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COSTNER GOING TO BAT FOR ALS

Kevin Costner is returning to Durham, 12 years after filming "Bull Durham" here.

Costner will be the featured celebrity at the inaugural fund-raiser of the ALS Association Carolina Chapter. The Feb. 2 event in the Carolina Theatre will honor Major League Baseball's Jim "Catfish" Hunter, a North Carolina native who died in 1999 after battling amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

ALS, commonly known as Lou Gehrig's disease, attacks specialized nerve cells called motor neurons, which control the movement of voluntary muscles.

Costner played Crash Davis in 1988's "Bull Durham." The character was inspired by the actual Carolina League catcher of the same name. Davis recently died at age 82 in Gastonia.

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