Candlesticks Always Make a Nice Gift

Readings from the Church of Baseball, for brother Carl:

In baseball, you don’t know nothing.  –Yogi Berra

Whoever wants to know the heart and mind of America had better learn baseball.  — Jacques Barzun

You could look it up.  — Casey Stengel


NUKE: Christ, Skip and Larry are talking about me.  Don’t get anybody warm in the pen yet.  I’m okay.  I’m having fun.  (The batter lines a single to right)

NUKE: Don’t yank me in the first, man.

NUKE: (The manager comes out to the mound to talk) Aw, shit.

SKIP: Relax.

NUKE: Don’t pull me, Skip.  I’ll settle down.  I’m okay!

SKIP: (fatherly) Relax, Nuke, Relax… (to Crash) What kinda stuff’s he got?

CRASH: I don’t know.  I haven’t caught anything yet.

SKIP: What’re you thinking about out here, Nuke?

NUKE: I’m trying not to think.

SKIP: Good.  But just ’cause you ain’t s’posed to think don’t mean you ain’t s’posed to use your head.

CRASH: (Skip returns to the dugout.  Leaving Nuke and Crash) Have some fun, God damn it.

ANNIE: Here we go again, Millie, hold on tight…


CRASH: What’s wrong?

NUKE: I’m nervous — my old man’s here.

CRASH: Hey, he’s just your father, man — he’s as full of shit as anybody.


DEKE: What the hell’s going on?

TOMMY: You breathing through the wrong fucking nostril again?

DEKE: Hey, you guys hear Jimmy and Millie are engaged?!  Wait’ll I tell him she’s gone down on half the Carolina League —

CRASH: (threatening) Anybody says anything bad about Millie, I’ll break his neck.

NUKE: Hey, guys, I got a game to pitch.

JOSE: Don’t throw anything to me — my girlfriend put a curse on my glove.

NUKE: I’ll take the curse off the son of a bitch!

JOSE: Then you got to cut the head off a live rooster.

NUKE: Shit.


SKIP: What the hell’s going on out there?

LARRY: It’s a damn convention.

SKIP: Check it out.

LARRY: What the hell’s going on out here?

CRASH: Nuke’s scared cause his nostrils are jammed and his old man’s here, we need a live rooster to take the curse off Jose’s glove, and nobody knows what to get Jimmy and Millie for their wedding present — there’s a whole lotta shit we’re trying to deal with —

LARRY: Oh.  Candlesticks always make a nice gift.


NUKE: God, these panties feel great.  That don’t make me queer, right?  Right.  Whoo. (reads the sign) Breaking ball (Breaking ball for a strike)

NUKE: I ain’t queer. I know I ain’t… (reads the sign)  Fastball.  (Fastball for a strike)

MILLIE: Ninety-three miles an hour.

ANNIE: He looks wonderful, Millie …

NUKE: (He looks in for the sign) Fastball again?  Why’s he want the heat — I just threw heat.  Don’t think, Meat — give ’em the gas.  (An eye-popping fastball.  The batter swings and misses.  Strike three)


SKIP: Jesus — what’s got into Nuke?

LARRY: I heard he’s wearing women’s underwear — and he’s breathing through his pingala nostril.

SKIP: (spitting tobacco) I’m getting too old for this game. (The batter hits a weak roller to third for the second out)


NUKE: God, Annie’s got a great ass…  How come her panties fit me?  That’s one of the mysteries of sex I guess… (A check swing dribbler to first for the third out.  And the players run into the dugout)

Selected quotes from the written script for Bull Durham, with some accommodation for the movie’s adaptation.  Written by Ron Shelton.  Photos from a high school game, being played on Aviation Field in the Park.

Leave a Reply