Daniel Fierman
April 25, 2003 at 04:00 AM EDT

Few American institutions outstrip Hollywood in their ability to flamboyantly shame themselves. Major League Baseball is one of them — the betting scandals, the All-Star Games that end in ties, the designated hitter. Recently, however, National Baseball Hall of Fame president Dale Petroskey took the national pastime’s singular talent for embarrassment to a new level when he canceled a special 15th-anniversary celebration of Bull Durham. Scheduled for April 26-27, the event was supposed to feature appearances by director Ron Shelton and stars Susan Sarandon, Tim Robbins, and Robert Wuhl. Sarandon’s and Robbins’ antiwar statements, Petroskey claimed, ”ultimately could put our troops in even more danger.”

Let’s get something straight here: Bull Durham is the greatest baseball movie ever made. Period. Even if you disagree with them, Sarandon and Robbins have the right to express their beliefs. Period. Dale Petroskey has struck a blow against art, baseball, the Constitution, and most egregiously, Robert Wuhl fans everywhere.

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