|Delist Date:||Apr 22, 2002|
|Release Date:||Mar 29, 2002|
Theater Counts: 2511
Dennis Quaid will star in the true life story of Jim Morris, a former high school baseball coach who tried out for the big leagues on a lark. In an attempt to motivate his players, the coach-slash-chemistry teacher told his Reagan County High team that if they made the playoffs, he would attend a major league tryout camp.
As it turns out, the 35-year-old lefty had developed a 98-mile-per-hour fast ball over the past 10 years, and signed with the Devil Rays on June 23, 1999. Morris quickly made his way through the minor league ranks, earning the name "Old Man River" while he was throwing for the Durham Bulls.
Morris was originally drafted by the Milwaukee Brewers in 1983, but had to leave professional baseball in 1989 due to arm and shoulder problems. Having been out of the game for a decade, the reliever spent most of 1999 bouncing around the minors, regaining his form and adjusting to life on the road. Morris made his major league debut that September, striking out the only batter he faced.
Shortly after he joined the Devil Rays, Morris' story ran as a feature in the Los Angeles Times, and may have been what brought him to the attention of production executives.
Producers Mark Ciardi and Gordon Gray pitched Disney the project, which is still in the earliest stages of development. Ironically, Ciardi was also a big league pitcher, and had briefly played for the Brewers.
John Lee Hancock will make his directorial debut from a script by Mike Rich (Finding Forrester).
The Rookie (ROKIE)
H$53.83 April 22, 2002
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