SI Vault
 
Close Casting Call
Edited by Alexander Wolf and Richard O'Brien
November 28, 1994
During Filming of Cobb, the forthcoming film about the misanthropic Hall of Famer, actor Tommy Lee Jones (left, in picture) came perilously close to experiencing what real-life, latter-day, helmet-wearing big leaguers dread: taking a Roger Clemens fastball in the ear. The script called for a big, tough Philadelphia Athletic pitcher to brush back Jones, who plays the title role, and Clemens was picked for the part. As the cameras rolled at Rickwood Field in Birmingham, Jones's helmetless Cobb took two of the Rocket's heaters, then taunted the pitcher before ducking away from a third. The Red Sox star immediately regretted letting that last one go. "I threw it too hard," says Clemens, who found himself thinking of the only major leaguer ever killed by a pitched ball. "For a second there I was afraid we were going to be doing the Ray Chapman story."
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November 28, 1994

Close Casting Call

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During Filming of Cobb, the forthcoming film about the misanthropic Hall of Famer, actor Tommy Lee Jones (left, in picture) came perilously close to experiencing what real-life, latter-day, helmet-wearing big leaguers dread: taking a Roger Clemens fastball in the ear. The script called for a big, tough Philadelphia Athletic pitcher to brush back Jones, who plays the title role, and Clemens was picked for the part. As the cameras rolled at Rickwood Field in Birmingham, Jones's helmetless Cobb took two of the Rocket's heaters, then taunted the pitcher before ducking away from a third. The Red Sox star immediately regretted letting that last one go. "I threw it too hard," says Clemens, who found himself thinking of the only major leaguer ever killed by a pitched ball. "For a second there I was afraid we were going to be doing the Ray Chapman story."

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