Thursday February 10th, Charlie Sheen took batting practice at UCLA with Coco Crisp, Eric Davis, Brandon Watson and Milton Bradley. He also talked to the UCLA baseball team about drug use, per the urging of the UCLA manager. I assure you the previous two statements are true. Rehab can be a wonderful thing.

According to the
Chicago Sun Times, Sheen’s pep talk went as follow: “Don’t do crack, drink chocolate milk. Enjoy your moment. That’s all I’ve got.”

Charlie Sheen is that friend of yours who makes poor decisions but is still well-liked because he doesn’t take himself too serious. He’s always down for a good time and will always be there for you, assuming you have beer or bourbon. He might even be you; in which case, I and a million others thank you for your friendship.

Along with his awe inspiring pep talk and the fact that he shared the same field with Milton Bradley, there is one other thing that came from Charlie’s field trip to UCLA: he was pissed with himself that he wasn’t in good enough shape to hit the ball like a pro. This isn’t surprising since Charlie Sheen was a pretty good baseball player growing up.

Sheen described his baseball career to TIME Magazine in 1987, “I could compete. I had a decent arm."

Ken Rizzo, the president of Mickey Owen Baseball School (which Sheen attended for four summers), described Sheen’s baseball pedigree to ESPN.com in 2004: "He did have post-high school abilities. There's no doubt he could have played in college. Maybe even at a lower level Division 1 school. He had baseball skills. But he wasn't going to be playing at Arizona State, or Stanford, or UCLA."

And thus the foundation was laid for the Charlie Sheen we know and love. This isn’t to suggest he wouldn’t have dated porn stars or drank 5ths of vodka in one chug if he played ball professionally, but the Hollywood lifestyle probably helped mold him to the person he is today.

Here’s a look back at how baseball influenced several of Carlos Irwin Estevez’s roles on the big screen.

Sheen’s portrayal of the “Boy in the Police Station” was based off the personal life of Steve Howe. Okay, I don’t know that to be true, but it’s definitely a possibility. Regardless, Sheen nailed the role.

In the film, Charlie Sheen portrayed Chicago White Sox CF Happy Felsch, one of the players who intentionally lost the 1919 World Series. In Felsch’s last season, 1920, he hit .338 with 14 homers and 115 RBI. Then he was suspended for life from organized baseball by Commissioner Kennisaw Mountain Landis.

If not for Charlie Sheen, you wouldn’t know shit about Happy Felsch, an integral cog in the Black Sox scandal. It has yet to be confirmed if Felsch paid for sex or went on all night coke binges like his big screen counterpart.

What more needs to be said? One of the great cinematic masterpieces in film history gave us the original “Wild Thing”. Sheen’s portrayal as the wild pitcher on the diamond and wild player off it had such a profound impact on society that former Cubs and Phillies closer Mitch Williams had to keep the nickname when it was thrust on him. However, contrary to conventional wisdom, Mitch Williams didn’t wear number 99 when he joined the Phillies to honor Rick Vaughn. He told the Dan Patrick Show in 2008 that he always wanted to wear number 99 in honor of former Jets defensive lineman Mark Gastineau.

At any rate, Wild Thing Rick Vaughn has become an American icon. And while it represented the apex of Charlie Sheen’s baseball career, Sheen managed to impress former Dodgers catcher Steve Yeager. Yeager served as “technical advisor” to the cast and crew of Major League. When the film came out in 1989, Yeager told USA Today, “Charlie's 23 and could be a pro player if he wanted to."

Thankfully, Sheen chose the acting path. The world is a better place thanks to the existence of Wild Thing Rick Vaughn and Las Playas garbage man, Carl Taylor (see: 1990’s
Men at Work).

The second installment proved what happens when you try to put a suit on the Wild Thing. Sheen’s character lost his edge and gave up the Mohawk before finally going back to his roots to help send the Indians to the World Series. You could view Rick Vaughn’s corporate makeover at the start of Major League II to Charlie Sheen’s rehab stints. Sure, it’s a nice thing to try but eventually the real wild thing will take over.

A year after Major League II hit theaters, the real-life Cleveland Indians reached the World Series, losing to the Braves in 6 games. They lost the 1997 World Series in 7 games to the Florida Marlins. As for Rick Vaughn, he was never seen on the big screen again, which is good when you consider he wasn’t in the 3rd installment of Major League, Back to the Minors. What an atrocity.

In June 2009, the Cleveland Indians held Rick Vaughn Bobblehead Night. The team hosted the Milwaukee Brewers, which allowed Bob Uecker, aka Harry Doyle to throw out the first pitch. This is a great moment in American history, and should be listed in History Channel’s 100 Moments that Defined America in the coming year.

The starter for the Indians that June 15th night was Carl Pavano. He gave up nine runs in five innings and the team lost to the Brewers 14-12. The most disappointing thing about it is that Charlie Sheen or Rick Vaughn could have done the same thing. Next time, Indians, let’s have Rick Vaughn night at the ballpark. *** Some of the quotes came from an article on the now deceased ESPN Page 3. Remember Page 3? I didn't really either. ***

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Justin Tucker
# Justin Tucker
Tuesday, February 15, 2011 1:59 AM
I dig.

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