Stan Ross (Bernie Mac) is the franchise player of the Milwaukee Brewers baseball team. After recording his 3,000th hit, the selfish, narcissistic Ross immediately retires, leaving the team without one of its star players in the middle of the 1995 playoff race, showing every bit of disregard for his teammates' feelings.
Despite his predictions to the contrary Ross struggles to regain his baseball form. He goes hitless in his first 27 at-bats. His comeback is reported by television sportscaster Maureen "Mo" Simmons (Angela Bassett), who resumes a former romantic relationship with Ross. He gets two hits, including a home run, to increase his career total to 2,999.

Ross becomes a mentor to the younger players and urges Pennebaker to learn from his own mistakes as a baseball star and to be a team player, so that Pennebaker will not end up like him - all alone. This inspires the Brewers to a late-season comeback and a respectable finish. Ross attempts to become serious with Simmons and make her a permanent part of his life, but she is reluctant to believe he is a changed man, particularly after he skips a team practice to go on national television with Jay Leno and begin boasting again.

In his last at-bat of the season, with a chance to be a hero, Ross has a vision of his earlier years, when he was considered always dependable for the team. It inspires him to sacrifice his last chance with a bunt instead so the team can win a game and finish third in its division. Although Ross never reaches the "3,000" milestone, his newfound generosity and attitude gets him inducted into the Hall of Fame.