11 classic baseball movies you must see again
Apr 7, 2016, 7:09 AM | Updated: May 19, 2016, 9:16 am
It’s spring, and that also means it’s baseball season. For those who love America’s pastime, few things are as inspiring as a great baseball movie.
Throughout the years, there have been many baseball classics including, comedies, dramas and biographies. Here is a list of some of the best baseball movies ever, in no particular order. If there are some you’ve missed, you can see them now using CenturyLink’s Prism TV.
A panel of 22 staff members from The Sporting News picked “Bull Durham” as the best baseball movie of all time. The publication notes it is, “a movie that’s both the story of baseball players at opposite ends of their career and a love story — one that’s inescapably intertwined with the game. It’s funny, it’s moving and it’s a great baseball story with lessons about the game and life.”
Although not the highest grossing ($64 million) or most-viewed baseball movie, “Field of Dreams” might be the most iconic. It has a 7.6 rating on IMDB.com. The movie about a farmer who sacrificed a corn field to make a baseball diamond garnered a best picture Academy Award nomination. The field created for the film was maintained as a tourist destination and attracted 65,000 visitors a year two decades later, according to a Los Angeles Times article. The movie’s lead, Kevin Costner, also starred in “Bull Durham,” another baseball classic released at about the same time.
The story of a professional women’s baseball league, this is the highest-grossing baseball movie of all time. According to Box Office Mojo, the film grossed nearly $108 million at the box office. It features a star-filled cast with Tom Hanks, Geena Davis, Madonna, Rosie O’Donnell and more. Mentalfloss.com reports the actresses practiced baseball eight hours a day for six days a week for more than seven months to hone their baseball skills.
“Moneyball” is loosely based on the true story of Oakland A’s general manager Billy Beane, who used sophisticated data analysis to assemble a successful baseball team with a limited budget. It’s a model now used by a bevy of organizations across many professional sports. Brad Pitt and Jonah Hill star. The film was nominated for a best picture Oscar.
This movie is based on the real-life story of Jim Morris, a 35-year-old high school baseball coach who makes it to the big leagues after he coaches his team to the Texas state baseball playoffs. Morris ended up spending two years as a professional baseball pitcher before retiring and returning to high school teaching. The film was also a commercial success, grossing almost $76 million.
This is a great movie for kids. It’s a story about a shy boy who moves into a neighborhood where the other boys all play baseball. At first, the newcomer is rejected because he doesn’t know the game. Then he learns how to play at the nearby sandlot and has several adventures with his new friends. Rotten Tomatoes writes, “it may be shamelessly derivative and overly nostalgic, but ‘The Sandlot’ is nevertheless a genuinely sweet and funny coming-of-age adventure.”
“Major League” is to baseball what “Caddyshack” is to golf. In this comedy, the new owner of the Cleveland Indians intentionally builds a horrible team so they’ll lose. Her goal is to move the team to another city. When the players find out, they start winning just to spite her. Charlie Sheen plays an iconic role as a hard-throwing, visually challenged pitcher nicknamed “Wild Thing.”
This was the first movie every produced by TriStar Pictures. The storyline comes from a 1950 baseball novel and recounts the tale of a promising young ballplayer whose career is interrupted by tragedy before finding the success that eluded him earlier. The plot has some holes, but the film garnered four Academy Award nominations. The cast features Robert Redford, Robert Duvall, Wilford Brimley, Glenn Close and Kim Basinger.
This story follows Jackie Robinson from his signing with the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1945 through his rookie season in 1947 when he broke the color barrier in Major League Baseball. The film was generally panned by critics. The Chicago Sun-Times described it as “competent, occasionally rousing and historically respectful — but it rarely rises above standard, old-fashioned biography fare. It’s a mostly unexceptional film about an exceptional man.”
Still, the film became the second-highest growing baseball movie ever at $95 million so someone must have liked it.
Angels in the Outfield (1994)
This is actually a remake of a 1951 movie with the same name. It is suitable for children and sparked two sequels, even though critics didn’t find much to like. The storyline has a hapless team that gets angelic help when a young boy prays for their success.
This fun film stars Tom Selleck as an aging All-Star who is traded by the New York Yankees to the Nagoya Chunichi Dragons of a Japanese professional baseball league. Selleck contends with overwhelming expectations and cultural differences, but he eventually helps the Dragons compete for the pennant.
There’s the list. You can view these or thousands of other titles (Including many other baseball flicks) on demand through the magic of CenturyLink’s Prism TV.