From Roy Hobbs to Willie Mays Hays. The most entertaining, thought provoking, visually stimulating, and enrapturing baseball movies of all time.
Baseball loves everywhere love to get caught up in the stories and sights of baseball and these movies do just that. Whether fact of fiction each of these movies provides us with the chance to get lost in the game we all love, America's game. From endless summers of playing schoolyard ball to cold October nights to Roger Maris' home run chase these movies are the best Hollywood has to offer when it comes to the game we all love.
"No drinking. No cervezas in the casa. No chicas in the bedroom. "
A film about the culture shock a Dominican pitcher receives when he leaves his home in search of fame and fortune in the abyss that is Minor League Baseball. This flick has received high praise from Latin Born players. It fields an unknown cast but it really goes beyond its documentary like feel to pull audiences in and showcase what life is really like for Baseball's number one import.
"Skip the facts, just gimme the details. "
Perhaps the only baseball movie that will ever make you cry. The friendship formed when a star pitcher refuses to sign a contract unless the team guarantees to keep his friend, a bum catcher, on the roster. The reason for this is that the catcher, Robert De Niro as Bruce Pearson, has Hodgkin's Disease and may die at any moment. It turns out no matter how dark the prognosis, Pearson is able to get lost in the game, something that occurs in so many households, every night.
"They're here. Every April, they're here. At 1:05 or at 7:05, there is a game. And if it gets rained out, guess what? They make it up to you. Does anyone else in your life do that? The Red Sox don't get divorced. This is a real family. This is the family that's here for you. "
A man lost in Red Sox nation, Jimmy Fallon as Ben Wrightman, finds his life hanging and each and every inning of the Boston Red Sox's 2004 season. We all know how that ended up but as he changes from winter to spring, just like each and every baseball does, his relationship suffers and he must choose between the two. When push comes to shove just remember, even the Cubs will win the World Series one day, so don't ever get too down on your team (OKay Pirate Fans?)
"Watching you out there tonight... not many fathers get to do that. "
Disney's addition to the list. A film with the strong theme of the relationship between a father and his and their bonds - or lack of it - over baseball. Dennis Quaid is brilliant as Jimmy Morris, the high school biology teacher turned Major League reliever. The range of emotions that the film brings out is remarkable, from utter joy to devastation to tears. Each of us relieve our youths, and our relationships with our fathers as we watch lives that revolve around the game hang on each and every break.
"The cathedral that is Yankee Stadium belongs to a Chapel. "
One of the more underrated of the baseball movies. Kevin Costner plays Billy Chapel, a major league pitcher on his last leg who has given up a lot for his craft - including the love of his life. On this special day in Yankee Stadium Chapel vies to add his name to the most exclusive of clubs, but he's too busy reliving his past relationships with the people behind him, the people he is pitching too, and the people he's pitching for.
"Are you sayin' Jesus couldn't hit a curveball?"
The 1989 comedy, Major League, is perhaps the funniest movie ever created that centered around baseball. A million quotable lines stemmed from the Cleveland Indians' magical season in the film, and each and every character we grew to love made us long for more - they gave us more in two lesser films Major League II and Major League: Back to the Minors. The sequels weren't half as good as seeing RIck "Wild Thing" Vaughn make his way in from the bullpen to a certain song that got everybody's blood flowing.
"I don't know. Some lady gave it to him. She even signed her name on it... Ruth. Baby Ruth. "
Those endless days of summers. The dust of the sandlot, no worries, just playing ball with your friends. They never kept score, never worried about uniforms or equipment, they just went out there and played.
Each of us wanted to be apart of that gang on the field. Their whole lives revolved around that rotten old lot and it was perfect. The film says everything about America's pastime, the romanticism that comes with every summer, and the friendships we make through the game.
"That's just great. One guy's got me all washed up, the other's got me beatin' Ruth's record. You guys should get together an' make up your minds, tell me how I am so I know how to play. "
Another case of a filmmaker writing history the way he sees it, in this case Billy Crystal does a tremendous job of depicting Roger Maris as the good guy. Someone who fell upon a record that was almost too much for him to handle and who was thrown into a race with New York's Sweetheart Mickey Mantle The Yankee's season becomes the background as Crystal focuses on the health issues - both physical and physiological- of the M&M boys. Maris truly was chasing Ruth's ghost, a ghost that lived in the outfield of Yankee Stadium and you can't help but feel for the guy.
"If you build it they will come."
One of the only movies to truly capture the majesty of America's pastime. Add to that Shoeless Joe Jackson, a trip to Fenway park, and a magical Iowa cornfield and you got yourself a mainstay in the sports film industry for years to come.
"Well, I believe in the soul, the cock, the pussy, the small of a woman's back, the hanging curve ball, high fiber, good scotch, that the novels of Susan Sontag are self-indulgent, overrated crap. I believe Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone. I believe there ought to be a constitutional amendment outlawing Astroturf and the designated hitter. I believe in the sweet spot, soft-core pornography, opening your presents Christmas morning rather than Christmas Eve and I believe in long, slow, deep, soft, wet kisses that last three days. "
A romantic comedy about the everyday lives of minor league baseball players, the rise and hype of a top prospect, and the mediocrity of a lovable protagonist. Kevin Costner finds himself on this list three times, and this is perhaps his greatest performance as he plays Crash Davis, a beat up, career minor leaguer who takes Nuke Laloosh under his wing.
Baseball becomes a religion in this movie, something all of us have wanted for ages. It's not the big contracts that bring fans to see the Bulls, it's the white of the foul lines, the smell of park, the snap of a curve ball - the things that bring us back to the game over and over again.
"Sometimes, when you feel right, there's a groove there, and the bat just eases into it and meets that ball. When the bat meets that ball and you feel that ball just give, you know it's going to go a long way. Damn, if you don't feel like you're going to live forever. "
The film about the darkest period in American sports, the corruption and greed that drove one of the greatest teams to ever take the field to throw the World Series to a lowly (when compared to those Black Sox) Cincinnati Reds team.
The film does a tremendous job putting faces to the crime, making criminals out of icons, and demonstrating how greed and jadedness can corrupt even the most innocent of games.
"And then when I walked down the street people would've looked and they would've said there goes Roy Hobbs, the best there ever was in this game. "
An adaptation of a Bernard Malamud novel, The Natural went on to get four Oscar nominations. The film is about Wonderboy Roy Hobbs who is about to take the baseball world by storm with his right arm when he is shot by a crazed fan. Hobbs turns up years later as a hitter, and discovers that the fire is still in his belly.