Major League: Back to the Minors (1998) Poster

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Could have been very good
phil_the_pill6 June 2000
I got the feeling when I watched this that someone had written a nice script about minor league baseball, and somebody got a hold of it and said, "Hey, let's just make this a 'Major League' movie!" I got the feeling the characters from the previous two movies were just tacked onto the existing story line. Which is bad, because there were some good things in this, like the old (actually, ancient) minor league outfielder who was converted to first. And the young phenom hitter.

Not Bull Durham, but could have been good.
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My take on what happened between the two movies...
michael_murphy764 January 2005
Warning: Spoilers
Some have wondered why the Cleveland Indians are not even mentioned in the third installment of the "Major League" series. Here's why, plus my notes on this movie: 1) Between 1994 and 1998, when this movie was released, the real Cleveland Indians made the playoffs every year and went to the World Series twice. There's no fun, and really no point, in making a movie about underdogs when the real-life team is one of the best in baseball. This is why the producers did not focus on the Tribe, but partially on the then-hapless Minnesota Twins. The only scene where you even see a reference to the Indians is in a Sporting News article Gus is reading while riding the bus, describing the Tribe as contenders.

(a side note: I've been a die-hard Indians fan for 30 years, so I may sound a bit prejudiced here) 2) I wish we would have known whether the Tribe won the World Series after Major League 2 ended. My guess is no, because I think it would have been mentioned if the Tribe had come out on top. None of the principals (Pedro, Rube, or even Dorn) sport rings in this movie, but even the pennant winners get smaller rings (I've seen the ones the Tribe received for winning the AL pennant in 1995 and 1997...they are very nice indeed).

3) We know that Pedro left baseball and came back, now seeking Christianity, apparently with some voodoo mixed in, since a ragged looking Jobu makes a cameo here. Dennis Haysbert, who played Pedro Cerrano in all three movies, could win five Oscars and be hailed as the greatest actor ever, and to me he will ALWAYS be Pedro Cerrano.

4) It is mentioned that Rube Baker (Eric Bruskotter, who to me will also be one of Ronald's friends from "Can't Buy Me Love"), who had a home run and an important double in the ALCS in MLII, had been playing with the San Diego Padres before being released. This indicates that the Indians finally got fed up with his throwing problems and invested in a real catcher.

5) Wild Thing and Jake Taylor are nowhere to be seen. My guess is that Ricky Vaughn would have still been with the Tribe, with Jake Taylor as the Indians' manager. They did win a pennant, after all.

6) Gus Cantrell (Scott Bakula) must have played with some of these players in the Tribe's minor league system at one time. That's how Pedro, Rube, and Dorn know who he is.

7) Roger Dorn (Corbin Bernsen) recovered from having to sell the Tribe in MLII, resurfacing as the owner of the sad-sack Twins. His character is much more mature and likable here. I couldn't stand Dorn in the first two movies.

8) Harry Doyle's (Bob Uecker) drinking problem finally caught up with him and forced him out of the Indians' broadcast booth, probably after cursing the Tribe out for losing the World Series. He tells Gus on the bus, after they pull up to the Metrodome, that it had "been a while" and "what a year to quit drinking". It seems that Doyle had finally licked his alcoholism.

9) Tanaka apparently took his World Series share and opened that mini golf course you see in the movie. Don't forget, he was a veteran of Japanese baseball when the second one came out, and his part was mostly played for laughs. In 1994, the only player of Japanese origin in the bigs was Hideo Nomo. Now, with Ichiro and others becoming stars, it's almost commonplace. Even the Tribe has Kaz Tadano, a pretty fair relief pitcher, in their system.

