Bugs & Cranks talked with Chelcie Ross, who, of course played old-timey, junkballing pitcher Eddie Harris in Major League. Solid interview with the actor, covering who was the most athletic of the crew (Dennis Haybert — who hit a legitimate home run off a BP pitcher during filming), how his "pitching" made Bob Uecker want to hurl, his time pitching at Southwest Texas State, and whether Jesus Christ could indeed hit a curveball.
How did former major leaguers Yeager and Pete Vuckovich enhance the film?
Anytime you have guys who have really been there, it doesn’t matter what the subject, if you’re shooting a cop film and you’ve got FBI advisors and police department advisors, which I’ve had on a number of films, they give you an insight which you can’t possibly have from outside looking in. Yeager spent a long time in foul territory, and he brought a knowledge to everything that was done on the film. There were two things in the movie that still bug me to this day, and David Ward would say, “Well, it’s not a baseball game, we’re making a movie here,” which was an answer that means don’t worry about it, it’s fantasy, it’s fiction. But two things that really bother me, one is Cerrano’s home run. He takes the bat all the way around the bases with him. He’d be out. Anybody who’s played the game knows that, and we argued about that. Yeager got up and I had already said something about it, and some of the other guys said something about it but they said “We’re making a movie here.” And the other one is when Jimmy comes out and takes me out of the big game, Tom Berenger had already taken the ball away from me. I don’t know if I’ve ever seen that. That doesn’t regularly happen, and I said “Hey guys, time out. That ain’t right.” The manager should come out and get the ball from me. But those guys were right on top of anything and everything, and anytime you needed something like a throw from the plate to second base, a snap throw to first base, Yeager could do 14 takes and he’d throw 14 strikes. Just baseball knowledge.
I remember coming to the ballpark, early morning, 6 a.m., maybe earlier, in County Stadium, and Vuckovich was standing there eating a brat and drinking a Heineken. (Laughing) He brought color to the proceedings.
This is also a good time to remind you to head on over to Pennant Race Gear and pick up one of their new t-shirt selections. Two Cleveland ones: the Willie Mays Hayes tee as well as the King of Cleveland design, Chief Wahoo as LeBron James.