The Best Baseball Movies   3 comments

“A good friend of mine used to say, ‘This is a very simple game. You throw the ball, you catch the ball, you hit the ball.  Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose, sometimes it rains.” Think about that for a while.”

– “Nuke” Laloosh as played by Tim Robbins, in Bull Durham, 1988

A glorious game.

A wonderful way to spend a Sunday afternoon.

It’s true that there are 162 games in a season, but it’s also true that every team gets a day off occasionally. And sometimes it rains. For those days when you need more baseball, here are my favorite baseball movies.

The Starting Nine

BB - For Love of the Game1. For Love Of The Game

  • Stars: Kevin Costner, Kelly Preston
  • Position: Pitcher
  • Team: Detroit Tigers
  • Year: 1999
  • IMDB Rating: 6.3
  • Plot: Kevin Costner said he was going to keep making movies about baseball until he got it right. He did. Any movie with Vin Scully doing play by play will be great.

BB - Bull Durham2. Bull Durham

  • Stars: Kevin Costner, Susan Sarandon, Tim Robbins
  • Position: Catcher
  • Team: Durham Bulls
  • Year: 1988
  • IMDB Rating: 7.0
  • Plot: Costner is a long-time minor leaguer sent back to A-ball in the minors to mentor a young hot prospect. Sarandon also thinks the prospect is hot … she married Tim Robbins after they were in this wonderful, fun movie. For Love of the Game is a serious look at baseball … this is the irreverent turn that shows the joy in the boys’ game.

BB - The Natural3. The Natural

  • Stars: Robert Redford, Robert Duvall, Glenn Close, Kim Basinger
  • Position: Right Field
  • Team: New York Knights
  • Year: 1984
  • IMDB Rating: 7.4
  • Plot: Redford is a prodigy from the country that is welcomed to the majors late in life. His talents are almost wasted because of the distraction of a woman. Great film, great acting, great script.

BB - Trouble with the curve4. Trouble With The Curve

  • Stars: Clint Eastwood, Amy Adams, Justin Timberlake
  • Position: Eastwood is a major league scout, looking at a high school player with the Grizzlies from Asheville, NC
  • Team: Atlanta Braves
  • Year: 2012
  • IMDB Rating: 6.7
  • Plot: Eastwood directs, and basically reprises his role from Gran Torino as a fading curmudgeon. Amy Adams is his baseball-loving daughter, helping him on one last scouting trip where she meets Timberlake, who is on his first scouting trip.

BB - A League Of Their Own5. A League Of Their Own

  • Stars: Tom Hanks, Geena Davis
  • Position: Pitcher
  • Team: Rockford Peaches
  • Year: 1992
  • IMDB Rating: 7.0
  • Plot: Tom Hanks is an alcoholic ex-major leaguer chosen to manage a girl’s pro team during WWII. The assembled team includes Geena Davis as the star pitcher and Rosie O’Donnell and Madonna for comic relief. The iconic line of the film: “There’s no crying in baseball!”

BB - Fever Pitch6. Fever Pitch

  • Stars: Drew Barrymore, Jimmy Fallon
  • Position: Fan
  • Team: Boston Red Sox
  • Year: 2005
  • IMDB Rating: 6.1
  • Plot: Fallon is a Red Sox season ticket holder, which means he believes in hope. Barrymore meets him, and a match is made … that has to survive Fallon’s obsession with the Sox.

BB - Moneyball7. Moneyball

  • Stars: Brad Pitt, Jonah Hill, Philip Seymour Hoffman
  • Position: Manager
  • Team: Oakland Athletics
  • Year: 2011
  • IMDB Rating: 7.6
  • Plot: This biopic is about Billy Beane, the A’s manager that challenged and re-made baseball with his beliefs about what statistics are important, and which ones are important enough to pay for. Another film with great acting.

BB - Major League8. Major League

  • Stars: Tom Berenger, Charlie Sheen, Corbin Bernsen
  • Position: Catcher
  • Team: Cleveland Indians
  • Year: 1989
  • IMDB Rating: 7.0
  • Plot: It’s described as a screwball comedy, for better or worse. It’s an ensemble comedy that holds up – it’s not an award-winner, but it’s a fun couple of hours. (Warning: do not bother with the sequels.)  This movie is an entertaining look at a lovable bunch of misfits assembled by a maniacal owner that wants them to lose. Berenger is the aging catcher that holds them together; Sheen is the fire-balling bad boy that needs to save the day.

BB - Summer Catch9. Summer Catch

  • Stars: Freddie Prinze, Jr, Jessica Biel
  • Position: Pitcher
  • Team: Chatham Athletics
  • Year: 2001
  • IMDB Rating: 4.7
  • Plot: Prinze is a local kid struggling to escape from his home town.  He’s playing in the Cape Cod Baseball League and hoping to get a break when big league scouts come to town to watch the stars on the roster. He falls in love with the boss’s daughter … it’s a romantic comedy. It’s a baseball movie. I’m two for two, and really like this film. I don’t care what some may say. Enjoy the popcorn!

BB - Field of DreamsRelief Pitcher: Field Of Dreams

  • Stars: Kevin Costner, Amy Madigan, Ray Liotta
  • Position: Fan
  • Team: Chicago Black Sox
  • Year: 1989
  • IMDB Rating: 7.5
  • Plot: This film is cited by many as their favorite baseball movie, but I just can’t go there. Costner plays an Iowa farmer that has visions and builds a baseball diamond in his cornfield … that is then visited by major league players that only he can see. Emotionally wrenching moments ensue. Where I come from, farmers don’t have visions, so I can’t support this film.

BB - SandlotExtra Innings: The Sandlot

  • Stars: Tom Guiry, Mike Vitar
  • Position: it’s a team game
  • Team: it’s a neighborhood team
  • Year: 1993
  • IMDB Rating: 7.6
  • Plot: We follow a bunch of kids playing a never-ending game through their summer vacation. It’s really a nice movie about kids, baseball, and the importance of having fun.

More

The Art of Manliness: 15 Best Baseball Movies

MovieGalore44’s List of Baseball Movies

Bleacher Report’s Top 6 Baseball Movies

3 responses to “The Best Baseball Movies

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  1. So many baseball movies to choose from. Pride of the Yankees was such a favorite from my youth that I’d be hard pressed to create a list that didn’t include that one near the top.

    • Yup, that’s on a lot of lists … but I don’t believe it holds up for today’s audience. Baseball is already viewed by too many as an out-of-date sport! The movies on this list are all less than 30 years old, and that may be too old for many consumers.

  2. We watched The Sandlot with our boys (5 and 8) for the first time last night. I’d forgotten how much I love that movie. We enjoyed it so much, it didn’t even bother me when the few cuss words I’d forgotten about popped up (oops).

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