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Rachel Phelps

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Rachel Phelps

Rachel Phelps

Rachel Phelps is the main antagonist of the comedy movie Major League.

She was portrayed by the late Margaret Whitton.

Biography

It has been 40 years since the last World Series appearance by the Cleveland Indians, and the team, not to mention the city, continues to doubt their chances to ever return. To add insult to injury, Donald Phelps, the team's penultimate owner, died during the off season, and his will stipulated that his wife inherited everything. Now, just weeks before spring training, the Tribe is in the hands of the late owner's bride, Rachel Phelps, who worked as a Las Vegas showgirl before Donald married her. She sets a plan in motion immediately to put together a team so bad that it will lose lots of games, causing attendance to drop below the minimum amount necessary to keep the team's agreement with the city intact. Miami is ready to welcome a new baseball team, and Rachel Phelps wants some sun and fun, as she says the people of Cleveland hate her, blaming her for Donald's death. The Miami city council promises a bigger stadium paid for by the taxpayers, and the sweetheart deal also includes a mansion in Boca Raton for Phelps and a free membership in a prominent Florida country club.

Enter the saviors of Cleveland. Invited to spring training are a bunch of nobodys, has-beens, and never-will-bes, including journeyman catcher Jake Taylor, pitcher Rick Vaughn, Cuban defector Pedro Cerrano, and camp crashing outfielder Willie Mays Hayes. Never given a chance before, these guys find this first opportunity the chance to open some eyes, play together, and just have fun playing baseball. Some of the guys are rough around the edges - including arrogant third baseman Roger Dorn - but they work out their differences and playing for veteran manager Lou Brown, start playing some decent baseball.

Rachel Phelps has no interest in seeing a ragtag group of overachievers trying to make any sort of successful run. So, she starts to make things tough for the team, forcing the team's general manager to replace the team jet with an old rickety twin-engine charter, and then a cramped smelly bus. (Luckily, she doesn't figure out until Major League II that trading good players away works too.) The GM can't stand to see the team blindsided like this, so he tells Lou Brown, who passes the news onto the team. Their owner wants them to lose. The team is shocked, but completely energized by this turn of events. Starting at that point, the Indians begin a devastating run through the American League, rolling with a huge winning on their way to a two-way tie with the Yankees atop the division.

At this point, all Phelps can do is watch as the Indians complete their dream season by willing the one-game playoff against the Yanks in dramatic fashion. All the nobodies on the team have become stars because of their obvious talent and flair for the dramatic, and their ability to work together as a team. Rachel Phelps wanted to destroy the team and deprive Cleveland of a baseball team, but instead provided the Cleveland faithful with one of the most exciting teams they've ever seen. Her moving the team to Miami was off and selecting all these loser and misfits to make them dead last failed and backfired on her.

She continued her attempt to move the franchise in the sequel, but those fail as well. Phelps elects to cut her losses and sold her ownership of the team to Roger Corman, a retired Indians player who was investment focused.

Trivia

  • In the alternate ending of the film, it is revealed that her plan to have the team finish dead last was a bluff. She saw the team was near bankruptcy and gather the best players she could and put on an act to motivate them.

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