Kevin Costner
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Join us for a virtual
Live Talks Los Angeles event:
Monday, August 8, 2022, 6pm PT/9pm ET
This virtual event was taped with an audience on August 3.

Ron Shelton & Kevin Costner

in conversation with Ron Rapoport

discussing Ron Shelton’s book, 
The Church of Baseball: The Making of Bull Durham: Home Runs, Bad Calls, Crazy Fights, Big Swings, and a Hit

$40  Virtual
 Admission + Signed Book*
*Book is signed by Ron Shelton.
The virtual event can be watched on video-on-demand
for 72hrs after it airs August 8 at 6pm PT/9pm ET,
thru August 11 at midnight


From the award-winning screenwriter and director of cult classic Bull Durham, the extremely entertaining behind-the-scenes story of the making of the film, and an insightful primer on the art and business of moviemaking.
The only church that truly feeds the soul, day in, day out, is the church of baseball.”—Annie in Bull Durham
Ron Shelton
’s Bull Durham launched a writing-directing career that includes White Men Can’t JumpBlaze (1989), Cobb, and Tin Cup, among other films. He also directed Jordan Rides the Bus, a documentary about Michael Jordan’s year in the minor leagues. A former professional baseball player, he holds degrees from Westmont College and the University of Arizona. 
Kevin Costner is an internationally recognized director, producer and actor. Costner has starred in memorable roles in films such as JFK, the Untouchables, Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves, No Way Out, Bull Durham, Field of Dreams, The Bodyguard, and Wyatt Earp  among others. He recently starred in the dramas  Black or White and the Disney film, McFarland, USA.  

The Church of Baseball is a heart pumping ride, from pitch to script to screen to the Oscars, as Ron Shelton turns his minor league love triangle into the greatest sports movie of our time. No filmmaker has given such an unfiltered glimpse into the storytelling process. Shelton has a mutual love for filmmakers and ballplayers—the grunts who take field and the management that controls their dreams. While chasing through the white knuckle pace of movie production, Ron Shelton somehow finds that strand of DNA in all of us that roots for the man at the plate as he chases love, success, good scotch, high fiber, and the hanging curveball.” –Jason Reitman, writer-director of Thank You for Smoking; Juno; Up in The Air; and Young Adult\

Bull Durham
, the breakthrough 1988 film about a minor league baseball team, is widely revered as the best sports movie of all time. But back in 1987, Ron Shelton was a first-time director and no one was willing to finance a movie about baseball—especially a story set in the minors. The jury was still out on Kevin Costner’s leading-man potential, while Susan Sarandon was already a has-been. There were doubts. But something miraculous happened, and The Church of Baseball attempts to capture why.
From organizing a baseball camp for the actors and rewriting key scenes while on set, to dealing with a short production schedule and overcoming the challenge of filming the sport, Shelton brings to life the making of this beloved American movie. Shelton explains the rarely revealed ins and outs of moviemaking, from a film’s inception and financing, screenwriting, casting, the nuts and bolts of directing, the postproduction process, and even through its release. But this is also a book about baseball and its singular romance in the world of sports. Shelton spent six years in the minor leagues before making this film, and his experiences resonate throughout this book.
Full of wry humor and insight, The Church of Baseball tells the remarkable story behind an iconic film.
During a career as a sports columnist, author and commentator for NPR’s “Weekend Edition,” Ron Rapoport has covered sporting events all over the world and written books on subjects ranging from the legendary golfer Bobby Jones to the musical comedy star Betty Garrett and to Tim Reid and Tom Dreesen, the first—and last—black and white comedy team in the history of show business. Ron has written for the Los Angeles Times and Daily News and the Chicago Sun-Times. His latest book, Let’s Play Two: The Legend of Mr. Cub, The Life of Ernie Banks, is the definitive and revealing biography of one of baseball’s most iconic, beloved–and misunderstood—heroes.