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The Church of Baseball: Making Bull Durham
Jim Cryns, author
This is the story behind the making of the most popular sports movie of all time. Released in 1988, Bull Durham was rejected by every studio in Hollywood--twice. The film defied odds as it became a sports movie that actually made money--a lot of money. It has also been credited with breathing new life into the minor leagues of baseball. Writer and director Ron Shelton played professional baseball at the AAA level for five years. He voluntarily left baseball to pursue a Master’s degree. Later, he began writing articles, then covered scripts for legendary producer Ed Pressman. It was this experience that encouraged a young Shelton to write screenplays, including Under Fire starring Gene Hackman and Best of Times, starring Robin Williams and Kurt Russell. Shelton had an idea for a film that took place in the Carolina Leagues in the minors. It was a love story set in the decaying tobacco town of Durham, South Carolina. Bull Durham Producer Thom Mount, formerly head Universal Pictures, was from Durham. He instantly became enamored with the script and the story, which appeared destined to be told. The book includes interviews with Ron Shelton, Kevin Costner, Susan Sarandon, Tim Robbins, Bob Costas, Robert Wuhl, George F. Will, Brian Anderson, William O’Leary and many others.