Move over Andre 3000 this is Bernie Mack’s time to shine. Mr 3000 (2004) is kind of like the the How Stella got her Groove back but for Major League Baseball. There are laughs, baseball hijinks and the smooth charisma of one Bernie Mack (RIP). This is the SBS Film Vault for Mr 3000.
Bernie plays retired baseball great, Stan Ross aka Mr 3000. That’s 3000 hits in the Majors. Only a few legends can claim that. Ross is an arrogant player and a guy who never really learned anything about team ball. Well the 47-year-old finds out that there was a clerical error and he really only has 2997 hits. Stan Ross’ whole identity is tied to being Mr 3000. He talks with the Milwaukee Brewers and they allow him to unretire and join the team midseason to give him a chance to get back to the magic milestone. Management sees it as a publicity stunt but for Stan Ross, it’s everything.
The Milwaukee Brewers are your regular rag-tag team of loveable losers. They are in 5th place in their division and they have no leadership. Ross joins the team and is met with no love after he bashed them to the press. It’s off to a shaky start but all of that changes once Stan gets hit 2998.
Bernie Mack is joined by the talented Angela Bassett (How Stella got her Groove back) who is great in everything. She also looks fantastic in this picture. Total smokeshow. We also have Paul Sorvino playing the tight-lipped coach. You may remember him as Big Paulie from Goodfellas. The catcher is played by Evan Jones who is better known for his role as Cheddar Bob in 8 Mile, you know, he’s Eminem’s friend who accidentally shoots himself in the dick. Chris Noth plays a member of the Brewers upper management but most would recognize him has Mr Big from Sex in the City. Plus there’s career actor and goon Michael Rispoli, Brian White from Stomp the Yard, and Amaury Nolasco from 2 Fast 2 Furious.
Oh yeah, there are these hilarious cameos by on-camera personalities like Larry King, Jay Leno, Michael Wilbon, Tony Kornheiser, Tom Arnold, Jon Salley, and Stuart Scott (RIP).
This story is really about redemption. Ross rejoining the Brewers isn’t just a chance to get a few hits and pad his stats, it’s a chance to become the good teammate he never was. But the transformation can’t just stay there. Stan Ross finally discovers what it means to be a mentor and passes his knowledge down to the younger generation. Only then can he get what he needs, not what he wants. Hollywood style.
Not the best baseball movie ever. But one of the few starring a black man. In the movie, Ross’ backstory is being poor and growing up on Chicago’s south side where baseball was his only outlet. Well, that is the real Bernie Mac’s story. But maybe comedy was a better outlet than baseball.
Feel the Bern.