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Posted: Wednesday June 18, 2008 5:20PM; Updated: Wednesday June 18, 2008 5:43PM

Minor coincidence: Big leaguers compare the movie to real life

Story Highlights
  • Long bus rides still the norm in the minor leagues
  • Susan Sarandon's Baseball Annie is a true-to-life character
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Bull Durham movie poster
'Bull Durham' continues to earn praise for its accurate portrayal of life in the minors.
Courtesy of Orion Pictures Corp.
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SI.com checked in this month with some current major leaguers to see how realistic Bull Durham was compared with their own minor league experiences. Here's a sampling of their responses:

"I've seen it and I loved it. Probably one of my favorite baseball movies of all time. I'd say it's halfway realistic. I definitely would say there were some groupies out there (but not like Susan Sarandon's character)."
-- Cardinals outfielder Ryan Ludwick

"I thought a lot of the stuff in the movie was right on, especially the bus travel and all of that. Everybody who has been in the minors can remember those long trips on buses and what you'd do to kill time. I thought the baseball action in the movie was pretty good, too, especially by Kevin Costner. He looked like he had played some baseball. Not so much with Tim Robbins. It's tough to look like a real pitcher if you've never done it before."
-- Brewers first base coach Ed Sedar, who coached in the minor leagues for 18 years before getting called up to the majors in 2007

"Obviously they dramatized some of the things, like the bus rides. When I was in A ball we didn't have air conditioning on our bus and the hood was chained down."
-- Cardinals reliever Russ Springer

"I've actually gone through it, living that lifestyle. It's pretty accurate, from a minor league standpoint. Long bus trips, and everyone's trying to make our goal, which is to get to the big leagues. It ain't going to change. It's the exact same stuff. You've got to pay your dues. As far as the quality of the buses and hotels, that may have changed. But the way they act in the locker rooms, it's the exact same. Goofballs, you know what I mean?"
-- Tigers infielder Michael Hollimon, who made his big league debut on June 9 after getting called up from Triple-A Toledo

"My approach in baseball and life is kind of laid back and having fun, so in that sense I kind of related. I would have loved to have been in it. I might have had to play the pitcher's role, though."
--Cardinals infielder Brendan Ryan

"It's Hollywood, so it's a little over the top on everything. But I think they did a pretty good job in that movie, especially with the interaction between the players and coaches and stuff. The action itself was probably a little bit off... But the minor leagues are a lot like that. All of us remembers being on those buses. That's what you remember. It's a huge part of being a low-level minor leaguer. You never forget that. As for Susan Sarandon's character, there's no question that's a true character. You see women like that all through the minor leagues." -- Brewers infielder Craig Counsell

"It's probably the best minor-league baseball movie there is. I remember my A-ball and Double-A ball bus rides, and it's pretty close. My Double-A bus broke down all the time. We we're driving from Jacksonville (Fla.) to Memphis and it was a struggle."
--Cardinals reliever Ron Villone

 
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