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Fans turned out when the 'Bull Durham' house went on the market for $1.6 million


There's a historic house in Durham, N.C., where drive-by traffic tends to slow down to snap a picture. Locals call it the Bull Durham House after the 1988 baseball movie where it plays a big role. Leoneda Inge of member station WUNC went to a recent open house that brought out baseball and pop culture fans alike.

LEONEDA INGE, BYLINE: The Bull Durham House is one of the oldest houses in the city. The sign out front calls it the Manning house.

KATHY CARTER: Welcome to the Manning house. It was built in 1880 for Judge James Manning. He was a prominent Durham citizen and attorney. But you're welcome to start the tour on the upstairs. We have a docent up there.

INGE: That's tour guide Kathy Carter. She quickly pivots from the home's origin to the part folks want to hear.

CARTER: And then come back down and tour downstairs and see the famous tub from the "Bull Durham" movie.


BILLY WARD: (Singing) Sixty-minute man. Oh, yeah.

INGE: Yeah. It's hard to forget that famous love scene in the yellow and white bathtub between Annie and Crash, played by Susan Sarandon and Kevin Costner.

JACOB GELLER: We took pictures of the bathtub - us being like, that's...

JACOB GELLER AND ANNIE MAYNARD: ...The real bathtub...

GELLER: ...That Susan Sarandon was in (laughter).

INGE: Jacob Geller is a big "Bull Durham" fan. He and his girlfriend, Annie Maynard, dressed as Annie and Crash for Halloween last year.

ANNIE MAYNARD: We took a picture of - like, on the front of his Honda Fit kind of positioned in the same way that they are on the cover on his much nicer car (laughter).

INGE: People have been asking to see the Bull Durham House after learning the 3,700-square-foot, Queen Anne revival house with the big front porch was for sale. The asking price - $1.6 million. Real estate broker Adam Dickinson says it was hard separating "Bull Durham" lovers from real buyers.

ADAM DICKINSON: It was probably about 2 to 1 in favor of folks who are just sort of curious versus those who are actually potential buyers.

INGE: So he teamed up with a local preservation group and held an open house for everyone. Valerie Jarrett, wearing a blue Durham Bulls baseball T-shirt, admits she's visited the home before. It was during a yard sale earlier this year.

VALERIE JARRETT: 'Cause we've never seen the, like, actual backyard, and it's such a iconic scene in the movie.


TIM ROBBINS: (As Ebby Calvin Laloosh) Give me the [expletive] ball.

JARRETT: We came and pretended to buy things so that we could see the backyard.


ROBBINS: (As Ebby Calvin Laloosh) How do you like that?

SUSAN SARANDON: (As Annie Savoy) That was much better - did you see that? - because your delivery was fully integrated because you weren't thinking about it 'cause you were pissed off at me.

INGE: We all know this movie was not just about a baseball pitcher.


SARANDON: (As Annie Savoy) And I'm going to show you that you're not...

ROBBINS: (As Ebby Calvin Laloosh) I give up. I give up. Come on. Let's go inside...

SARANDON: (As Annie Savoy, laughing).

ROBBINS: ...And make love and fall asleep until it's time to go to the ballpark.

INGE: The Durham Bulls minor league baseball team is still going strong with sellout crowds and fireworks on the weekends. As for the movie home, after a mention in The New York Times, the Bull Durham House is now under contract.

For NPR News, I'm Leoneda Inge in Durham, N.C.


JOHN FOGERTY: (Singing) Oh, put me in, coach. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by an NPR contractor. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio record.

Leoneda Inge
Leoneda Inge is WUNC’s race and southern culture reporter, the first public radio journalist in the South to hold such a position. She explores modern and historical constructs to tell stories of poverty and wealth, health and food culture, education and racial identity. Leoneda is also co-host of the podcast Tested, allowing for even more in-depth storytelling on those topics.