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Tampa Theatre baseball classics include ‘Bull Durham,’ ‘42’


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The Tampa Theatre is swinging for the fences with the theme for its next classic film series.

From Jan. 12 through Feb. 23, the historic movie house will screen a different baseball movie every Sunday at 3 p.m.

The Spring Training Classics Series will feature a mix of old and new. The films will go back as far as “The Pride of the Yankees,” originally released in 1942, to as new as “42,” the Jackie Robinson biopic released earlier this year.

Two films from Kevin Costner’s unofficial baseball trilogy, “Bull Durham” and “For the Love of the Game” are also in the mix.

Tickets are $10 through the theater’s box office or online at the Tampa Theatre website.

Here’s the full schedule:

Jan. 12, “A League of Their Own” (1992) – When World War II threatens to shut down Major League Baseball, a group of young women (Madonna, Rosie O’Donnell, Geena Davis) leave their homes to become part of the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League and keep the Great American Pastime alive for a grateful nation.

Jan. 19, “The Bad News Bears” (1976) – A hopeless Little League team acquires new coach Morris Buttermaker (Walter Matthau), a grouchy, beer-guzzling pool cleaner who takes the position for some extra cash. When he realizes that his players are a bunch of talentless misfits, he signs up secret weapon Amanda Whurlitzer (Tatum O’Neal), the daughter of an ex-girlfriend who also happens to be an awesome pitcher.

Jan. 26, “For the Love of the Game” (1999) – The conclusion of Kevin Costner’s unofficial baseball trilogy is the story — told almost entirely in flashback — of legendary 40-year-old pitcher Billy Chapel (Costner). He’s pitching the last game of his career, which also marks the end of what has been, at best, a mediocre season.

Feb. 2, “42” (2013) – History was made in 1947 when Jackie Robinson broke the professional baseball race barrier to become the first African American MLB player of the modern era. “42” tells the incredible life story of Robinson (Chadwick Boseman) and his history-making signing with the Brooklyn Dodgers under the guidance of team executive Branch Rickey (Harrison Ford).

Feb. 9, “The Pride of the Yankees” (1942) – Gary Cooper plays Lou Gehrig, the legendary Yankees first baseman who succumbs to a crippling and incurable disease. Even as a student at Columbia University, Gehrig is pegged by the press a top ballplayer. Soon, the New York Yankees put Gehrig in the lineup, and he becomes an overnight sensation on the baseball diamond.

Feb. 16, “Bull Durham” (1988) – The Durham Bulls are in a slump and have spent a hefty sum of money acquiring an untested young pitcher, “Nuke” (Tim Robbins), in the hopes of reversing their standings. “Crash” Davis (Kevin Costner), a 12-year veteran who has spent most of his time bumming around the minor leagues, is assigned to mature the rookie pitching phenom, but a team groupie (Susan Sarandon) comes between the tutor and his student.

Feb. 23, “The Natural” (1984) – Featuring an all-star cast, including Robert Redford, Robert Duvall, Glenn Close and Kim Basinger, “The Natural” follows the epic journey of Roy Hobbs (Redford). A once-promising ballplayer on his way to stardom in the big leagues, Hobbs finds his dreams shattered when a mysterious woman and a silver bullet end his career prematurely.

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