Tom Selleck may be a big-time television and movie star, but who remembers when the Blue Bloods star joined baseball’s big leagues, stepping up to the plate and batting for his own home team, the Detroit Tigers?
Now, we’ve all heard about actors who like to prepare for roles by gaining their own personal experiences. And, this is a move Tom Selleck apparently embraces. At least, Selleck was all about these personal experiences while preparing for his role in the 1992 film Mr. Baseball when the actor suited up to play in the big leagues.
“It was just one of the memorable experiences of my life, you know?” Selleck says of the unforgettable moment on the baseball diamond.
“If anybody asked me what I wanted to be when I was a kid, it wasn’t an actor,” Selleck says. “It was to be a professional baseball player.”
Tom Selleck Prepares For A Film Role In The Best Way Possible – By Batting For the Detroit Tigers
It was an April 3, 1991 spring-training match-up between the Detroit Tigers and Cincinnati Reds. At the time, Selleck was in the middle of filming one of his most iconic roles as a former New York Yankee first baseman who’s desperate to keep his baseball career alive as he travels to play for the Japan Chunichi Dragons in Mr. Baseball.
In the film, Tom Selleck’s Jack Elliot faces quite a bit of culture shock, playing “America’s favorite pastime” overseas in Japan. However, putting his focus on baseball while filming the popular sports flick wasn’t a culture shock for the actor behind the role at all, in reality. In fact, the Magnum P.I. star has long been a baseball fan. More specifically, the iconic actor has long been a fan of the Detroit Tigers. Magnum P.I. fans likely remember Selleck’s character regularly donned a Tigers baseball cap in the popular series.
Tom Selleck Steps Into Spring Training With The Detroit Tigers
To prepare for his role on Mr. Baseball, Tom Selleck joined his favorite major league team for much of 1991’s spring training. However, he had no idea that this would lead to his going head to head with the Cincinnati Reds. But, this is exactly what happened when Selleck stepped up to the plate, batting in a preseason game.
“It was enormously helpful,” Tom Selleck says of the experience.
“I think there’s a kind of osmosis,” the actor quips. “You don’t want to be consciously copying something or mimicking anything.”
This moment at the plate was a big moment for Selleck, and his boyhood dreams, no doubt. However, Selleck would soon learn swinging wasn’t necessarily his forte. Selleck quickly fell to the Reds while at bat. But, the actor did manage to foul three pitches, overall.
A great time for Selleck, no doubt. However, the experience certainly wasn’t a start of a major-league baseball career. Selleck’s Mr. Baseball sums up the experience perfectly, though, in one of the film’s most memorable quotes: “Baseball’s a game. And games are supposed to be fun.”