Tom Selleck Appeared in Grapefruit League Game as He Was Filming Movie

Published on December 13th, 2023 6:08 pm EST
Written By: Dave Manuel

Tom Selleck was the star in the movie Mr. Baseball. In 1991, Tom Selleck was one of the biggest TV/movie stars in the world, famous from his role on the hit TV series Magnum, P.I.

As a result of his newfound stardom, Selleck landed the leading role in the movie "Mr. Baseball".

Selleck, who sported a Detroit Tigers cap often on the Magnum, P.I. TV show, attended Tigers' spring training in 1991 in order to better prepare for his role. Selleck threw himself into it, training like an athlete, eating like an athlete and preparing like an athlete.

Selleck didn't want to look out of place in the movie, so he prepared extensively so that he could look like a real Major League Baseball player.

Selleck certainly had the athlete's physique, but could he master the art of hitting against Major League Baseball pitchers?


In a Grapefruit League game between the Detroit Tigers and Cincinnati Reds on April 3rd, 1991, Tom Selleck got his chance to test his mettle against Major League pitchers.

Selleck came in as a pinch-hitter in the 8th inning of the game, and squared off against pitcher Tim Layana of the Cincinnati Reds.

Layana wasn't just some scrub - he appeared in 78 games over the course of his Major League career, posting a record of 5-5 and allowing 52 earned runs over 102.2 total innings.


The stage was set - a Hollywood actor against a bonafire Major League pitcher.

Selleck, to his credit, looked composed in the batter's box. If you didn't know any better, you'd say that Selleck was a veteran MLB player.

While Selleck would eventually strike out, he managed to connect on three foul balls, which is exceptional for somebody facing Major League calibre pitching for the first time in their life, at the age of 36.

Selleck seemed to have a great time taking part in the game - this would be his first and only Major League baseball at-bat.


Mr. Baseball would be released in 1992. The movie was a flop, grossing just over $20 million, despite a budget of $40 million.

For Selleck, however, the memory of appearing in a Major League Baseball game would last forever.

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