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You may have noticed that yesterday, April 7, marks the 26th anniversary of the release of Major League. One of most memorable parts of the beloved baseball comedy is Dennis Haysbert's voodoo- loving, no-curveball-hitting Pedro Cerrano. Throughout the film, he prays to the statue of his deity, Jobu, for help healing his sick bats, but in real life, Haysbert wanted no part of that idol.
Talking to Playboy about his role in the zombie apocalypse video game adaptation Dead Rising: Watchtower, the face of Allstate Insurance and the first black President of the United States said, in response to the interviewer suggesting he (Haysbert) should have the Jobu idol:
I believe that that kind of stuff works and voodoo and all of that is a practiced religion and I really don’t need those kinds of symbols. It’s probably better not to have it, for me. That’s my take on it. I’ll just let that be.
You don’t get the impression that Haysbert is necessarily a diehard voodoo believer, but he definitely appears open to the possibility there is something to it and doesn’t want to make trouble where there is none. Maybe it’s more of a precautionary measure, like not taking the lord’s name in vain, not tempting fate by messing with a Ouija board, not running afoul of any withered old gypsy women who might curse your entire bloodline, or not trying to contact spirits on the another plane of existence. We’ve all seen enough horror movies to know that sometimes, in situations like these, safe is certainly better than sorry. Like maybe don’t build your house on the site of a burial ground (looking at you, Poltergeist), and don’t read passages from mysterious ancient texts you just found in an abandoned basement.
Just remember, no matter what, it is very bad to steal Jobu’s rum, very bad. A fact that you’ll remember pitcher Eddie Harris (Chelcie Ross) finds out the hard way. And by hard way, I mean by catching an errant baseball bat to the noggin.
For as long and distinguished as his career has been—even if you don’t specifically know his name right off the top of your head, you immediately recognize his face from dozens of different roles—Dennis Haysbert says it’s Major League that gets quoted the most. And with good reason, his character has more memorable lines of any other on his resume. I can’t see golf club covers without thinking, "hats for bats…keep bats warm," and at random times I still frequently mutter, "Fuck you, Jobu, I do it myself," usually when scolding inanimate objects.
If you want to Jobu a visit for yourself, maybe bring him a shot of rum and a cigar, he can apparently be found at the Louisville Slugger Museum.