MESA, Ariz. – First it was Chuck Connors. Now comes Will Ferrell.
Don’t laugh. The Cubs are one of 10 teams the “Talladega Nights” star will suit up and play for in a one-day, five-game tour through spring training lineups Thursday in Arizona as part of an HBO special/stunt.
Well, go ahead and laugh, since that’s the point.
According to a news release, Ferrell plans to play all nine positions at some point Thursday, commemorating Bert Campaneris’ historic one-day feat in 1965.
Start times for the games have been staggered to allow for the stunt, and Ferrell plans to get from park to park via helicopter.
Plans call for Ferrell to play Anthony Rizzo’s spot at first base in the fourth inning, and at some point play Mike Trout’s center field position for the Angels in the Tempe game.
In playing first for the Cubs, Ferrell also reprises the role played for 57 games in 1951 by Connors, before Connors went on to become “The Rifleman” in a more successful career in Hollywood.
Connors had enough ability that he once hit a game-tying homer in the ninth inning to knock Giants pitcher Sal Maglie out of a game during a season in which the All-Star Maglie went 23-6 with a 2.93 ERA.