With the Yankees beating the Cleveland Guardians in the ALDS (and being completely overworked and not having time to write a new column) I thought it would be appropriate to take a look back at one of my favorite columns.
Unquestionably, my all time favorite baseball movie is Major League. It depicts baseball players exactly as I imagine they were in the 80s and 90s. It’s as close to a perfect baseball movie that can be produced. Calling it the best baseball movie of all time is actually one of the very few baseball-related topics that Luke and I actually agree on.
I was hooked the first time I saw Major League. The characters were over the top but still relatable. My Old Man telling me not to repeat anything that I heard in the movie to my mother really cemented that I was watching something special.
I loved Willie Mays Hayes. Wesley Snipes was absolutely hilarious. Watching him pop up and start doing push ups in the batter’s box still makes me laugh. Coming up short sliding into third base, getting mocked, then flipping the bird. Absolutely priceless.
Charlie Sheen was certainly “winning” as Rick “Wild Thing” Vaughn. When he is pitching to the cardboard cutout and drilling him in the nads then later taking his head off can only be described as classic.
What can be said about Bob Uecker as Harry Doyle that hasn’t been said already? Ueck is the funniest person in the entire move by far, which is saying a lot considering how entertaining this cast of characters was. (The clip is a compilation of Major League and Major League 2)
I loved each and every character. I love the entire movie. I can watch it again and again, never having the urge to fast forward through a single scene.
Despite my love of the movie, at no point through my first hundred watches or so (during the time frame of 1989 – 1996) did I ever actually want to see the Indians win at the climax of the movie. I was pulling for the Yankees the entire time.
The time frame of 1989 through the early 90s really needs to be taken into account. As a 3rd generation Yankees fan, I was born into the right of watching the Yankees win World Series. I heard the stories, whether hearing my Nana tell me about Joe DiMaggio or hearing how my grandfather figured out what subway line Babe Ruth would take after games, then ride the same train so he could meet his idol. My Dad would talk about his boyhood hero Mickey Mantle the same way I talked about my boyhood hero Don Mattingly. We were a Yankees family, our lives revolved around the Yankees.
How could I root against the Yankees? Even in a fictional setting I still desperately wanted to see them win. The Indians may have been the good guys in the movie but the Yankees certainly were NOT the bad guys, as far as my young mind was concerned.
Then there was the fact that the Yankees had not even made the playoffs during my lifetime. I was watching the Yankees battle for a playoff spot, albeit a fictional playoff spot, but a playoff spot nonetheless. This team was supposed to be winning the real World Series but at that point, I would have celebrated a fictional World Series victory.
Seeing the Yankees lose to the Indians at the end of the movie was bittersweet. I liked the fictional Indians team, it was certainly a happy ending. But dang it, why did it have to be the Yankees that lost?
I’ve always wondered how many other Yankees fans wanted to see the Yankees beat the Indians at the end of the movie. Which is why I decided to write on this topic today. If you are a Yankees fan, were you disappointed that they lost at the end of Major League?
Or if you are one of those irritating Boston fans on the other side of BleacherBrawls, did watching the Yankees lose make the movie even better?
Those are the questions that come to my mind as I rewatch Major League today. Were you able to remove your fandom as you watched the movie? I really want to know because I certainly could not.