CLEVELAND (AP) — Kevin Costner took timeout from filming his football movie in Cleveland for a little batting practice before the Indians played the Minnesota Twins on Sunday.
“We have a new player, bro,” Indians first baseman Nick Swisher said of the actor who will play the general manager of the Cleveland Browns in the movie “Draft Day.” ”We signed him to a one-day contract. We’ve got Kevin Costner on our side.”
Wearing an Indians’ jersey and cap, Costner hit several line drives from pitches thrown by bullpen coach Kevin Cash as Cleveland’s players looked on. He also played catch in the outfield, fielded grounders at shortstop and took time to chat with several players and coaches.
“I was actually glad I made contact because I haven’t swung in a couple years,” Costner said. “I thought my chances of swinging through the ball were just as good as fouling it off.”
While many of Costner’s films have had a baseball theme, “Draft Day” has him as a Browns’ executive attempting to acquire the No. 1 pick in the NFL draft. The movie began shooting in Cleveland last month and is scheduled to be released next year.
Costner’s baseball-related movies include “Field of Dreams,” ”Bull Durham,” and “For Love of the Game.”
While in town, he’s attended several games and thinks the Indians can win the American League Central.
“I’ve been to about three or four games and they’ve won every one of them,” Costner said. “I really think this team could win the division. I’ve watched a lot of baseball and they have a couple of good pieces of DNA, and one of them is they come from behind. Not all teams can do that. They’ve got the right amount of athletic arrogance to do that.”
The Indians entered Sunday in second place and trailed Detroit by three games.
“I think if they just make up their mind, they’re going to go to somebody else’s gym and beat ‘em up,” Costner said. “I think they can run Detroit down. I think they pose a lot of problems.”
Costner laughed as he talked about how he has enjoyed his stay.
“Cleveland’s been great to me,” he said. “I like the town. I told my wife how fun it is to walk around. I’m not a drinker. I think you’ve gotta drink to fit in here.”
Costner drew a lot of attention in the Indians’ clubhouse as he dressed for his workout Sunday morning. Pitcher Justin Masterson wasn’t aware the Oscar-winning actor was at the ballpark until he saw him across the room.
“I looked over there and said, “Hey, that’s Kevin Costner,’ ” Masterson said. “It’s cool to see him here.”