Favorite Baseball movies

Aside from most comedies it is safe to say my favorite movie genre is “sports.” While most are already comedies, a majority of sports movies are dramas. A combination of the two coupled with a sports theme make for one blockbuster of a movie. While Remember the Titans and Space Jam rank up top of my favorite sports movies there is always a place in my heart for films portraying the national pastime. I’m pretty sure I’ve seen upwards of 20 baseball movies in my lifetime, with this list I have narrowed it down to my top seven.

7.)
mr3000.jpgMr. 3000

While I am positive this was a bomb at the box office, I find it rather amusing. The fact that funny man Bernie Mac is playing baseball makes for one heck of an interesting movie. The storyline is unique. Mac, Stan Ross, is a longtime player for the Brewers. Seen as a Barry Bonds type player-he is a guy the fans love to hate. He is portrayed as a self centered jerk but his on field accomplishments are second to none. When he gets his 3000 hit he abruptly ditches his team and waits for his Hall of Fame induction to occur. Years later, when he is eligible for the ballot, the fact checkers find that he came up two hits short of the 3000 plateau. A realsitic fiction type of story, because it could happen I suppose. Anyway, he coems back out of shape but manages to join the Brewers and stink up the joint. He never does get his 3,000 hit but has a sense of self relazation when he helps inspire his new Brewer teammates, especially young superstar T-Rex Pennebaker, one of my favorite names in baseball movies.

6.)
fever_pitch.jpgFever Pitch

Call me a pansy but this love story makes for a fantastic movie. I love both Jimmy Fallona and Drew Barrymore so seeing them as a couple makes me happy. But the story is about a man’s love for the game of baseball. Jimmy Fallon is a die-hard Red Sox fan and lives the dream life for any baseball fan. He has season tickets rigth behind the dugout. He makes the games priorities over anything else. His memorobilla collection is second to none, including a replica of the Green Monster in his apartment. But he finds that baseball may have to take a backseat to a girl when he falls in love with Drew Barrymore. Watchin him explain the game of baseball to her is something I enjoy discussing with girls. Going to a baseball game is such a romantic date. Well so is a horse drawn carriage ride and a wine tasting but for any baseball fan a game hits the spot. It is a movie I have to watch with a girlfriend.

5.)
the_rookie.jpgThe Rookie

The story is one of the greatest basbeall stories ever told. Jim Morris, played by Dennis Quad, is a high school biology teacher who happens to coach the baseball team. Taking a page from most movies the rag-tag group of high school guys are not the most talented group, nor do they care about their play on the field. The team is more concerned that their 40 year old coach actually has some heta left in his throwing arm. Morris challenges the team to reach the playoffs and makes a deal that he will find a major league try out camp and attempt to make the big leagues. The team succeeds and Morris is signed by the Tampa Bay organization. He works his way up the minors and makes his major league debut in his hometown of Arlington, TX against the Texas Rangers. It is a heartwarming true tale. The father-son relationship is defined throughout the movie between Morris and his son as well as Morris and his father. It makes me appreciate my dad so much more and thank him for encouraging my love for the game of baseball.

 4.)
angels.jpgAngels in the Outfield

Angels in the Outfield making the list? “It can happen.” What do most college students do on a Friday night? Stay in and watch this classic Disney movie? Yep, last Friday my roommate Joe and myself watched this classic and were inspired that with a little prayer anything can happen. The characters in this movie are easy to fall in love with and you have to root for them. Roger and JP may be two of the cutest little kids on the big screen. Danny Glover as the manager makes me wish John Russell had the same fire and drive as George Knox. While I wish the Pirates were able to just flap their wings and play winning baseball it is an inspirational story nonetheless. As a matter of fact, the original Angels in the Outfield filmed in 1951 was about the Pittsburgh Pirates. I caught a glimpse of this once on AMC and really want to sit down and watch the whole thing. The story line is much different but applies to me. It is about a local journalist covering the team-my dream job.

