Caple: Celebrating ‘Bull Durham’ 25 years after its release

From SABR member Jim Caple at on June 14, 2013:

Twenty-five years ago this weekend, we learned that candlesticks make a great wedding present, that the rose goes in the front on a garter belt and that a young pitching prospect should never, ever — and I mean ever — shake off his veteran catcher.

Released on June 15, 1988, “Bull Durham” is considered by many as the finest baseball movie ever made, and it rivals “Rocky” as the finest sports movie. It’s the funny, touching and, of course, sexual tale of veteran catcher Crash Davis, pitching prospect Ebby Calvin (Nuke) LaLoosh, passionate “fan” Annie Savoy and life in the low minors with the Class A Durham Bulls.

“Twenty-five years? I know, I know. Doesn’t seem like it,” Kevin Costner, who played Crash Davis, told ESPN’s Greg Garber this week. “I mean, you look at me, you don’t see Crash Davis. I couldn’t pull that part off today … But in my mind, I’m still in junior high school. Twenty-five years ago, I could have been Superman if I could get the [hair] curl right. Now I’m Superman’s dad.

“That was an iconic baseball story that really holds up. And it’s because of the writing. Ron Shelton. That’s what does it for me.”

A quarter-century later, the movie is a classic, a favorite of old ballplayers, young ballplayers and everyone else who was ever a fan of the game.

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Originally published: June 17, 2013. Last Updated: June 17, 2013.