"I didn't realize what I was getting into."
Chuck Fick was reading a script to play a catcher in a movie ... it was "The Naked Gun," the well-known comedic film starring Leslie Nielsen as Lt. Frank Drebin.
The final scene of the movie took place at a Major League Baseball game.
Fick, a former minor leaguer, now a scout for the Giants, played the Angels catcher in the film. He knew it wasn't your typical feature when he read there would be a game of pickle in which the umpires were involved.
"I knew something was up," Fick told Sporting News' Jason Foster last year.
Despite a "small part" in the movie, Foster made a good point -- as the catcher, Fick was in just about every shot with Nielsen playing the home plate umpire. He had some close-ups and a few lines as well.
"When you do these pictures, you never know what they keep in or what they leave on the floor," said Fick. "But I was astonished on how much I was in the picture."
He also got to work with ... a bazooka?
In the scene below, the queen portrayed in the movie threw a pitch to Fick and the movement created a corkscrew.
"It was on a wire, on a real thin wire. And it was drilled through the ball. So when the guy shot it, he did a circular move with the bazooka, and that made the ball do its thing coming into my glove. It just went right in there. I wonder what the exit velo was on it."
But not all of it used Hollywood special effects. A real pitcher was on the mound.
"The guy who was the pitcher was a (real) pitcher," Fick said. "I think his fastball was like 92 or 93 mph. So I asked him if he'd throw me a pitch. And I swear I didn't see it," Abrahams said. "I don't know how guys hit those."
"I remember asking the pitcher … just to pitch to me. 'Give me a high hard one,' and he did. He put me down," Pat Proft, another writer on the film said. "He gave me a little chin music. I hit the deck. … I bailed out so quickly."
"Baseball was an obvious solution," Jim Abrahams said.
Abrahams wrote and produced the movie and wanted to have the ending be a sporting event, but to have the famous "Enrico Pallazzo" reveal behind the umpire's mask was too perfect.
In addition to the real pitcher, many ballplayers made cameos in the feature. They used guys from the San Bernadino Spirit from the California League team. And the guy who was in charge of getting those guys together was baseball adviser, Joey Banks, son of Hall of Fame infielder Ernie Banks.
But remember, they're ballplayers, not actors.
"You could be a great ballplayer, but once they say 'action,' your butthole gets tight," Banks said. "It's a whole other type of pressure that you face when you have the whole crew waiting on you to hit the ball to the right side and you don't do that."
And as far as working with famed Nielsen?
"Leslie, he was just a natural," Fick said. "That's what made it so enjoyable."