3.) The Sandlot 

 

sandlot.jpgThere may be some baseball movies that feature a group of misfits, but these guys really frost the cake. From Squints, to Benny, from Ya-Ya to Smalls, these characters are so easy to fall in love with. The new kid on the block, Smalls, is just trying to fit in upon moving to a new town. Baseball is the name of the game in this midwestern 1960′s town. Smalls not only learns the game of baseball but also the game of life. He develops friendships and creates everlasting memories. From the encounters with the beast, to meeting James Earl Jones and Squints making out with the life guard, this movie gave the audience something to cherish. The simplicity of the game of baseball is defined through this movie. My favorite scene has got to be the 4th of July “night game” when the neighborhood is lit up with fireworks as the boys play baseball set to the tune of Ray Charles’ version of America the Beautiful. Plus everyone’s favorite line has got to be “You’re killing me smalls!”

2.)
hardball.jpgHardball

There surely ain’t no fun like a game of hardball when you are watching this movie. Think Sandlot in the inner city and throw in a bum to manage the team. Hardball is a story of finding yourself in a tough environment. Everyone has their own story and lives it the only way you know how. It is fun to see these boys actually enjoy the game of baseball. When you think about inner city life, baseball isn’t really the hottest sports on the street. This movie showed that baseball can reach anybody, anywhere. Competition really brings out the best in us. We see through the death of G-Baby that a community really does rally around its children. There does get to me some intense moments but the montages featuring “Big Poppa” and “Party up in Here” create for some spine tingling events. It is so high up on the list because this was such a cool movie when I was in 7th grade. My buddies and I would always watch it during our sleepovers.

1.) Rookie of the Year 
rookie_of_the_year.jpg

This is quite possibly the most quoted movie by myself and my friends. Classic line such as “Funky Butt Lovin,’” “I haven’t seen the floater pitch since Scruffy McGee,” and ‘it’s all about the bells and whistles.” These lines combines with a fantasy of a child making an MLB team equate to one unforgettable movie. Henry Ragenbuser, Gardenhoser, Rowentgartner has  a freak accident causing his arm tendons to heal in an odd position. With this he finds that he can throw the ball upwards of 100mph. He is a sideshow freak that is discovered at a Cubs game when he does the traditional “Throw it back routine” He is eventually signed by the Cubs and ultimately leads them to the World Series. It is fun to see Henry go through the clubhouse, playing alongside his heroes. He brings the lighter side of baseball and and an entire nation falls in love with him. With Daniel Stern as hitting coach Phil Brickma and Gary Busey as Chet “The Rocket” Steadman the laughs never stop. With this movie we learn that ‘Conversation and Managing Resources is the key to baseball.’

Honorable Menion:

 

 

naked_gun.jpgWhile not technically a baseball movie, the Naked Gun has perhaps the most funniest baseball scene in all of cinema. Leslie Nielson poses as an umpire to stop an assasination attmept against the Queen of England who happens to be at that afternoon’s Dodger game. His on the field antics are quite histericall as are the bloopers that are shown on Dodger Stadium’s jumbotron. In the end we find that Reggie Jackson of all people is programmed to kill the queen.

 

 

Now, now, now I realize I am missing many classics such as Major League, The Natural, For the Love of the Game, Bull Durham and Field Of Dreams. I’m not saying I do not appreciate these movies, it is just that the top 7 are my personal favorites. Feel free to join my debate and post your own favorite baseball movies! 

 

14 Comments

Hardball was surprisingly sad…but Sandlot is my number one. Its a classic. Nice list though.
http://braves.gearupforsports.com/blog/

MAJOR LEAGUE v. FIELD OF DREAMS: Best baseball movies EVER (according to me ;-)
–Jeff
http://redstatebluestate.mlblogs.com/
http://mtrredstatebluestate.com

Got to go with the Rookie or Field of Dreams… but all these were good movies…
~peter
Outside the Phillies Looking In
http://devilabrit.mlblogs.com

Nice list. I haven’t seen all of these, I might have to now. My favorite of those is Fever Pitch, Fallon did a good job. It’s to bad he can’t do a good job on to Late Night Show. What are you going to do?

