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Sports a Good Fit for Kevin Costner

Kevin Costner plays a pro football general manager in Draft Day, the latest entry in the actor’s long association with sports on film.

Bull Durham was a benchmark for Costner as an actor who fits seamlessly into Hollywood’s musings on baseball. He cemented his role as baseball’s everyman the following year, 1989, with Field of Dreams, as a farmer who is visited by the ghosts of the sport’s past, and returned to baseball in 1999 as a major-league pitcher in For Love of the Game.

IMDB.com says he statistically has acted in more baseball-themed films than any other actor, except for Dennis Haysbert, who played Pedro Cerrano in all three Major League movies, as well as being in Basebal (1992). Counting the little-seen Chasing Dreams, that would put Costner in a tie for the lead.

While we’re talking Costner and sports, how could we forget Tin Cup and all of those shots into the drink.

Don’t worry, we haven’t forgotten. Here’s a rundown of Kevin Costner’s fictional sports movies:

1982 — Chasing Dreams (baseball): Although he has a small role, a DVD was released after Field of Dreams with his face splashed across the cover. The star was David G. Brown, a young man who finds comfort and a career in baseball.

1985 — American Flyers (bicycling): Costner plays a doctor who reunites with his estranged brother when he realizes a brain disease runs in their family. The brothers bond over cycling and decide to enter a grueling bike race through the Rocky Mountains.

1988 — Bull Durham (baseball): As Crash Davis, the aging catcher chasing the minor-league home-run title, he was a showman who would never make it in “the show” but who found his niche while helping a young talented pitcher (Tim Robbins). He also set off a few sparks with Susan Sarandon’s Baseball Annie.

1989 — Field of Dreams (baseball): A down-on-his-luck Iowa farmer answers a voice that tells him, “If you build it, they will come.” He flattens his fields to create a baseball diamond, and the redeeming qualities of America’s pastime take on otherworldly meanings and lead to a poignant father-son reunion.

1996 — Tin Cup (golf): Costner’s Roy “Tin Cup” McAvoy is a free spirit who wants to live and play his way and has problems with rules. He has the talent to compete on the highest levels but not the temperament, unlike the champ and first-class jerk played by Don Johnson. Oh, and sparks fly with Rene Russo.

1999 — For Love of the Game (baseball): An aging major league pitcher flashes through his career as he gets a chance at love with Kelly Preston and one last chance at being perfect on the mound.

1999 — Play It to the Bone (boxing): OK, this is pushing it. He plays himself as a fan at ringside in a movie that stars Woody Harrelson and Antonio Banderas as friends and former middleweight contenders who fight each other for the first time.

2014 — Draft Day (football): Costner moves into the front office as the Cleveland Browns’ general manager. It’s time for the NFL Draft, and he can rebuild his team by going with his gut or doing what everyone, including the coach and owner, expects of him.

Next Season — McFarland (track): With a TBA release date, the Disney film is described by Variety as: “Based on a true story, Costner will play a coach, living in a predominantly Hispanic California town, who creates a high school track team that must overcome social and physical hurdles to become champions during the 1980s.”

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Sharon Eberson: sebersonpost-gazette.com

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©2014 Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

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