10) Finally, this movie is better than the second one. It's not as good as the first one, but MLI oozes so many curses and obscenities that I wouldn't let my kids watch it, if I had any. The second one is much cleaner, but halfway through seeing it the first time, I knew it was a bad movie (even though seeing my beloved Cleveland Indians win the pennant on celluloid covers a multitude of sins). This one is a good Sunday afternoon time waster. It's not that bad.
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Solid Single
john-koktostin29 November 2006
I enjoyed this movie quite a bit and find myself watching it when it comes on TV. I'm not sure why several other 'reviewers' are getting so fired up about why Charlie Sheen or Wesley Snipes are not in the movie, or why the Indians have been replaced by the Twins: this is the Major League franchise, friends, not the Godfather trilogy. Just accept this as a nice little movie focused on minor league ball, jokes, and Ted McGinley's overacting. It's not going to save the world, or win an Oscar, but it's certainly enjoyable. If you have to compare the 3 movies, the first one is the best, then I'd put this one because it's not trying so hard to repeat the original, then the 2nd one, because, well, that one's just very bad: worse than drinking Jobu's rum. (Although the look on Berenger's face in the second one when he has to say "okay, Rick, let's get nasty" is priceless, I have to admit). Major League 3 doesn't try to do too much, so don't expect much out of it, and you'll be pleasantly surprised.
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surprisingly funny
MichaelM244 October 2001
I must admit, I was pleasantly surprised by this movie. Sure, the original is the best and the second had it's fair share of moments. But I found this one to pretty entertaining and my favorite of the three. It has a lot of humor and (unlike most comedies of the 90s) doesn't result to insulting the audience's intelligence. It's a movie that wants nothing more than to make you laugh, and it does a great job at that. Scott Bakula (as always) is good, and Ted McGinley is appropriately weasley as the coach of the opposing team. I won't give it away, but the scene involving McGinely, a baseball, and the wall of the dugout is one of the funniest gags in the entire movie that had me laughing long after the scene had ended. Bob Ueker (who was hysterical in MAJOR LEAGUE and MAJOR LEAGUE II) gets a little stale this time around, but still gets in some funny moments. If only the lovely Jensen Daggett had been given a bit more to do. But the film is funny and worth a look if you're in the mood for a fun movie the whole family can enjoy.
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Major League: Back to the Minors
Coxer9927 June 1999
Silly film about a minor league owner and manager who prepare their team of underdogs for a confrontation with formidable opponents. Awful performances and a weak story tarnish the image of the original 1989 comedy. Uecker tries hard for the laughs, but even he's run out of steam.
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Not bad for a spin off
Steven13 August 2011
Warning: Spoilers
I think of Major League: Back to the Minors is a pretty good spin off of the first two Major League movies. Writer-director John Warren has put together a film that has the same feel as the first two. He has also done a good job of having some familiar faces, as well as introducing us to some new ones.

In the beginning, we are introduced to Gus Cantrell, played by Scott Bakula. Gus is a professional baseball pitcher who has spent a lot of time in the minor leagues. Gus knows that he is too old to be playing professional baseball. That is when Roger Dorn (played by Corbin Bernsen, reprising his role from the first two films) comes along with a job offer. Roger offers Gus the job to be the manager of his AAA team, the Buzz. It is up to Gus to turn this group of guys into a legitimate baseball team.

With this Buzz baseball team, we have an interesting group of players. We have a bunch of new faces. One of them is Hog Ellis, a pitcher who only has a fastball in his repertoire. Carlton "Doc" Windgate is a starting pitcher who is good at locating and controlling his pitches, but has the slowest fastball in all of professional baseball. Frank "Pops" Morgan has been playing minor league ball for two decades and never made it to the majors. Twin brothers named Juan Lopez play second base and shortstop. Lance Pere is a third baseman who was once a ballet dancer. Finally, we have Billy "Downtown" Anderson as a young up-and-coming hitter who needs some fine tuning.

Along with the new faces, we have some familiar ones. Rube Baker, who was an Indians catcher in the second Major League film, is back as the Buzz catcher. Voodoo man Pedro Cerrano is back to help Gus make the Buzz a good team. Along with Cerrano is his crazy Japanese buddy, Taka Tanaka.

The story focuses on one season where at first the Buzz is the joke of all AAA teams. But under Gus's coaching, they become a team good enough to compete with its major affiliate, the Minnesota Twins.

