Ahh, Kevin Costner– the godfather of baseball movies. We could probably put together a top five list with just movies he has starred in, but sadly a couple movies sneak in to break his monopoly on the subject.
What makes a great baseball movie? Is it historical accuracy, big stars, comedy? Ideally the movie would have a combination of all three.
While all these movies might not capture all three, they do the best job in capturing the magic that is our American pastime.
Eight Men Out: Every baseball fan knows the story of “Shoeless” Joe Jackson and the Black Sox team that threw the World Series. This movie is a great depiction of that dark time in Major League Baseball.
While this is a great movie, it’s not one of the top five of all-time; maybe it is just because this happened way back then, but Eight Men Out does not make the cut
Bad News Bears: Again, this movie doesn't make the cut due to the generational gap, but while not in the top five it is still a quality movie.
To clarify, we are talking about the original Bad News Bears–not the Bad News Bears Breaking Training, or the Bad News Bears go to Japan, or the new Bad News Bears starting Billy Bob Thornton. Though any movie that spawn that many knock-offs must be a good one, it’s just not good enough.
A League of Their Own: A look back at the All American League, a time where women ruled the world of baseball just misses the cut.
A great movie in its own right, it brought us the Quote "There's no crying in baseball!," but sadly that line is also its downfall, as the line has out-shown the movie and many people can quote the line without knowing the movie.
The first of three Kevin Costner movies, Costner plays Billy Chapel- a pitcher at the tail end of his career in the middle of pitching a perfect game. Before the game, Billy was told he was being traded to the Giants and his girl friend was leaving to take a job in London. During the course of the game, Billy's mind is on everything but the game, in fact he does not realize he is pitching a perfect game until the 8tinning. Throughout the game, he talks through each batter and clears the mechanism to tune out the crowd. Anyone who has pitched before will appreciate the way Billy goes about pitching.
It's like trying to hide Adam Dunn some where on the field. The heartwarming story of a group of misfits, plus Dorn, coming together to win the pennant and stop the evil owner from moving the team to Miami; this involves the owner trying to assemble a team so bad they draw less then 800,00 fans, so that they can opt-out of their deal with Cleveland.
Long story short, they rally together and win the A.L in the end with the help of an ex-con, a Mexican League catcher, more or less Jamie Moyer and Wesley Snipes.
I will start this out by saying I am not a Yankees fan–in fact I was raised an Orioles fan which started in their two year heyday in ‘96 and ‘97. I would go as far as to say the Yankees are the team I hate the most in all sports, but that doesn't make this any less of a movie.
With a cast that included some of the Yankees he played with, portrayed the short and tragic life of the Iron Horse, Lou Gehrig. From a young man studying engineering at Columbia, to a rising star with the Yankees, to his dramatic speech.
This movie gives great insight into one of the greatest players to grace Major League Baseball
"You're killing me smalls." Oh, to be young and carefree, again…
The Sandlot is a story about a group of kids wasting their summer away playing pick-up baseball. In between baseball games, they tackle growing up in the town of Wendy the lifeguard, and attempting to achieve the "Baby" Ruth signed baseball from “the beast”.
A cast of unknowns except, James Earl Jones, takes us back to a time where life was simpler, and your only worry was being able to find a baseball to play with. Also, Benny "The Jet" Rodriguez is one of the best nick names out there.
Who knew Darth Vader loved baseball so much?
A story about a man who never got to play catch with his father is played out beautifully in this production. The side story about Moon Light Graham and his lone Major League appearance without an at-bat is a great addition to the plot.
A timeless classic has donated two quotes to our everyday language: "If you build it they will come…" and "Is this Heaven? No, it’s Iowa." Along with the popularity of the quotes the movie has maintained its integrity.
The top of Kevin Costner's baseball movie career, Costner plays minor league veteran Crash Davis, sent down to Single A to teach young hot shot pitcher Nuke LaLoosh how to actually pitch.
There is a romantic side to the story involving an older woman who takes in a young player every year and "teaches" them, but this year she falls for Crash.
Besides that, it's a great movie about a old player with a love for the game trying to hang on, and a young hotshot learning how to be a ball player.