This is the second time a movie based on our nation's pastime makes an appearance on our list. A good answer for this is simply that Hollywood has made a ton of baseball movies over the years. An even better answer for this is that this movie is really, really ridiculous.
In Rookie of the Year, Henry Rowengartner (misused to HILARIOUS effect throughout the movie as "Ravenboozer," "Ragamuffin," and "Rototiller") is your run of the mill 12-year-old who lives with his mom, does okay in school, and plays little league baseball. One day, little Henry doesn't notice a stray ball on the field (because as a baseball player, he probably just thought it was a baseball-shaped rock or something) and breaks his arm as he slips on it.
When Henry finally gets his cast removed, he uses his super strong arm (caused by "tight tendons") to punch a doctor in the face ("Funky buttlovin'!") and, at Wrigley Field, nearly throw a runner out from 400 feet away after a home run against the Cubs (???). His amazing throw from the bleachers brings him to the attention of Cubs ownership, who logically sign him to a contract hoping that his rocket arm can launch the struggling team into the playoffs.
Oh, and you know, they didn't mind the fact he was a 12-year-old who would probably die from getting hit off a line drive or something. Whatever, right?
Henry is used as the team's closer and comically earns a save despite not throwing a strike in his first outing (it's the Cubs, after all). Then he's placed under the sage, guiding wings of Phil Brickma, a wacky pitching coach (played by Daniel Stern. Hmm. Are you sensing a pattern too?) and Chet Steadman, a drunk, aging, washed-up pitcher (expertly played by Gary Busey. And I mean expertly).
Henry learns important baseball lessons from the two such as "controlling the fear and the have to," curing hangovers before a big game, getting stuck between two doors, as well as the benefits of having a mustache.
After a hilarious montage of Henry striking out top major leaguers (including a pre-infantile genitalia Barry Bonds), and engaging in awesome trash talk ("Pitcher's got a big butt!") he becomes the toast of the town, begins to incur in typical big leaguer activities such as shooting Pepsi commercials with Ray Charles and inspiring tons of jealousy from a-hole friends who at first bask in his reflected glory and then turn when they realize they'll never do anything as cool as Henry in their entire lives.
Now in the playoffs, Henry watches as Chet Steadman (who has quickly become a father figure despite his drunken ramblings and constant demands for Henry to comb his mustache) blows out his arm in a key game and Henry has to be brought in to replace him in the sixth inning.
After smooth sailing in the seventh and eight innings, Henry is again unaware of a random ball lying in his path and slips on it, taking his arm back to normal (instead of like, shattering it for a second time due to suffering the same injury only months ago) and killing his 100 mph heater.
Henry tells his teammates and manager about this but comes up with a great plan to get the next three guys out and clinch a spot in the World Series (despite the fact that you know, they're trusting a 12-year-old whose lost his only advantage in the most important game of the year, and that they're, you know—the Cubs).
After a hidden ball trick ("Hey! That's sneaky!") and literally daring a runner to steal second through the art of conversation (easily throwing him out when he does decide to), Henry's biggest nemesis, a John Kruk-type beast named Butch Heddo steps up to the plate.
Heddo quickly falls behind 0-2 after Henry throws a couple of 40 mph "fastballs" with Heddo expecting the heat, and then resorts to floating a ball at home plate in order to get the batter to swing wildly and miss (This is why hitting piñatas should be part of every big leaguer's training regimen, you just never know).
Henry quits the team afterward, citing that he "just wants to be a kid again" and "there's no way you're re-signing a 12-year-old who throws 40 mph next season." After their huge win, Henry is shown playing Little League again with his friends. He saves a home run and wins the game for his team. As he's being carried off the field, Henry raises his fist towards the camera and reveals a huge ring that says "Chicago Cubs World Series Champions."
See, Cubs fans? That's why you haven't gotten anywhere near a championship in 100 years. It's your lack of signing pre-pubescent boys and Gary Busey as pitchers.
Next Movie: Rocky
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