My favorite sport will be starting up soon, and I think anyone who likes baseball also likes baseball movies. And I figured throughout the night, as I get bored, maybe I could post about some of my favorite sports movies and episodes of TV shows.
Well, have you seen Long Gone? I'm guessing not many people have since it is a TV movie from 1987. I'm pretty sure it hasn't been released on DVD. But it's one of my favorite movies of all time.
Looking back, it's funny how many future stars are in this film. William Petersen, Virginia Madsen, Dermot Mulrooney, Joel Murray, Henry Gibson... even Teller!
Petersen is great as Stud Cantrell, player/manager of the minor league Tampico Stogies. Losing a battle with Stan Musial for his one shot at the big leagues, Stud is now past his prime, but is a great leader for the younger guys on their way up and the others who will never be good enough to make it any further.
Mulrooney plays Jamie Weeks, a new kid with a great glove but not much of a bat.
Madsen plays a character who is very similar to Susan Sarandon's in Bull Durham. And the similarities certainly do not end there, which is pretty suspicious considering Bull Durham came out the next year.
Now I love Bull Durham, but it is not as good as Long Gone. While Bull Durham delivers us the great Crash Davis character, Long Gone manages to give us that much depth for multiple characters.
Set in the racist South, the team deals with numerous threats after signing Joe Louis Brown, a black catcher. The scariest incident, especially to me as a 10-year-old kid, is a run-in with the KKK and a burning cross.
Of course the team starts out in last place and makes a push for the pennant. Of course the owner doesn't want to spend money. Of course people fall in love.
You've seen it all before, but here it's simply better. Trust me. If you like Major League, Bull Durham, or baseball movies in general, you'll love this.