Big League Stew - MLB

Tim Lincecum(notes) says he loves pitching at Wrigley Field and his performance there on Tuesday suggested as much.

But no matter the results, the Cy Young award winner says he appreciates the ballpark's history, its bricks, its ivy and, of course, its role in the goofy 1993 baseball comedy "Rookie of the Year."


If Lincecum, the scrawny right-hander who throws harder than seems possible,  reminds you of 12-year-old Henry Rowengartner, well, Lincecum says there are good reasons for that.

"People used to call me 'Rowengartner,' or 'Rosinbagger,' " Lincecum told Big League Stew after pulling a reverse-Rowengartner and downing the Cubs. "One of my favorite movies of all time was "Rookie of the Year," with Henry Rowengartner and all that good stuff."

As if Tiny Tim could get any cooler. (Well, maybe if he loved "Little Big League" instead — a much better film — he'd be a little cooler still.)

In case you missed its theatrical run or the tape melted in your VCR and you forgot, the story of "Rookie of the Year" goes like this: An adolescent baseball fanatic falls, breaks his arm, gets it reset and can suddenly throw over 100 mph.

"The tendons, they healed too tight," Lincecum said in the visitor's clubhouse after the game, paraphrasing some of the movie's expository dialogue.

The Cubs sign Rowengartner, naturally, and he leads them to a World Series championship. (Not so naturally.) The ensemble cast includes John Candy, Gary Busey (!) and Daniel Stern (who also directed this masterpiece) as the goofball/neanderthal pitching coach.

As one of the San Francisco reporters noted on Tuesday, some fans showed up to Wrigley wearing "Rowengartner No. 1" Cubs jerseys.

"That's awesome! I think I'm going to get me one of those, but not a Cubs uniform," said Lincecum, who was actually drafted by the Cubs in 2003 before he decided to play baseball at the University of Washington.

Other than the preposterous arm injury, and a willingness to wear Cubbie blue, these guys have much in common.

"What's even funnier is, in that game at the end, he was playing with the Pirates — that's my Little League team," Lincecum said. "You know that one commercial you see with that dumb look on my face [from Little League]? That was the Pirates!"

Henry Rowengartner is Tim Lincecum is Henry Rowengartner.

Think about it.

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