One of the surest signs of spring is the return of baseball! I am actually obsessed enough to watch spring training games, so for me baseball has already started. It is fun to see all the minor league talent that is invited to training each year as well as the veterans that we know and love. So in celebration of spring I thought I'd share my top five favorite baseball movies with you!
As a note: this is no way meant to be an exhaustive list and is based purely on the enjoyment I receive from these movies and not on authenticity or what critics consider the best representation of baseball. I'm just a girl who likes baseball and movies!
5. The Rookie
The Rookie is just a fun, sweet, family oriented movie about a high school coach, Jimmy Morris, who makes it into the majors after promising to try out if his high school baseball team made the playoffs. There is something about Dennis Quaid's understated performance that just sells this whole movie.
I always have to have a controversial pick on my lists! You may not realize that Frequency is a baseball movie, but I assure you it is (as well as a thriller, mystery, and family drama, also oddly, my second Dennis Quad movie on the list). "The Amazing Mets" are integral to this film, and it is awesome! In fact, everything about this movie is awesome! One of the things I like best about this movie is it shows how baseball, and a favorite team, become an integral part of a family. How that team's history becomes part of the fabric of the family's history and influences how the family communicates. It is also one of those totally quotable films. The song in the final scene & credits kills me every time. Watch it. Love it.
Of course this is on the list. It is gorgeous and moving. It's about fatherhood, and America, and America's pastime. Who doesn't tear up when they flip the lights on for the first time? Or get a shiver up your spine when you hear "if you build it, he will come?" Ray Liotta as Shoeless Joe Jackson is perfection. When Ray Kinsella gets to play catch with his Dad? Well, by then I am usually a puddle of goo and sobbing quietly into my popcorn. I also have to give a shout out to the book this movie is based on Shoeless Joe by W.P. Kinsella. Seriously one of the most beautiful things I have ever read.
2. Major League
And now for a comedy! Major League is truly hilarious. It is also rated R for pretty good reasons. There is a reason this is on most people's favorite baseball movies lists, it is a screwball satire full of great characters and amazingly quotable lines. I am sure I don't go a day without quoting Major League ("What do you want me to do dive for it?!" "Juuuuuust a bit outside.") Also, Corbin Bernson, whom I love, is in it. (Also, pre-insane #winning Charlie Sheen and the always fabulous Tom Berenger). Good times, people, good times!
1. The Sandlot
Best baseball movie ever! There a million reasons why I love this movie. First of all, it is about a pure, unadulterated love of the game. These kids don't play for big salaries or fame, they play because they love baseball. It's set in Los Angeles, and it's such a gorgeous representation of suburban L.A. in the 60s. Also, it starsJames Earl Jones and Dennis Leary, 'nough said. But the kids - and baseball - are the true stars of this film! "You're killin' me Smalls!" will immediately be your favorite saying after watching this movie, I guarantee it. The Sandlot also makes it into my top 5 buddy movies, kid movies, and L.A. movies . . . so I think it's a pretty good all around pick for my top baseball movie.
I must also give a quick honorable mention to A League of Their Own, mostly because I tell Maddie "there's no crying in baseball" at least once a week ;)
So, what about you? Any favorite baseball movies. Shocked that I left out classics like Bull Durham (yawn) and The Natural? Or maybe you haven't ever watched a baseball movie. If so, I suggest you start with my list ;)