||Movie To Tell Story Of Former Durham Bull
Disney Films “The Rookie”
Disney is telling the tale of a former Durham Bull. Touchstone Pictures is currently in production for “The Rookie,” the story of Jim Morris, the oldest major league rookie in almost three decades of baseball. The left-handed pitcher made the cut for the Tampa Bay Devil Rays during tryouts in the summer of 1999 at the age of 35. Dennis Quaid stars as Morris in “The Rookie.”
The story of former Durham Bull Jim Morris will be told on the silver screen.
The filming for the silver screen depiction of Morris’ first major league game for the Devil Rays took place in Arlington, Texas in mid-May. Fans at the Rangers v. Cleveland game had the option of staying after the game to take part in the shoot. The now retired Morris threw out the first pitch for the Rangers game that evening.
A native of Brownwood, Texas, Morris spent a short stint in the minor leagues after high school. After blowing out his shoulder in 1989, he went on to get a degree to teach science. Morris taught chemistry and physics. He also coached the high
school baseball team, a team that had won only 3 games in each of the 3 seasons before he took the helm of the Owls in 1997.
That team led Morris to the major leagues. His players proposed a deal that if they made it to the playoffs, Morris would tryout for the major leagues. The Owls made it to the second round, so Morris went to the Tampa Bay tryouts. He shocked the scout by hurling twelve 98 mph pitches in succession and earned himself a place on the roster.
Morris pitched a few games for Tampa Bay’s Double-A team and then appeared at the Durham Bulls during 1999 and 2000. In late July of 2000, the Devil Rays called him up. He struck out the one batter to whom he pitched in his debut game.
Morris became the oldest major league rookie since Minny Mendoza debuted with the Minnesota Twins in 1970 at 36 years of age, 4 months. He is also the oldest rookie pitcher since Diomedes Olivo signed with the Pittsburgh Pirates in 1960 at 41 years, 8 months.
Morris wrote a book about his experiences, The Oldest Rookie.