Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Charles Stone III|
|Produced by||Gary Barber
|Screenplay by||Eric Champnella
Howard Michael Gould
|Story by||Eric Champnella
|Music by||John Powell|
|Editing by||Bill Pankow|
The Kennedy/Marshall Company
|Distributed by||Touchstone Pictures
|Release date(s)||September 17, 2004|
|Running time||104 minutes|
Mr. 3000 is a 2004 American sports comedy film starring Bernie Mac and Angela Bassett. The film's plot surrounds a retired Major League Baseball player who makes a comeback at age 47 in order to attain 3,000 hits.
Stan Ross (Bernie Mac) was a Milwaukee Brewers baseball star. After recording his 3,000th hit the selfish, narcissistic Ross immediately retired, leaving the team without one of its star players in the middle of the 1995 playoff race. During the next nine years Ross used his nickname as a business tool, owning several profitable properties under the name "Mr. 3000" that made him a rich man.
The Brewers retire Ross' number several years after his retirement. Although many fans came to the ceremony, other players, including teammates and fellow stars Robin Yount, Paul Molitor, and Cecil Cooper, stayed away. Only his best friend and a middle relief pitcher from his early days in the majors attend, and the ex-pitcher mocks Ross' attitude.
Ross learns that, due to a clerical error, he retired with 2,997 hits instead of 3,000. The error also partially contributes to Ross not being voted into the Baseball Hall of Fame and makes his "Mr. 3000" marketing gimmick inaccurate. Ross seeks to return to the game at the age of 47 to get three more hits, secure his place in the record books, and keep his local post-career marketing gimmick intact.
The Brewers' upper management, citing the large attendance at Ross' number retirement ceremony and the fact that the Brewers are out of playoff contention, agrees to bring Ross back during the September roster expansion. The team's younger players only know of Ross as a self-centered player and team superstar Rex "T-Rex" Pennebaker (Brian J. White), who is pompous and arrogant like Ross, sees him as unneeded and too old to play. Manager Gus Panas (Paul Sorvino) refuses to speak to Ross because of his abrupt retirement, and the sportswriters continually criticize him.
Despite his predictions to the contrary Ross struggles to regain his baseball form, but slowly earns two more hits. Ross becomes a mentor to the younger players and urges Pennebaker to learn from his own mistakes as a star, inspiring the Brewers to a late-season comeback and a respectable finish. In his last at-bat of the season, Ross has a vision of his earlier years where he was considered always dependable for the team, which inspires him to bunt instead so the team can finish third in its division. Although Ross never reaches the "3,000" milestone, his newfound generosity and attitude gets him inducted into the Hall of Fame. As the movie ends, Ross renames all of his businesses that bear the name "Mr. 3,000" to "Mr. 2,999", which are now more successful.
- Had Stan Ross actually played in Major League Baseball and had 2,997 hits, he would have been 27th all-time in the Major Leagues between Roberto Clemente who had 3,000 hits and Sam Rice with 2,987. In the film, Ross wears the same uniform number as Clemente, 21.
- Early advertising material for the movie said 3,000 hits was a "record," an error dropped from later ads. Every Major League player with 2,800 hits or more is presently enshrined in Cooperstown, with the following exceptions: Harold Baines, Pete Rose (current hit record-holder, who is banned from appearing on the official ballot [when Rose earns write-in votes, they are declared invalid]); Rafael Palmeiro; Craig Biggio, Ivan Rodriguez and Barry Bonds (none of whom have been out of Major League Baseball for the prerequisite five years); and Derek Jeter, Alex Rodriguez, and Omar Vizquel (all of whom are still active).
- The focus of the movie is Ross' quest for 3,000 hits, since it is virtually tantamount to Hall of Fame election. Despite this, he fails to be elected in his first four years of eligibility. The reason for this is because of his problems with the press (the sportswriters who vote on his entry) and his leaving the team right after getting his 3000th hit. The movie does say, however, that the number of votes needed for his entry has been decreasing every year. It is only after he learns to be a team player that the sportswriters elect him into the Hall.
- Ross makes a point of telling the writers that they can't keep him out of the Hall. Though players are voted in by baseball writers, players turned down for election by the writers can still enter via election by another committee now composed of living Hall members and honorees; however, this would also be unlikely considering his selfish attitudes.
- Most of the baseball game scenes were filmed at Miller Park in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The film drew large crowds in 2003 at the park, with some of the scenes for the film being shot between innings of actual games.
- Had Stan Ross actually played until the 1995 season, however, his 3,000th/2,997th hit would have happened at Milwaukee County Stadium. It had been torn down by the time Mr. 3000 was made. Miller Park was built in County Stadium's center field parking lot, and a youth baseball field was put on the former site of County Stadium. This can be seen in one scene.
- SportsCenter usually has a ticker on the bottom of the screen; during a clip of the show for the movie, they show the day's upcoming games including the 2003 American League Championship Series,which does not occur during the Milwaukee Brewers season.
- John Travolta, Richard Gere and Denzel Washington were each, at one point or another, set to star in the film.
- In Ross's second at-bat of his final game, the umpire does indeed blow the call at first base, ruling Ross out on the force at first when he clearly is safe by a step.
- When Ross is walking to the plate with 2,999 hits (the first time, at the beginning of the movie), the announcer states "Will this be the at bat..." then states the date..."that Stan Ross hits number 3,000." This is almost identical to the real television call by Joe Buck when Mark McGwire had 61 home runs and then hit number 62 to break what was then the single season home run record set by Roger Maris in 1961.
- In several of the 1995 scenes of the film, fans and stadium staff can be seen wearing modern Brewers apparel.
- Several times during the film, characters refer to the Milwaukee suburb of Waukesha, pronouncing it Wah-KEESH-a. However, the proper pronunciation is WALK-esh-aw.
- Reference is made by Tom Arnold to Ross's comeback being "a publicity stunt, like when the White Sox hired that midget." Though Bill Veeck was a long-time owner of the White Sox, the incident involving Eddie Gaedel was orchestrated while Veeck was owner of the St. Louis Browns.
- Ross successfully executes the hidden ball trick during a crucial game for the Brewers. However, when this scene was used in trailers for the movie, it was incorrectly edited together so the pitcher was on the rubber at the same time. This would have been ruled a balk.
- On the DVD Menu, the music played in the background involves themes from Gustav Holst's Jupiter from The Planets Suite.
- Bernie Mac – Stan Ross
- Angela Bassett – Maureen Simmons
- Michael Rispoli – Anthony 'Boca' Carter
- Brian J. White – Rex 'T-Rex' Pennebaker
- Ian Anthony Dale – Fukuda
- Evan Jones – Fryman
- Amaury Nolasco – Minadeo
- Dondre Whitfield – Skillet
- Paul Sorvino – Gus Panas
- Earl Billings – Lenny Koron
- Chris Noth – Schiembri
The film received mixed reviews, earning a score of 55% on Rotten Tomatoes which observed "Bernie Mac demonstrates he can play the game even if the movie's a few innings short of a complete game.". The film took over $8 million at the box office on its opening weekend. In all it took $21,811,187 in the US and Canada, and a further $28,190 when it was released in Spain, for a global total of $21,839,377.
In the film, Ross is mentioned as having played a game against the Houston Astros during his first stint with the Brewers. But at the time the fictional game was played, the Brewers were in the American League, the Astros were in the National League, and there was no regular season interleague play, so the Brewers and Astros would not have played each other.
- Voters have elected all eligible (Pete Rose is ineligible) players with 3,000 or more hits to the Hall of Fame, except for controversial player Rafael Palmeiro.