Hey, that's us! in 'Major League II' (But we're disguised as . . . Cleveland?)

March 31, 1994|By Chris Kaltenbach

Say what you will about "Major League II," but it's the only movie now playing around here where you stand a good chance of hearing someone in the theater scream out, "That was my uncle!"

Or "Did you see us?" or "Wasn't that you?" or any of the wide variety of things people scream when they see themselves, however fleetingly, on the big screen.

Every crowd scene in "Major League II" is teeming with Baltimoreans, including four teen-agers who caught an early show yesterday at Marley Station in Glen Burnie.

Bethany Beeche saw herself three times -- once just from behind. Luanne Fyke and P. J. Boyle made one appearance each. And Jennifer Anderson said she wasn't in the film, but her uncle was -- cast as a catcher for the Oakland A's.

Even with its stadium scenes filmed at Oriole Park at Camden Yards last fall, "Major League II," which opened yesterday, has few saving graces. One is the tumult that rages when Charlie Sheen's character comes into the game, "Wild Thing" blaring from the loudspeakers -- a wonderful scene, reminiscent of the sort of enthusiasm that is sorely missed at The Yard.

But not even Hollywood can make OPACY look bad, even when it tries to make our ballpark and our city look like -- urp! -- Cleveland.

Sure, all the ornithologically correct orioles are covered with smiling Indians.

And sure, the banner in left lists members of the Indians' Hall of Fame (including Frank Robinson).

But no matter how they try, traces of Baltimore shine through: the Bromo Seltzer tower, the warehouse and even the Constellation, in a night scene that looks like it was filmed atop Federal Hill.

The movie also features at least a pair of former Orioles: Odenton's own John Stefero, who plays a member of the Chicago White Sox, and Kevin Hickey, who plays Shoup, a starting pitcher for the Indians.

In fact, about the only scene that looked like it actually was shot in Cleveland is the opening one of that city's landmark Terminal Tower.

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