Rookie, The (film) A shoulder injury ended a pitcher’s career in the minor leagues twelve years ago; now he, Jim Morris, is a high school chemistry teacher and baseball coach in Big Lake, Texas. Jim’s team makes a deal with him—if they win the district championship, Jim will try out with a major-league organization. The bet proves incentive enough for the team, and they go from worst to first. Jim, forced to live up his deal, is nearly laughed off the tryout field, until he gets onto the mound and throws successive 98 mph fastballs, enough for a minor-league contract with the Tampa Bay Devil Rays. Directed by John Lee Hancock. Released on March 29, 2002, after a special World Premiere at the Loews Astor Plaza in New York attended by a large group of baseball legends, Olympic medalists, and other sports personalities. Stars Dennis Quaid (Jim Morris), Rachel Griffiths (Lorri), Jay Hernandez (Joaquin “Wack” Campos), Beth Grant (Jimmy’s mother), Angus T. Jones (Hunter), Brian Cox (Jim, Sr.). Filmed in CinemaScope. 128 min. Filmed on location in and around Austin, Texas, with the town of Thorndale doubling for Big Lake. Based on a true story. Released on video in 2002.