Ball Star

Dave Eiland, pitching coach/movie star

Updated: 2013-09-17T04:34:06Z

By PETE GRATHOFF

The Kansas City Star

Did you know that Royals pitching coach Dave Eiland once threw a perfect game at Yankee Stadium?

Well, actually, that was in the movie “For Love of the Game,” starring Kevin Costner. In that flick, Costner’s character Billy Chapel is nearing the end of his career and having trouble with his relationship. Just when all seems lost, he tosses a perfect game at Yankee Stadium.

Eiland was a stunt double of sorts.

“I was just the pitching double,” Eiland said. “I just threw a lot of pitches for him. That was about it.”

Well, not quite.

“He had a sore arm, a bad shoulder or something, so I did a lot of the throwing,” Eiland said. “When you see the ball hit the catcher’s mitt, I was the one throwing because he was having a hard time getting it there with anything on it.”

Eiland was pitching for Tampa Bay at the time, and was recommended by someone in New York for the part.

“It was the off-season and I didn’t have anything going on, so I went up there for about three weeks and did it,” Eiland said.

Check it out: Eiland has his own listing on IMDB.com for his work in the movie. Funny thing is, he didn’t exactly rush to the theater when the movie was released.

“I never went to the movies and saw that movie,” Eiland admitted. “When it came out (on video), I saw it. It was different. Long days. Fifteen hours. What was surprising to me was you could spend seven, eight hours on one 30-second scene. I guess I’ll never watch movies the same way.

“It was interesting to see how it’s made, the behind the scenes. It was an experience. Nothing I’d ever want to make a living doing, but it wasn’t like I was there for shooting the whole thing. I was just there for the part in New York, the three-week part.”

There is one perk to the movies, however.

“It’s fake,” Eiland said. “The one thing about the movies that’s different from this game is there are do-overs. You screw up there, and there’s do-overs. There are no do-overs here. So that aspect of it I thought was easy, because if you messed up enough and didn’t get it right, you had to do it again until you got it right. Unlike reality here.”

To reach Pete Grathoff, call 816-234-4330 or send email to pgrathoff@kcstar.com. Follow him at twitter.com/pgrathoff

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