Susan Sarandon as Annie Savoy in Bull Durham
My favorite sports motion picture is Bull Durham, the 1988 comedy starring Kevin Costner, Susan Sarandon and Tim Robbins. This film is a double dip for me, not only a great motion picture, but also with a baseball theme. There are precious few great baseball movies, although Money Ball is outstanding.
My favorite speech from any movie, including the various great monologs in Casablanca, is this one from Annie Savoy, who was played by Sarandon. The mix of metaphysics (which I have explored in depth) and baseball to which I have devoted nearly 60 years, just blows me away.
ANNIE SAVOY SAYS . . .
I believe in the Church of Baseball. I've tried all the major religions, and most of the minor ones. I've worshipped Buddha, Allah, Brahma, Vishnu, Siva, trees, mushrooms, and Isadora Duncan. I know things. For instance, there are 108 beads in a Catholic rosary and there are 108 stitches in a baseball. When I heard that, I gave Jesus a chance. But it just didn't work out between us. The Lord laid too much guilt on me.
I prefer metaphysics to theology. You see, there's no guilt in baseball, and it's never boring... which makes it like sex. There's never been a ballplayer slept with me who didn't have the best year of his career. Making love is like hitting a baseball: you just gotta relax and concentrate. Besides, I'd never sleep with a player hitting under .250... not unless he had a lot of RBIs and was a great glove man up the middle.
You see, there's a certain amount of life wisdom I give these boys. I can expand their minds. Sometimes when I've got a ballplayer alone, I'll just read Emily Dickinson or Walt Whitman to him, and the guys are so sweet, they always stay and listen. 'Course, a guy'll listen to anything if he thinks it's foreplay. I make them feel confident, and they make me feel safe, and pretty.
'Course, what I give them lasts a lifetime; what they give me lasts 142 games. Sometimes it seems like a bad trade. But bad trades are part of baseball - now who can forget Frank Robinson for Milt Pappas, for God's sake? It's a long season and you gotta trust.
I've tried 'em all, I really have, and the only church that truly feeds the soul, day in, day out, is the Church of Baseball.