Costner rocks July Fourth with 'Bull Durham' flashback

Kevin Costner and his band performed at the Durham Bulls Athletic Park on July 4 to celebrate the 20th anniversary of his baseball classic, "Bull Durham."

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DURHAM, N.C. — Fans and players at the Durham Bulls Athletic Park celebrated Independence Day  with actor Kevin Costner.

The event marked the 20th anniversary of the movie "Bull Durham," in which Costner starred as Crash Davis, an aging catcher for the Durham Bulls trying to mentor a wild-armed pitcher played by Tim Robbins.

"It'll be there forever, the way a good movie can be sometimes," Costner said.

On Friday, Costner and his band Modern West got a movie-stars' welcome from a full stadium of cheering fans at the Durham Bulls Athletic Park. The film was shot in the old Durham Bulls stadium.

Bill Law, an announcer for the Durham Bulls for more than a decade, remembered playing an extra in "Bull Durham." Costner gave him a souvenir from the movie, Law said.

"He gave me the bat and said, 'Come by my trailer, and I'll sign it for you,'" he said.

Law never did, but Friday's meeting with Costner let him correct what he called his 20-year-old mistake.

"Right there, underneath where it says Crash Davis," the bat bears Costner's autograph, Law pointed out.

Costner and Modern West's set list drifted from original material (rock songs with an Americana vibe) to cover songs.

Modern West's origins go further back in time than "Bull Durham" to when Costner met singer-songwriter John Coinman at an acting workshop. Costner was an actor interested in music, and Coinman was a musician interested in acting. Along with friend Blair Forward, the three formed the band Roving Boy.

As Costner’s acting career took off in films such as “Bull Durham,” the band continued to play shows and record. In 2005, the three Roving Boys joined with guitarist/producer Teddy Morgan and drummer Larry Cobb to form Modern West.

As for the future of his popular, classic film, Costner said he would consider making a sequel to "Bull Durham."

“It would have to be written great, and if it was great, I would have confidence," Costner said. "The last thing this group would want to do is go see 'Bull Durham Two,' and it not measure up."

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Adam Owens, Reporter
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