I think the story and film are fun and entertaining, especially if you are a fan of the first two Major League films or even just baseball at all. The only thing I still can't get my mind past is how is it possible for both the Buzz and the Twins to find time out of their seasons to play against each other.
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Series hits trainwreck
Steve Pulaski31 March 2011
"Hey Mr. Berenger! Would you like to play your character Jake Taylor in Major League 3?" "No thanks." "Please!" "Nope." "Mr. Sheen, would you consider reprising your role as Wild Thing in Major League 3?" "Nope." "Please!" "Nope." "Mr. Bernsen, would you like to reprise your role as Roger Dorn for Major League 3?" "Why not?" "Yeah, we can make an unnecessary sequel!" That my friends is quite possibly how Major League: Back to the Minors got made. Or was it the fact that around the time this film was made the Cleveland Indians were winning and making a film about a group of misfit underdogs on the same team that is really doing well in real life would be a curse? Regardless, it should've been left alone. Now we got a nice, nearly unrelated sequel leaching off of the Major League.

David S. Ward, director of both previous films, as been docked down to co writer of this mess. Something told me that even he wasn't fully on board with this film. Back to the Minors turns the tables from the Indians to the Minnesota Twins, the team Roger Dorn (Bernsen) now owns. The film focuses on Gus Cantrell (Bakula), a minor league pitcher for a team called the Fort Myers Miracle.

Roger offers Gus a job coaching the Twins' minor league affiliate the South Carolina Buzz. Two of the members from the Cleveland Indians team return. Those are Pedro Cerrano (Haysbert) and Taka Tanaka (Takaaki Ishibashi). Wonderful because I wasn't too big of a fan of Cerrano and couldn't stand Tanaka.

When you can't get the two leads who made a film what it was, don't make a sequel to a film without them. Don't think a crappy spin off is treating the fans to something special. It isn't.

Thank the lord Bob Uecker reprises his role as the alcoholic Indians announcer. But this time he is announcing the Buzz? The film doesn't even provide an answer to why Cerrano, Tanaka, and the announcer are now with the Buzz. They all looked great last season, why did the Indians trade them? Is Jake Taylor still the manager of the Indians? Did the team trade Wild Thing? Did they win the World Series? The film doesn't provide the answer to questions fans are asking.

Major League: Back to the Minors is now the big wart on the entire franchise. There never needed to be a third film. The idea should've been scrapped when Berenger and Sheen said they wouldn't return. But of course, the money is what matters. Not even James Gammon comes back as a cameo. This film is one of the most tasteless and lackadaisical sequels I've ever seen.

Though it was this film that made me realize Corbin Bernsen, Roger Dorn in the film, would later go on to play the father in I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus, my favorite holiday film. It was good for that.

Starring: Scott Bakula, Corbin Bernsen, Dennis Haysbert, Ted McGinley, Takaaki Ishibashi, and Bob Uecker. Directed by: John Warren.
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I speak the truth.
gem_russell10 August 2003
Man, this is Scott back to his best. Even more polished than the famed and acclaimed Quantum Leap. Pure class!! This film had me in stitches. Both times I watched it!!! Wow, and he is more than abley backed up by his arch enemy Leonard Huff. Pure genius.
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Not A Major League film, but still enjoyable.
Larry Forster5 January 2006
Perhaps not the big names as the first two installments of the series, but an enjoyable movie that teaches that you don't have to be biggest or the best, as long as you give it all you've got and have fun. Scott Backula gives a great and convincing performance as a minor league coach, Ted McGinley does what he does best, play a self centered egotistical, overbearing idiot. He has been brilliant with the same type character in vehicles like "Married With Children." Who else could have pulled this character off. This movie delves into some of the situations faced by both major and minor league players. There are good players who spend their entire baseball careers in minor league. In the days we live in of multimillion contracts, and players who think they are gods, it might be better to see men who play the sport more for fun than money. Perhaps if some of the Major League stars in real life would learn to have fun playing, then we as fans would get a better game.
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very awful sequel
ryall-28 December 1999
This is by far one of the worst movies i have ever seen, the poor special effects along with the poor acting are just a few of the things wrong with this film. I am fan of the first two major leagues but this one is lame!
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