Kevin Costner

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Greetings from The Booth!

As I sit here in the relative quiet of my kitchen at 5am, I’m looking forward to a “guy’s day out” and a trip to Nationals Park for the first time since COVID. For several reasons (another topic for another day), I haven’t watched a lot of Major League baseball since the pandemic, but it’s always exciting to be at the ballpark in person, and no matter what you think about crime, etc., there is certain buzz about a big city, especially DC. Can’t wait!

Being that Father’s Day weekend always coincides with The US Open Golf Tournament, I wanted to highlight actor Kevin Costner, because of his role as a patriarch on the blockbuster hit “Yellowstone,” and his role as Roy McAvoy in the golf movie Tin Cup. We all think of Costner now as John Dutton, the head of the dysfunctional Dutton clan at the Yellowstone Ranch. But Costner is also arguably the king of the sports movie (you could make a case for Paul Newman), having done a dozen films in that genre, if you count poker and archery as a sport. So, without further adieu, here are my five favorite Kevin Costner sports movies, in no particular order:

Tin Cup. I have to start with this one because it’s US Open week. Tin Cup is the story of a down and out driving range owner who, in spite of himself, manages to qualify for the US Open golf tournament, and almost wins. Costner is surrounded by a very good supporting cast, including Don Johnson as arch rival Dave Sims, who is somewhat likeable in his villain role. Cheech Marin is also great as Roy’s caddy Romeo. It would have been corny to have McAvoy win the tournament, so the ending is a good one for me–lose the tournament, but get the girl (Renee Russo).

Field Of Dreams. This one could very well be my number one. This movie is great on so many levels, from the incredible speech by James earl Jones about baseball and the passage of time, to the “story within the story” about Moonlight Graham. But on this Father’s weekend, the “catch” that Costner’s character gets to finally have with his dad brings a tear to the eye. And let’s not forget the immortal line “build it and they will come.” A masterpiece of a movie.

Bull Durham. A nice contrast to the drama of Field Of Dreams, Bull Durham is a lighthearted story of life in the minors for an aging catcher (Costner) who is trying to hold on to the game and make it back to “The Show” one more time. Instead, he is charged with mentoring a young pitcher and getting him ready for the Major Leagues. In the middle of it all is a baseball groupie, played by Susan Sarandon. Sports Illustrated’s number one sports movie of all time.

Draft Day. I’ve never been a big fan of the NFL Draft, but this movie gives you a good look at the inner workings of an NFL team’s “war room” and exactly what an NFL GM (Costner as Sonny Weaver of the Cleveland Browns). As a side note, this one marks the final acting role of the late, great, Jim Brown. A box office failure, however, taking in $25 million on a $29.5 million budget. Still, a nice watch when it comes on TV.

For Love Of The Game. Ok, I had to throw a chick flick in here. This movie is basically a romantic tale between an aging Detroit Tigers pitcher Billy Chapel (Costner) and his love interest (Kelly Preston), but I love the way the movie weaves his final outing, a perfect game, into the story. The play-by-play of Vin Scully is a great touch. A lot of people hate this movie, but I am not one of them.

There ya’ go. Now, I’ll let you get back to your Yellowstone binging. Until next visit from The Booth, Happy Father’s Day!

RW