Bull Durham is one of my top-five all time favorite movies. It’s not because I’m some diehard baseball fan, though. I was a dreadful little leaguer and quickly lost interest in the game as a kid. Granted, it was filmed in the region of North Carolina where I grew up, but there has to be more to my longtime fervor than just local pride.
A book called The Church of Baseball just came out a few days ago. It’s the backstory of writing, casting, producing and shooting Bull Durham, so I figured I’d give it a read and perhaps get some insight into why I love this movie so much.
Once I began reading, I couldn’t put it down. In the very last pages of the book, I finally got my answer.
The movie is about the pursuit of joy and happiness.
We all have dreams and 99.9% of them are unattainable. In the movie, Nuke (Tim Robbins) wants to make it to the Big Leagues. Crash (Kevin Costner) and Annie (Susan Sarandon) unwittingly just want to find someone who loves them back. The mere act of chasing a dream brings joy. We chase dreams because there’s a positive rush and the potential of a spectacular payoff.
Life, both personal and professional, is full of passionate pursuits. You dream big, take big swings, and hope for the home run. No matter how hard you try, though, you strike out more often than not. The key is to keep stepping up to the plate and taking swings.