Based on the novel by Michael Shaara, For Love of the Game brought Kevin Costner back to the world of baseball after his successes with Bull Durham (1988) and Field of Dreams (1989). Billy Chapel (Kevin Costner) is a star pitcher with the Detroit Tigers, standing on the mound at Yankee Stadium and throwing what is shaping up to be a perfect game with the help of his best friend and catcher, Gus Osinski (John C. Reilly). However, Billy is having a hard time keeping his mind on the game; he's come to a crossroads in both his personal and professional lives, and he isn't sure what to do or where to go. He's learned that the Tigers are about to be sold, and the new owners intend to trade him at the end of the season, and that his girlfriend Jane (Kelly Preston) is planning to leave him. For Love of the Game represents a change of pace for director Sam Raimi, best-known for the Evil Dead trilogy and the acclaimed suspense drama A Simple Plan (1998) (although Raimi, a baseball fan born in Michigan, doubtless enjoyed making a film featuring the Detroit Tigers).