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We're not going to say that we here at Cinema Blend control the world of baseball. However, if the fact that we ran a Major League Then and Now on the day that the Cleveland Indians opened the World Series with a 6-0 slammer is more than a coincidence, we certainly don't know it. In any case, to settle the score, and to make sure our readers who support the Chicago Cubs don't leave us in the lurch, it's time to give back to the Cubs with today's highlighted film: Rookie of the Year!
The story of a kid who, through some fateful accident, could pitch like there was no tomorrow, is considered a '90s classic by its fans. Let's hope that the World Series can grab a bit of lead character Henry Rowengartner's magic, as we run through the cast's careers then and now!
Thomas Ian Nicholas
Before Rookie of the Year, Thomas Ian Nicholas had made an appearance in Radio Flyer, in addition to some steady TV gigs. However, it was the role of Henry Rowengartner that gave him his big start. Afterwards, Nicholas would go on to other kids flicks like A Kid in King Arthur's Court, and eventually land in the American Pie series as an adult. He'll be at Game 4, if you're interested in trying to track him down for some good luck.
With two Home Alone films and almost the full run of The Wonder Years already occurring before starring in, and also directing, Rookie of the Year, Daniel Stern was already pretty well known to kids and adults. Yet if there was one role that Stern has actively resurrected in recent years, it was that of the Cubs' Phil Brickma. While Stern moved on to star in shows like Dilbert and Manhattan, he brought back Brickma for some inspiring social media posts to Chicago Cubs fans.
With almost thirty years of iconic appearances in films such as The Buddy Holly Story and Lethal Weapon, Gary Busey was an interesting choice for a family film. Yet he worked wonderfully as pitcher Chet "The Rocket" Steadman, and thus another memorable role was added to his resume. Post Rookie of the Year, Busey certainly didn't slow down, racking up tons of additional film and TV credits, with Entourage and Dancing with the Stars serving as his latest credits.
TV and Movies had seen a lot of Dan Hedaya before he played sneaky team manager Larry "Fish" Fisher, as he was well known for his recurring role on Cheers, and his appearances in The Mighty Ducks and The Addams Family. After Rookie of the Year, Hedaya would continue serving as a character actor extraordinaire in everything from Nixon to Alien Resurrection. In recent years, Dan Hedaya has been seen in the TV world on shows like Gotham and Blue Bloods.
There's a link between Rookie of the Year, today's film of the day, and Major League -- and it's co-star Neil Flynn, the actor that spanned across both films. Not content with being a fan anymore, Flynn turned player with his role as Okie. As we'd mentioned yesterday, Flynn made a hell of a career for himself down the line, as he made an appearance in Magnolia, and went on to star on both Scrubs and The Middle.
Though he was uncredited in the film's roster, John Candy has always been one of those personas that you knew a mile away. Playing the Cubs' loyal sportscaster, Candy was already on a hot streak after decades of comedy experience on SCTV, as well as with appearances in films like National Lampoon's Vacation and Home Alone. Sadly, John Candy would pass away a year after this film was released, while filming Wagons East in Mexico.
Most of you probably know Amy Morton from her more recent roles, such as the sister to George Clooney's central character in Up In The Air, or her recurring role as Sgt. Trudy Platt on both Chicago Fire and Chicago P.D. But before all of that, she played Mary Rowengartner, supportive movie mom to Henry during his time of injury and ultimate success. His arm may have had the magic, but without Mary, Henry wouldn't have had the heart needed to win the day.