Just in time for 1989’s opening day, Paramount Pictures sent to the mound Major League, a breezy, charming baseball comedy about the unlikely (and fictional) remaking and comeback of the Cleveland Indians, starring Tom Berenger, Wesley Snipes, Charlie Sheen and Corbin Bernsen.Written and directed by David Ward, the film grossed $50 million and spawned two sequels. Bernsen, who played egocentric third baseman Roger Dorn, says the key to Major League’s success was its authenticity.
“It was an imperative by director David Ward that all of the actors involved looked like they could actually play the game of baseball. The film needed that reality or it simply wouldn’t work. Most everyone had to do a tryout session. I was working on another film at the time, so they had to take me at my word. I played long enough in school to know by second nature the mechanics of the game and how the body dynamics would translate to the screen. Hitting, however, was a different story. Hitting kept me out of the pros. And college. And sometimes, even, starting in high school. To fill in for us actors and to round out the team in the movie, David brought in a lot of real ballplayers, both ex-major league players as well as Triple-A and Double-A players. You get that many guys together and sometimes trouble happens. But honestly, there was no trouble at all on this movie. I will say, though, that we had some incredible bonding times making the movie — and they often started and stopped at the door of Charlie Sheen. No, I’m not saying more than that.”