It's Spring Training time! The cold, gray purgatory that is the stretch from the final whistle of the Superbowl and the first pitch of baseball exhibitions is over, and it's time to talk about all things baseball. Today let's take a look the greatest baseball movie all-star team ever assembled. One caveat- fictional players only. Mickey Mantle in the movie 61*is .
Catcher- There's stiff competition in this department, with the gritty Jake Taylor from Major League, the goofy Rube Baker from Major League: Back to the Minors, and the candy bar-munching Engleberg from The Bad News Bears. But there's only one clear choice-- Crash Davis of Bull Durham fame. He's a steady hitter, calls a good game, is always ready with a bit of wisdom or witticism, and gets the girl in the end.
Honorable mention: Dottie Hinson- A League of Their Own, Billy Brubaker- Summer Catch
First Base- Jack Elliot of Mr. Baseball proves that even a cocky player whose best days are behind him can still turn things around with a dose of humility, hard work, and hot baths with the manager's daughter. Tom Selleck actually looks like a ballplayer, and comes across as believable, and even likable by the end.
Honorable Mention: Stan Ross- Mr. 3,000 Pops Morgan- Major League: Back to the Minors
Second Base- No one can mash from both sides of the plate like Marlo Hooch from A League of Their Own. She's sort of a Jeff Kent character- limited range and slow on the base paths, but more than makes up for it with her bat. The biggest difference is that Kent might actually look better in a skirt.
Third Base-Roger Dorn of Major League can't go to his left, has it in his contract that he doesn't have to exercise, and cares more about his investments than his on-field performance, but he can still rake.
Honorable Mention- Lance "The Dance" Pere- Major League: Back to the Minors
Shortstop-Tanner Boyle of The Bad News Bears is a throwback player, cut from the cloth of John McGraw. A fiery, temperamental competitor, he'll have to keep his John Rocker-like views quiet if this team is to have clubhouse harmony. Channeled in the proper direction, his competitive fire can make him the spark plug.
Left Field- Jesus no help Pedro Serrano of the Major League movies hit curveball, but the straightball he hit very much. Lending some righty power to the batting order, Serrano makes pitchers pay frequently enough to merit a spot on our roster.
Center Field- The only five-tool player on our roster is Kelly Leak of The Bad News Bears. This guy can do it all, and he'll whip you at air hockey, steal your smokes, and take your girlfriend away on his dirtbike.
Honorable Mention- Willie Mays Hayes, Major League.
Right Field- Do I even need to tell you that Roy Hobbs of The Natural is our right fielder? The guy can knock the cover off the ball (literally). He can also be your situational lefty, provided he's not bleeding at the time.
Starting Pitcher- This is a tough call. Billy Chapel of For the Love of the Game is out because pitchers need to be more than 5'5". Steve Nebraska of The Scoutis likely to wig out on you on the eve of game seven of the World Series, Nuke Laloosh of Bull Durham is almost as big a head case, and Bingo Long is likely to bolt the first time another team offers him a better contract. The little kid from Rookie of the Year is so annoying that his name shall not be uttered. Amanda Whurlitzer of the Bad News Bears has the Sandy Koufax syndrome: great stuff, sore arm, short career. Meanwhile, Doc Wingate of Major League: Back to the Minors has no stuff at all. The choice here is Rick "Wild Thing" Vaughn of Major League. Sure, he's had his ups and downs in his career, but he always rights himself in time for the pennant run.
Honorable Mention: Eddie Harris- Major League.
Relief Pitcher: He'll have to be converted from a starter, but Hog Ellis of Major League: Back to the Minors has the stuff and the personality to be a reliever in the tradition of Tug McGraw, Al Hrabosky, and Bill "Spaceman" Lee.
Manager: Tough call here as well, but Lou Brown of Major League is just the sort of old-school, tough-as-nails manager needed to bring this bunch together.
Honorable Mention: Uchiyama- Mr. Baseball, Skip Riggins- Bull Durham, Pop Fisher- The Natural, Morris Buttermaker- The Bad News Bears.
Broadcaster: Harry Doyle of Major League gives the fans a reason to listen even when the game itself isn't going well.
That's my team. What's yours?