Tom Hanks’ Jimmy Dugan was a big part of making A League of Their Own a sports classic with his quotable one-liners and temperamental attitude. Naturally, the TV series reboot wouldn’t be complete if the character's gruff yet sensitive presence was absent. Obviously Tom Hanks isn't coming back as Dugan, so a new star has been tapped to lead the show's rag-tag team of female baseball players. As the Amazon reboot continues to shape up, Parks and Recreation fave Nick Offerman has joined the cast to fill the Hanks-sized void.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Parks and Rec’s Nick Offerman will play new Rockford Peaches coach Casey “Dove” Porter, who takes over in place of Tom Hanks’ Jimmy Dugan. Where Hanks’ Dugan was a traditional coach in every sense of the word, Offerman’s Porter has a background in the sport as a player. The character is a former Chicago Cubs pitcher who got his nickname after killing a dove with his signature forkball. He is described as an inspiring and charismatic athlete whose promising career was cut short by an untimely arm injury. Coaching the Peaches will serve as Dove's way to get back to the game he loves, not that it'll be a walk in the (ball) park.
Nick Offerman’s casting sets up an already amazing cast for Amazon’s A League of Their Own. Offerman joins Broad City's Abbi Jacobson (also the show's co-creator), Bad Hair's Chanté Adams, The Good Place's D’Arcy Carden, Famalam's Gbemisola Ikumelo, Letterkenny's Kelly McCormack, Vida's Roberta Colindrez and Unbelievable's Dale Dickey, among others. Molly Ephraim, Kate Berlant and Melanie Field will serve as recurring stars. So, this Amazon series is already shaping up to be a solid counterpart to the similarly star-studded film, as co-led by Geena Davis, Madonna and Rosie O'Donnell.
According to his character’s breakdown, Nick Offerman’s Dove Porter will be the opposite of Jimmy Dugan for the Rockford Peaches, at least in terms of mentorship and knowledge, so he might come off as a breath of fresh air for A League of Their Own viewers, since it won't just feel like a retread of Tom Hanks' performance. That doesn’t automatically mean Hanks’ character won’t overshadow Offerman’s when the series premieres, of course, it’s a good sign that Dove won't be in direct competition with Jimmy for Gruffiest Person Who Hates Crying In Baseball.
Outside of this new take, the Parks and Rec alum has a personal connection with his new character, too, as Nick Offerman is widely known to be a huge Chicago Cubs fan. Being an Illinois native, Offerman has spoken several times about his love for the Cubs. So, Dove Porter’s background fits right into the actor’s wheelhouse. Here's hoping we get to see some flashbacks of Offerman in uniform.
While Nick Offerman gets to fulfill his Cubs fantasy, I'll be hoping for some Ron Swanson connections to pop up. Tom Hanks’ Jimmy Dugan and Swanson share the same grimly masculine demeanor, with stereotypically gruff exteriors hiding lovable teddy bears with soft spots for strong women. This new character is just the latest pivot Nick Offerman has taken since Parks and Rec ended in 2015 (apart from last year’s much-needed reunion, that is), and while we probably won't see Dove talking about ham and bacon on a regular basis, Offerman will likely make him just as memorable as his most iconic character .
First announced in 2018, Amazon's A League of Their Own is currently in production in Pittsburgh, without any future release date plans set just yet.