With the Boston Red Sox attempting to win World Series title No. 9 in 2018, I thought I would give my nine best baseball movies of all time. (You can vote for your favorite below.)
9. 'Rookie Of The Year' (1993)
OK, so it's goofy. A 12-year-old kid with a lightning bolt for an arm saves the season for the Chicago Cubs. It's not cheesy goofy, though. The late, great John Candy as the Cubs radio play-by-play man and cameos from actual Major Leaguers helped. Side note: In the summer of '93 when I was 10, me and my two brothers snuck in popcorn, chips and soda when we went to see the film in Concord!
8. 'Eight Men Out' (1988)
The 1919 World Series nearly destroyed baseball with the allegations of the Chicago White Sox being paid to throw the fall classic to the Cincinnati Reds. Based on the Eliot Asinoff novel of the same name, which I read in 1998 (It's a tedious read). The movie is not just a baseball movie, per se. You get the story behind the trial, what took place, and the banishment of one of the all-time greats in "Shoeless" Joe Jackson.
7. 'The Bad News Bears' (1976)
Before they jumped the shark by going to the Astrodome to "break training" or flew to Japan, the rag-tag kids with the Chico's Bail Bonds uniforms made the sports comedy genre enjoyable. It's a kids game, after all.
6. 'The Sandlot' (1993)
It's the summer of 1962, and all new kid in town Scotty Smalls wants to do is make friends. Well, he does with some interesting characters like Squints, Ham and Benny The Jet, all of whom love to play baseball. Trouble (and hilarity) ensues, such as Scotty taking his father's autographed Babe Ruth baseball and playing with it, as the kid's were out of other baseballs.
5. 'Bull Durham' (1988)
The first of the baseball trilogy for Kevin Costner. And we all were introduced to "The Church Of Baseball" from Annie Savoy, a Southern belle who takes in an eccentric, yet immature pitching prospect named Ebby Calvin “Nuke” LaLoosh and shows him the way of life off the field. His new catcher, seasoned vet Crash Davis, educates him on the field. As the season progresses, Annie wants Crash, Nuke wants to make it to the show, Crash just wants to play for one more season.
4. 'A League Of Their Own' (1992)
Before this movie came out, not much was known about the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League, this movie made sure the world knew about the Rockford Peaches and Racine Belles and that there's no crying in baseball!
3. 'The Pride Of The Yankees' (1942)
The life and times of The Iron Horse, Lou Gehrig, a Bronx-boy born from German immigrant parents, who became the greatest first baseman of all time, playing in a then-record 2,130 straight major league games, before retiring due to ALS, a disease that ended up being named after him.
2. 'Major League' (1989)
The greatest baseball comedy of all-time! From the quotes, to the names of the characters, to radio announcer Harry Doyle, (played by Mr. Baseball himself, Bob Uecker), the sad sack Cleveland Indians attempt to break out of a 34-year slump with a new owner (who wants them to lose), a new manager and a mix of old and new players. It was my favorite baseball movie of all time for many years, until ...
1. 'Field Of Dreams' (1989)
When my father passed away in 2010 when I was just 27, this became my go-to baseball film. It's Kevin Costner's second of three baseball moves. (1999's “For Love Of The Game” didn't make this list). My dad was plagued with health problems from the moment I opened my eyes, so we really didn't get to have the father-son game of catch that ended this fine film. The fantasy aspect, along with Ray being a decent human being with no agenda other than to be a doting husband and father makes this an easy No. 1. The town of Dyersville, Iowa, would never be the same after this classic!