Thanks for your comment over at my blog. I liked your take on instant replay. If you want, you can send me a NY Note. NY Notes are a segment on my blog where people send in thoughts, arguments, questions or ideas and I give my response to them with all kinds of stats and information. I’m interested in this whole replay debate, and if you would like to send your argument my way, that would be great.

Love your blog, keep it up!
– NYColeman
http://nycoleman.mlblogs.com

For me, it’s a toss up between Major League or Bull Durham.

http://stonebutch99.mlblogs.com

My fave of all time is no surprise: “Pride of the Yankees” about Lou Gehrig. If you haven’t seen it, it’s really wonderful, even if you’re not a Yankee fan.

- http://janeheller.mlblogs.com

Hey man, thanks for stopping by my blog and leaving a comment! That’s so cool you’ve been to Coors and you liked it. I am definitely proud of the atmosphere Denver fans give off there. I wanna go to a different park. I’ve only been to Coors but I think it’d be awesome to go watch my team at a different stadium. Also, I like a lot of the movies on your blog. The Sandlot is one of my all time favorites and I like Rookie of the year too.

Can’t really debate which ones are your favorite movies.
That’s a pretty great list; I’ve seen most of them. I love Mr. 3000. The scene where he’s whistling the ice cream truck song is hilarious.

I like “Rookie of the Year” too, but they’re all good.
http://bronx-awesome.mlblogs.com/

Awesome list. My #1 has to be Angels in the Outfield I LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE that movie!!!!!!!!! Haha, I own Fever Pitch, I think it’s hilarious too :] Nice off-season entry! Hey did you see Jack Wilson signed 2 more years with the M’s? Woohoo! You’re in my entry actually! xoxo http://diamondgirl55.mlblogs.com

Great list! The only one I haven’t seen is Mr. 3000. I’ll have to check it out!

Julia
http://werbiefitz.mlblogs.com/

Matt,
Where the “Bull Durham” love (lol).
Seriously, the Sandlot was one of the greatest movies of a long time.
“Mr. 3000″ is the perfect example of Bernie Mac’s brilliance.
“The Rookie”, how could a Rays fan not love it.
I got to meet Jim Morris before a Rays game, and he signed a movie theatre sized poster for me.
I have to admit, I forgot all about “Hardball.”
Great list, and hopefully in the coming years you can maybe include “For the Love of the Game” and ” Eight Men Out” to your collection.
Great post. Made me remember some of those films that I had forgotten about like “Rookie of the Year.”

Rays Renegade

http://raysrenegade.mlblogs.com

Interesting list, Matt. My favorites are The Natural and Field of Dreams. But watching Fever Pitch really makes me want to have season tickets and go to 81 games in a season. I love how he has a little family of section mates at the ballpark. I also thought Mr. 3000 was pretty cool. I liked that he didn’t get to 3000. But, I don’t think that could ever happen. There are WAY too many people combing over stats to ever miss actual game hits Particularly for someone in who gets to 3000. For instance, in 1996 Griffey hit 49 home runs, but actually hit 50. He hit one in a game that was ultimately rained out in Cleveland and never counted as an official game. I would imagine that half of my true baseball fan friends in Seattle knows about that happening. No way in the world the official stat keepers wouldn’t have figured it out. anyway, it made for a nice movie.
-Todd
http://cookandsonbats.mlblogs.com

Bull Durham didn’t make the cut? For the Love of the Game is also a pretty decent Costner effort … not as good as Durham or Field of Dreams though.

Matt, I like your blog and I’m going to feature it on my blogrolls because I’m a quiet Pittsburgh fan myself. I think Huntington could do wonders with the club if he adopts the Billy Beane Moneyball philosophy. The Bucs will be better than Houston this year, in my view … but that’s about it.

I also am glad you commented on my blog. I have less optimism and more years than you do. I think I’d rather be you. Good luck with your journalistic intentions. You remind me of myself not so long ago and not so different now, actually.

Cheers … Will.

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