Director Ron Shelton celebrates 20 years for ‘Bull Durham’

Ron Shelton says he's just now realizing what a home run he hit with "Bull Durham."

Two decades have passed since the release of the movie Shelton wrote and directed about an aging minor-league catcher, a hotshot pitching prospect and the groupie wooed by both that has been praised as one of the top sports movies of all time.

"It's just dawning on me now, really," Shelton said Wednesday. "We realized when we started testing that the audiences responded to it. It never scored through the roof when it scored; it sort of got these OK numbers.

"But when it opened and these reviews came in that my mother couldn't have written. ... In the second week, it stayed and it stayed and it just ran all summer. It was a gradual recognition that maybe we captured lightning in a bottle here, (but) there was no moment of epiphany."

Shelton joined producer and Durham native Thom Mount at a luncheon marking the 20th anniversary of the film that captures a season with a fictitious version of the Durham Bulls, then of the Single-A Carolina League.

(Charlotte Observer)

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