13 Things You Never Knew About 'Major League' on its 30th Anniversary
Not to make '80s kids feel even older than they already do, but "Major League" is now 30 years old. This film remains one of the all-time great sports comedies after several decades. Why not relive a rare winning season for the Cleveland Indians by learning some fun new facts about "Major League?"
1. While the film takes place in Cleveland, Ohio and features a fictionalized version of the Cleveland Indians, it was actually filmed in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. This is because the crew was unable to work around the Indians' and Cleveland Browns' respective schedules.
2. Writer/director David S. Ward has said that he was inspired to create the film because he assumed it would be the only way he'd get to see his beloved Indians win.
3. Star Charlie Sheen played baseball in high school and was able to pitch an 85 mph fastball during filming. However, Sheen has since admitted in a "Sports Illustrated" article that he took steroids to help achieve that feat.
4. Unlike Sheen, costar Wesley Snipes had little natural skill for baseball. Ward revealed that he purposely cut any shots of Snipes throwing the ball in order to preserve the illusion.
5.Bob Uecker improvised the memorable scene where his character Harry Doyle dabs whiskey behind his ears, as well as the iconic catch phrase "Just a bit outside."
6. Former Milwaukee Brewers pitcher Pete Vukovich plays the intimidating Yankee batter Clu Haywood, despite the fact that Vukovich hit no home runs (and in fact rarely ever batted) during his 11 season-long career.
7. An alternate ending portrays Margaret Whitton's character Rachel Phelps in a more positive light, revealing that she only threatened to move the team as a way of motivating her players. That ending was scrapped when test audiences reacted poorly.
8. The Phelps character was inspired by former Minnesota Twins owner Calvin Griffith, who attempted to use a clause in his contract to move the team to a different city but eventually sold it instead.
9. When Snipes' character Willie Mays Hayes claims he can "run like Hayes," he's referencing Olympic sprinter/NFL player "Bullet" Bob Hayes. Hayes was once considered to be the fastest man in the world and remains the only athlete to win both an Olympic gold medal and a Super Bowl ring.
10. The University of Arizona's men's baseball team filmed their own parody of "Major League" in 2017.
11. Pitcher Mitch Williams was often compared to Sheen's character Ricky Vaughn when he joined the Chicago Cubs in 1989, earning him the nickname "Wild Thing."
12. The movie had a video game tie-in for the Nintendo Entertainment System in 1989, though it was only ever released in Japan.
13. In 2010, rumors surfaced of a new sequel that would ignore the events of the critically drubbed "Major League: Back to the Minors" and reunite Sheen, Snipes and Tom Berenger. So far that sequel has yet to materialize.
"Major League" is now available on digital HD, DVD and Blu-ray!