The 12 Best Baseball Movies
Updated with a new PiB Bits at the end of the post! The Executive Producers are talkin baseball!
The National Pastime is back. Baseball has always been my first true love. It’s ok, my wife already knows and has accepted this. My Bar Mitzvah theme was baseball. In the 8th grade, my science project was on The Science of Hitting. My high school graduation quote in the yearbook was from Field of Dreams. I used to sleep with my glove. OK, you get the picture. Baseball been berry berry good to me. So in honor of Opening Week, I wanted to pay tribute to the game that has given me so much, the only way I know how: by listing my 12 favorite baseball movies. Yeah that’s right, 12.
I couldn’t narrow it down to 10. And away, we, go. (credit to Billy Eichner on that one.)
10. Rookie of the Year
Forget about the premise that a normal kid breaks his arm and all of a sudden can break 100mph on the radar gun, and Gary Busey as a legendary pitcher, this movie had its moments. And most of them were by Daniel Stern, who just so happened to direct it. Coincidence? Don’t forget the 3 R’s.
9. Eight Men Out
The story of the 1919 White Sox, with Jon Cusack and Charlie Sheen in the cast. Say it ain’t so, Joe.
8. A League Of Their Own
Hard to believe this one isn’t higher on the list. Just a fantastic film about the professional women’s league during the war. And one of my favorite lines that I constantly use in many circumstances: It’s the hard that makes it great. If it was easy, everyone would do it. And of course, this one.
7. The Rookie
Every kid who plays baseball growing up dreams about making it to the big leagues. But nobody expects to make it as an adult, almost 20 years after you had your “shot”. Disney does it again with this true story about Jim Morris, a pitcher from Texas, played brilliantly by Dennis Quaid. If you don’t have dreams, you’ve got nothing.
So many scenes in this movie get me a little choked up, but this one tops the list. Dream big, kids.
6. Major League
Another Charlie Sheen film, and another Quaid, this time Randy, and this one is legendary. So many great lines. So many great scenes. There’s too many to choose from. But a pretty dramatic ending to a baseball movie. C’mob, join in wherever you are.
5. Bad News Bears (the original)
I’ll admit, the 2nd of the two originals was also pretty good, with the Astrodome and “Let them play! Let them play!”. But it’s not worthy of making the top 10. The original is just a classic. Period.
I tried very hard to place this one higher on the list, but just couldn’t get it past the 3 above it. The story of a neighborhood group of friends who spend all their time playing ball. I related a lot to this film. Except I never kissed the lifeguard. But it’s definitely one of my all time favorite movies. Heroes come and go, but legends never die. You’re killing me Smalls!
3. Bull Durham
If you like baseball and this movie isn’t in your top 3, then you don’t like baseball. Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose, and sometimes, it rains. Think about that.
2. The Natural
Tough call not putting this one #1. It’s about as perfect a film as there is. And quite possibly, the best ending to a sports movie, ever. (A debate for another post.) There goes Roy Hobbs, the best there ever was.
And of course, what clip pops up on youtube immediately after The Natural? The real life Roy Hobbs moment. Life imitating art at it’s best.
1. Field of Dreams
I know I may get some slack for putting this at the top of the list, but it’s always been my favorite. Superb in every way. And talk about endings. Any guy who says he doesn’t cry when Ray says to his Dad, “Hey Dad? You wanna have a catch?”, is either lying or has no soul. Baseball. It reminds us of all that once was good. And it could be again.
12. Little Big League
Isn’t it every kid’s dream to manage the team he loves? OK, I agree the movie itself wasn’t that great, but if you played baseball as a kid, this one was incredibly entertaining, even if the kid playing the lead role was annoying. The baseball scenes were pretty legit and it had plenty of cameos from then current big leaguers. Besides the illegal hidden ball trick that they pulled off and Jonathan Silverman being a major league pitcher, Little Big League reminded us that baseball is a game and it’s supposed to be fun.
11. Brewster’s Millions
Richard Pryor. John Candy. And a race against time to spend inheritance money. All the ingredients of a classic baseball movie. Plus, the play by play announcer in this clip is none other than Poppi, from
you guessed it, Seinfeld. It always comes back to that doesn't it?
@theAlexBente and @BrianMatoren are talkin' baseball movies these days, over a couple of brews. It's sort of what they do. Check them out below in the latest PiB BITS.