Beloved Milwaukee Brewers broadcaster Bob Uecker may be recognized more for his fictional role as the voice of the Cleveland Indians than his real job. Uecker played Harry Doyle in the Major League movies in arguably the greatest acting job ever by a baseball announcer. (Curt Gowdy's work in The Naked Gun comes in at a close second.) And even though Uecker is 80 years old and winding down his real life broadcast schedule for the Brewers this coming season and calling fewer road games, Harry Doyle may be planning a comeback.
In what could be the best movie news of 2014, Uecker has revealed in an interview with the Brewers MLB Blog site that plans have been made for a fourth Major League movie…
“I’ll be honest with you, they’re talking about it,” Uecker said. “The story line is all set, too. They’ve already asked me if I would be in for ‘Major League IV,’ and I told them I would. I’ve talked to the directors. They’re talking about it and they’re pretty serious, but that’s all I can tell you, really. If there was more, I would tell you that, too. They have been talking about it for the last year-plus. As a matter of fact, they called me during the season last year and asked me if I would be in.”
“Major League III stunk, so Major League IV I’m sure is going to be better than Major League III, which they sold to a different company,” he said. “That thing was on airplanes the day after we finished it.”
Major League III: Back to the Minors is as reviled a sports movie sequel as Caddyshack II. The 1998 film does not deserve to be mentioned in the same breath as the first two Major League movies, which are both in the pantheon of sports flicks. In fact, it's worth making Major League IV just to remove the stench that exists from the third one. Uecker even agrees that it stunk and he was in it!
(Confession: I actually like Major League II better than Major League I for a number of reasons – Jack Parkman, Rube Baker, Tanaka, and Lou Brown's love for British television, but that's another debate for another day.)
With sequels everywhere in Hollywood these days, a proper reboot of the Major League series is long overdue. And even though many of the actors are well past their playing days, the franchise is worth investing in only to give a new generation an appreciation for Bob Uecker. Imagine the possibilities – maybe we find out that Willie "Mays" Hayes went on to become a successful doctor or Pedro Cerrano went on to become the President of the United States. If Charlie Sheen is on board, maybe they can even play off his infamous "winning" stretch and finally let the Indians win the World Series. It's as close as any Cleveland team is going to get to a title.