Around the Bases: The 10 Best Baseball Movies of All Time
I must admit that my decision to write an article about the 10 best baseball movies of all time was sparked from reading Mark T's article of the same premise.
I love baseball movies and while I was still playing, I watched one before going to sleep, every night before a game.
The best baseball movies embody the things that make us love baseball. I hope you enjoy my list.
Honorable Mention: Hardball
This is a fantastic movie. The only thing that keeps it from being higher on my list, is that it reminds me of an urban version of "The Bad News Bears".
On the other hand, it is a great story. A sad death among the team captivates you and stirs your emotions.
You can't help but root for the kids, "We're goin' to the ship!!" And you can't quit singing, "I love it when you call me Big Poppa. Wave your hands in the air, if you's a true playa!"
Honarable Mention: Little Big League
So, your grandfather owns a baseball team. That is great in its own.
So, your grandfather passes away and passes the team on to you. Even better.
Oh yeah, you are only 12 years old.
This movie is great, because every baseball love wishes he/she could own their very own professional baseball team.
It is a huge task juggling friendship, managing the team, and owning the team.
To make it harder, you have to release one of your favorite ball players of all time. Too bad he didn't feel better that you wouldn't trade his baseball card.
10. Summer Catch
Ok, Jessica is hot, what else matters?
How about the underachieving pitcher, Ryan Dunne, who shows up to the first practice late, while wearing a thong?
The center fielder, Miles Dalrymple, loves fat chicks.
The second baseman, Mikey Dominguez, has a summer mom who is trying to molest him.
And Billy Brubaker, the catcher's quote, "Fat chicks are like mopeds, fun to ride, just don't let your friends catch you doing it" is one of my all time favorite quotes.
All in all, the commodore in this movie reminds me of the long bus rides we had in high school. Unlike most, you don't care who comes out on top, you just enjoy the characters.
9. Rookie of the Year
How many times as a kid, did you hope you would slip, fly through the air, break your arm, and be able to throw 100mph when your cast was removed?
I am guessing a billion.
What if that meant your mom might hook up with Gary Busey?
I don't know about you, I love my mom, but Gary Busey isn't that bad. Right?
When he loses his fastball, Henry uses creative tactics to get through.
The best part of the movie is when he retires, after being sold to the Yankees. it is a good thing too, because when he grew up, he starred in classic comedy series, "American Pie."
8. Eight Men Out
If you appreciate baseball history, Eight Men Out (No. 8 by coincidence), is a great movie. Charlie Sheen and John Cusack star in a movie about the 'Black Sox' scandal.
A team of players who felt underpaid, were taken advantage of by a mobster/gambler, that paid them to lose the World Series.
Actually, you know the story. They were banned for life, and one of the best hitters of all time, "Shoeless" Joe Jackson is still missing from the Hall of Fame.
This movie chronicles this debacle in a great way and though a Cubs fan, had me wishing that it would have all happened differently.
7. The Bad News Bears
Ah, you have got to love misfits. A team of players that can't catch, hit, pitch, or basically anything to do with baseball turn successful. How does that happen?
The coach stays drunk. You coax the smoking teen superstar into joining the team. Then you get a girl to pitch for you.
Somehow, when you add in all of that, the rest of the team become great too.
I guess the Washington Nationals need to sign Barry Bonds and Jennie Finch. If they did, they would probably win the 2009 World Series.
On a serious (kinda) note, this is a great feel good baseball movie. It led to numerous sequels and a recent remake starring Billy Bob Thornton.
6. The Rookie
True stories are always the best stories.
They are even better when an old man, coaching high school baseball, somehow finds himself in the big leagues.
Jim Morris is one of the best stories in baseball history. Not only did he have to fight previous arm injuries, but the only reason he tried out was because his bad baseball team started playing good when it was not expected.
The rest is history. Dennis Quaid is one of the best sports actors on the planet and was the perfect fit for this movie.
Maybe it isn't too late for me. I am only 24. Too bad I can't throw 95.
5. Major League
What can you say about Major League that is bad? The cast was perfect for the characters they were playing.
Charlie Sheen was basically playing himself, as a ball player, rather than an actor. Wesley Snipes played a bad acting center fielder, which must have been easy for him.
The best character though, was Pedro Cerrano, He optimized 90's power hitters and summed it up best when he said, "Bats, they are sick. I cannot hit curveball. Straightball I hit it very much. Curveball, bats are afraid."
4. Soul of the Game
Another movie that many have never seen, but is a must see for baseball historians. It chronicles the movement of Negro League stars into Major League Baseball.
The movie tells the stories of three stars; Jackie Robinson, Satchel Paige, and Josh Gibson.
Two of the three ended up in Major League baseball. The other, Josh Gibson, may be baseball's best home run hitter ever.
It is rumored that he hit somewhere between 800-900 home runs. Many of them came off of white pitchers from the MLB in exhibition games.
All in all, this is a fantastic movie that was made for TV, so it doesn't get the publicity that the other movies on this list do.
Either way, if you haven't seen it, find it, and watch it. You won't be disappointed.
3. The Natural
What many don't know, is that this story, is somewhat based off of a real ballplayer.
The story is exaggerated quite a bit, but Eddie Waitkus is known as the true life Roy Hobbs.
Waitkus didn't hit balls that shattered the right field lights. He didn't show up out of nowhere to become a star.
Rather, he was a star that was shot by a obsessed woman after he was traded from Chicago to Philadelphia. She shot him for the sad reason, that if she couldn't have him, nobody could.
Surprisingly, Eddie came back to have a very solid career, but never lived to his full potential.
Robert Redford was the best possible person to play Roy Hobbs. The movie was great story and at one time, I actually used a marker to draw a lightning bolt on my aluminum bat.
2. The Sandlot
We didn't have a dog to worry about stealing our balls. Other than that, this story was eerily close to that of my little league days.
Instead of the dog, our little league diamond had train tracks that ended left field, and right field went for three football fields. Home runs were only made if you could run around the bases before the ball got back.
My team, in little Kimmell, Ind., was a lot like the Sandlot crew. We didn't look as good as some of the other towns we played against, but we sure did know how to play.
We had great summers hanging out together, not worrying about a care in the world. Some of us smoked our first cigarettes together. Others would sneak Playboys so they could be the 'cool' kid for the day.
The best thing though, was we all still had an appreciation for baseball. We loved the game, and this movie came out at the perfect time.
1. Bull Durham
Kevin Costner is known as one of the biggest blockbuster busts of all time. Possibly the worst actor. Though only one of his movies made my list, he had knack for making baseball movies.
Field of Dreams and For the Love of the Game are also solid baseball movies, but Bull Durham is a favorite amongst many baseball fans.
There is really nothing to say about this movie that you don't already know. If you haven't seen it, well, get out from under your rock.
I do however want to thank Tim Robbins and Susan Sarandon for making that bedroom scene. Not that I would ever want to see Tim Robbins in bed, but because it came in handy as a high school ball player.