In 1982, he appeared as domestic terrorist Andrew Reinhardt in three episodes of the television program St. Elsewhere. In 1985, he guest-starred in the second episode of the television series Moonlighting, “Gunfight at the So-So Corral”. He also took small parts in films, such as the role of frat animal “Mother” in Fraternity Vacation (1985) and Lt Sam “Merlin” Wells in the fighter pilot film Top Gun (1986). He appeared on The Love Boat, as a young version of one of the characters in retrospection about the Second World War. His breakthrough role was as pitcher Ebby Calvin “Nuke” LaLoosh in the baseball film Bull Durham (1988), in which he co-starred with Susan Sarandon and Kevin Costner.