To help mark the 20th anniversary this week of the release of Bull Durham, Sports Illustrated senior writer Austin Murphy set out to discover what happened to the film’s main characters, Crash Davis, Annie Savory and Nuke LaLoosh.
Despite their abiding disagreement over the merits of the novels of Susan Sontag (him: “Self-indulgent overrated crap” her: “Brilliant!”) the Crash and Annie Show had legs. Once they got together, they stayed together. Crash quit the game, leaving on his own terms. Annie “quit” boys. That is, she settled into a long-term relationship with Davis, whose robust appetites and broad interests — in philosophy, baseball history, religions of the world, clawfoot bathtubs, votive candles and pedicures, among other things — were an excellent match for her own.
When last we saw them, Crash and Annie were sharing a porch swing when he mentions an “opening for a manager in Visalia,” and she tells him what a great skipper he would be, “because you understand about non-linear thinking,” and, despite the lines in the box scores, baseball “is a spacious, non-time kind of thing.”
Davis was referring to the Class A Oaks of Visalia, Calif., in the heart of the San Joaquin Valley. Annie agreed to accompany him under one condition: that they make the trip in his slightly dinged up but ultra-cool Oldsmobile convertible. They stopped in Vegas on the way, and, in a display of spontaneity not seen since their urgent, Wheaties-spilling breakfast-table clench late in the movie, they were married the next day. They tied the knot in the Little White Wedding Chapel, where they chose the “Romantic’s Package” over the “Lover’s Package” in part because the former included … a garter for the bride.