A Visit of His Own
Actor Joey Slotnick, a familiar face on movie and television screens for the past 25 years whose first major credit came in an iconic baseball film, celebrated his and his dad’s milestone birthdays with a recent trip to Cooperstown.
“We’ve always wanted to come here. My dad, Terry, turned 75 and I turned 50 and we thought, ‘Let’s do this. Let’s go to the Baseball Hall of Fame,’” said Slotnick, who visited the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum with his father on Oct. 17. “We’re both big Cubs fans and baseball fans and it’s one of those once-in-a-lifetime things. It’s been incredible. I love the history and the stories that come out of an artifact. Baseball has such good stories. It seems more than any other sport it has the best stories.
“And (the Hall of Fame) so unassuming from the outside. To come in here it just kind of reveals itself, like a beautiful box that just kind of opens up and opens up.”
Besides A League of Their Own (1992), Slotnick has appeared in such movies as Twister (1996), Blast from the Past (1999), Pirates of Silicon Valley (1999), Hollow Man (2000), The Secret Life of Walter Mitty (2013) and The Cobbler (2014). He is set to appear in the 2019 release The Goldfinch with Nicole Kidman.
Ask for his other favorite baseball films, Slotnick listed The Natural (“I think that’s a beautiful film”), Eight Men Out (“A really fascinating film”), The Rookie (“A sweet film”), Field of Dreams and the original The Bad News Bears.
Before he and his dad continued their tour through the history of baseball, Slotnick was asked if he could think of any correlation between baseball and acting.
“Certainly you have to have patience as an actor and you have to have patience as a baseball player,” he said after initially pondering the question. “I’m really noticing know when you have a hitter up at bat and he takes that breath. It’s a beautiful thing because when you go into an audition or before you go on stage you want to be as relaxed as possible.
“And watching a baseball player, where it’s just really them and the ball coming at them, they have to be as present as possible. And I think as an actor when you’re onstage or in a film you have to be as present as possible.”
Bill Francis is the senior research and writing specialist at the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum