Goodbye, Lou Brown…

James Gammon, the actor that played manager Lou Brown in the “Major League” movies, has died at the age of 70 according to the Examiner.

Gammon battled “cancer two and a half years ago. It came back aggressively about a month ago in his adrenal glands and liver,” according to his wife, Nancy. Unfortunately, the actor was too weak to do surgery or chemotherapy, so he choose to do hospice at home for his remaining days.

He had a vast career starting as a cameraman while acting in local theater. The actor moved to California and began acting in television. In 1967, James made his film debut in Cool Hand Luke along side actor Paul Newman.

Throughout his career, Gammon logged more than 135 screen credits, but is best known for his film role in the 1989 comedy Major League where he played Lou Brown, manager of the hopeless Cleveland Indians. He also played a key role in films including, Urban Cowboy, The Milagro Beanfield War, Leaving Normal, Ironweed, Silverado and Cold Mountain.

RIP, Lou…

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Baseball film characters who were on PEDs

PYLE OF LIST put together a creative piece dedicated to baseball movie characters that probably took performance-enhancing drugs in order to be successful on the big screen diamond. Some of the names on this list are startling, yet can we really be surprised that Dottie Henson of the Peaches was probably on the juice?

Kelly Leak (Jakie Earl Hayley) – Bad News Bears
The first name hurts the most of all. Our very own Hall of Famer, a dirty rotten cheat. Although, in hindsight, we really should have seen this one coming. I mean, smoking cigarettes at the field, riding a dirt bike underage, betting girls for dates at air hockey. Clearly this was a player with no regard for anyone’s rules but his own.

Dottie Henson (Geena Davis) – A League of their Own
Dominant hitter for short period of time (one season). A foot taller than all others in the league. Manager asking if she needs a cup (remember, he was in that locker room, he saw what all that testosterone was doing to her). No brainer.

Roy Hobbs (Robert Redford) – The Natural
We’ve seen this story before: an aging player suddenly turning in the best performance of his career well past his prime. Sure, being a gunshot victim had a great deal to do with his inactivity but the numbers are a little fishy. It’s highly unlikely that an old, undersized slugger could hit with that kind of power consistently after a lengthy lay-off, even with “Wonderboy” and his God-given ability to mash. Perhaps he was the Grandfather of the Steroid era.

Henry Rowengartner (Thomas Ian Nichols) – Rookie of the Year
You know what, call me paranoid but I’m no longer buying his doctor’s “tendons healed too tight” story any more. A twelve year old who sucks at little league one day, visits the doc and before you know it is closing for the Cubs… yeah, it must be the tendons…

Ricky “Wild Thing” Vaughn (Charlie Sheen) – Major League
Lord knows Ricky Vaughn would do anything to gain an advantage, so steroids certainly wouldn’t be out of the question, particularly in the era in which he played. In many ways, he’s kinda like the lost Giambi brother… and we know what they did to break in to baseball. While most of his initial issues had to do with his vision, I’m sure a few PEDs wouldn’t hurt his vision, velocity or recovery time. Think Eric Gagne without the goatee.

Great list – love the Giambi brother reference to “Wild Thing.”

The only addition I would make to the list is the entire team from “Angels in the Outfield.” Angels helping a team win? Please – every player on that team was as high as a kite and on various forms of drugs. One week they’re the laughing stock of the league and the next they’re flying around the field? Give me a break – I’d love to see the test results from that club.

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