be a pretty good actor until the prostitutes, drugs and tiger blood wiped out his mind

Corbin Berson played Roger Dorn, the pretty boy outfielder who didn't want to risk his looks by stopping the ball. He has a huge string of roles in his resume, but very starlight to show for it. He is probably best known for his roles as Arnie Becker in LA Law, and as Harry Spencer in Psych. Everything else outside of the 3 ML movies consists of bit parts in TV series or Hallmark made for TV movies.

Dennis Haysbert is another great supporting actor who often shuns the spotlight. His role as rum sipping, voodoo worshiping Pedro Cerrano provided an amusing plot tangent as he tried to appease Jubu and make his bats not fear curveballs. Like Berson above, Dennis has had myriad minor roles on TV and garnered a large following from his role in 24 as well the spokesman in the Allstate commercials.

There were numerous other actors and actresses in this movie, but I got fed up photoshopping the then and now images, so I will skim over them here in text format. Rene Russo used Major League as a career springboard, as did Wesley Snipes. Snipes has probably made more money than everyone else in the cast except Charlie Sheen, but at least Sheen declared his and paid taxes on it, rather than faking an offshore account.

No doubt many of you have already seen and enjoyed Major League, but how may of you returned for the sequel Major League II? AND how many of you joined Corbin Bernsen and Dennis Haysbert in the third movie Major League: Back to the Minors? Share your shame in the comments section below.

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