BOSTON (AP) – Movie buffs may recognize the newest members of Brockton’s minor league baseball team.

The Brockton Rox are reuniting two stars of the original “Bad News Bears,” the 1976 comedy about a foul-mouthed, overachieving Little League team, for Monday night’s Can-Am League game against the Elmira Pioneers.

Gary Cavagnaro, who played overweight catcher Mike Engleberg, and David Pollack, who played nearsighted pitcher Rudi Stein, will make their professional debuts in the game. Cavagnaro, now a 41-year-old owner of an electronics company in Dallas, said he hasn’t put on a baseball uniform since high school.

“They said it was for charity. If I can help people out by spending two hours of time, then, by gosh, why not do it?” he said during a telephone interview this week.

Although a self-described “big guy,” Cavagnaro said people rarely recognize him as the 5-foot-2, 210-pound catcher he was at 12 years old. Within a year of the movie’s filming, Cavagnaro had grown six inches and lost 60 pounds.

The publicity stunt isn’t the first of its kind for the Rox, whose ownership team includes actor-comedian Bill Murray, Saturday Night Live producer Lorne Michaels and actor Jimmy Fallon.

In 2003, Biff Henderson of CBS’s “Late Show with David Letterman” was the designated hitter for a Rox home game.

Team president Jim Lucas said he reached out to Cavagnaro and Pollack before he heard about the “Bad News Bears” remake, starring Billy Bob Thornton, that hit theaters this month.

“I grew up loving the “Bad News Bears,”‘ Lucas said. “These two people represent the fun side of baseball for a generation of adults.”

On Monday, the entire Rox team and coaching staff will wear replica Bears jerseys, with “Chico’s Bail Bonds” on the back. After the game, the 28 jerseys will be auctioned off, with the proceeds to benefit the Easter Seals Foundation.

AP-ES-07-29-05 1641EDT


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