Bull Durham is the greatest movie ever made about minor league baseball.
Somehow, though, even while its one of my favorite movies, I’ve walked past 911 North Mangum hundreds of times—it has a clump of grass my foster dog finds particularly irresistible—and never noticed that it’s the house that Susan Sarandon’s esoteric, independent seductress Annie Savoy lives in.
Like Bull Durham, it’s a quiet classic.
Now, for a modest pandemic listing price of $1,150,000, you can* call the house your own.
Lest we be reductive, the house is so much more than just “the place that Annie Savoy lived in.” (Annie could obviously afford it on a community college teacher’s salary.) It’s in possession of pitch-perfect 1980s charm! It’s the setting for lots of steamy, sporty sex scenes! Also, it’s historic. According to Open Durham, the sprawling Queen Anne was built in 1880 by Judge James Manning, a prominent member of Durham and a brother to the mayor. Also, the house fell into disrepair after the film came out—even as the Bulls saw a resurgence of minor-league interest—and was restored by new owners in 1996.
Bull Durham begins with Annie’s silky “I believe in the church of baseball—I’ve tried all the major ones and most of the minor ones” monologue, as the camera pans across doilies and candles in the interior, and Annie goes about selecting her summer fling.
It ends (spoiler alert) on the front porch as Annie misquotes Walt Whitman and wins the heart of veteran catcher Crash, played by a brooding Kevin Costner. In between, the house, with its floral carpets and floral drapes and floral bedspreads, is the offbeat, obscenely large (it’s 3,598 square feet, and Annie lives alone) ground zero for the best movie ever made about baseball.
So yes, maybe there’s an upgrade in there—maybe it’s just the best movie made about baseball or the best movie made about sports, period, as many have said. It’s definitely the best movie to feature the Green Room. However you grade it, if you do choose to drop a fortune on the Bull Durham house—technically, the Manning House—during a pandemic, please preserve it. Please keep it standing.
And please don’t turn it into an Airbnb.
*If you have a million dollars burning a hole in your pocket but are not in need of new accommodations, please consider spending it on a worthy cause.
Contact deputy arts and culture editor Sarah Edwards at email@example.com.
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