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Holland's cutout homage to actor hilarious

@adamdberry
August 19, 2020

PITTSBURGH -- There may not be fans in the stands this season, but there is still an occasional celebrity sighting at the ballpark. Or, in some cases, multiple sightings of one famous figure. That happened on Tuesday night, when veteran left-hander Derek Holland set up four cardboard cutouts of actor

PITTSBURGH -- There may not be fans in the stands this season, but there is still an occasional celebrity sighting at the ballpark. Or, in some cases, multiple sightings of one famous figure.

That happened on Tuesday night, when veteran left-hander Derek Holland set up four cardboard cutouts of actor and comedian Rob Schneider around PNC Park. Holland is a longtime friend of Schneider, and Schneider is a big-time baseball fan. Knowing he couldn’t get into a big league ballpark this year, Schneider asked Holland at the beginning of the season for the next-best thing: a cardboard cutout inside PNC Park.

“Yeah,” Holland said, “I can easily take care of that.”

Holland one-upped his friend’s request. Or three-upped it, maybe. Rather than just sticking one likeness of Schneider in the stands, he had four produced and scattered them all around the ballpark. There were photos of Schneider from four different movies: “The Benchwarmers,” “The Hot Chick,” “50 First Dates” and “Deuce Bigalow: Male Gigolo.”

It was hard to miss Schneider’s image in the otherwise-empty seats. Out in right field, there was a shot of him in his “Benchwarmers” baseball uniform. When AT&T SportsNet Pittsburgh reporter Robby Incmikoski went live from the seats down the third-base line during Tuesday’s game, he did so standing next to a photo of Schneider in “50 First Dates.”

“I made sure it was worthwhile for him. I want to give him something to laugh about,” Holland said after the Pirates’ 6-3 loss. “Gotta have fun with it. If we can't have fans in the stands, at least we can make the most of it.”

Apparently, Holland’s gag was appreciated. When he exited the game on Tuesday night, he had a text waiting from Schneider, who also retweeted a bunch of posts about it.

“He was basically letting me know that it was pretty cool. He’s pretty pumped about it,” Holland said. “He's a big baseball guy, so anytime you can get somebody like that to laugh, that's huge. He's also been very, very good to me, giving me some good pointers. He's a funny dude. I appreciate everything he's done.”

Holland said he met Schneider after one of the comedian’s stand-up shows in Dallas. A jokester in his own right, Holland asked if they could talk. They “goofed around for a minute,” Holland said, exchanging impressions and imitations, and quickly became friends. They maintained the relationship throughout Holland’s travels, meeting up in Seattle and hanging out in San Francisco.

Schneider couldn’t make it to PNC Park this season, but Holland still made sure he had the best seat in the house -- four seats, actually.

“He’s just a baseball guy. It’s funny to see,” Holland said. “A lot of celebrities, you know, they like baseball, and baseball players want to be an actor or whatever the case may be. So it's cool how this whole thing comes together.”

Adam Berry has covered the Pirates for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook and read his blog.