The 10 Best Baseball Movies

scene from movie of baseball player talking to catcher

America has always had a romance with baseball and that affection for years has manifested itself in many ways, especially on the silver screen.

Hollywood has often told tales of baseball with vivid imagery, a comic flair and even in poignant, heartfelt ways.

Baseball is Americana at its finest. It’s no coincidence that the old Madison Avenue tag line went like this: “Baseball, hot dogs, apple pie and Chevrolet.”

If the heartbeat of America was a sport it would be baseball.

The legendary names alone can send a tingle down your spine.

Babe Ruth

Ty Cobb

Mickey Mantle

Joltin’ Joe

Cy Young

Shoeless Joe

Willie Mays

Hammerin’ Hank

The list goes on, and these names, these players have inspired filmmakers in ways that have captured our imagination, leaving indelible marks upon our memories. With the understanding that I haven’t seen all of the baseball movies ever made, here is my Top 10 List borrowing from those that I have seen.

1. BULL DURHAM

This one stars Kevin Costner as “Crash” Davis, and Tim Robbins as “Nuke” LaLoosh. In a way it’s a romantic tale but the comedic scenes it delivers are great while taking the viewer on a journey through the minor leagues.

2. FIELD OF DREAMS

Kevin Costner stars in another outstanding flick with a baseball diamond and a cornfield co-starring as his playground. A fantasy that should capture the hearts of any man who has played the game on any level and would welcome the opportunity to “have a catch” with his Dad one more time. James Earl Jones’ speech about baseball is American storytelling at its finest.

3. EIGHT MEN OUT

This is a drama that revisits the infamous Black Sox scandal involving (or not) the legendary Shoeless Joe Jackson and his Chicago White Sox teammates who accepted bribes to purposely tank the 1919 World Series. John Cusack stars.

http://youtu.be/NZYltpZT0KI

4. MAJOR LEAGUE

Comedy starring Charlie Sheen and Tom Berenger who both play for the Cleveland Indians, a team under new ownership that wants the team to be the league’s worst and drive attendance through the floor in order to justify relocating (sounds a little like the late Robert Irsay). Much to the owner’s dismay, the team catches on to the plot and channels their resentment into a winning team.

5. THE NATURAL

Starring Robert Redford as Roy Hobbs, a player whose career was derailed by tragedy who resurfaces years later as a long-in-the-tooth slugger in the Major League. This one may have been higher on the list for me had it not been for the exploding light tower scene that was way too over-the-top for my tastes.

http://youtu.be/54-6yimtjtA

6. MONEYBALL

Brad Pitt gets the lead role in this feature film playing the part of Oakland A’s general manager Billy Beane. Beane is infamous for his ability to field productive teams on a shoestring budget using a unique approach guided by unconventional quantitative analysis.

http://youtu.be/Y0ue3dwPYkU

7. BAD NEWS BEARS

A crotchety old boozer and former minor leaguer played by Walter Matthau coaches a collection of misfit kids who play in an extremely competitive little league. Tatum O’Neal also stars.

8. 61*

Two of MLB’s biggest sluggers just happen to be teammates and both seek to break what was believed to be an unbreakable record – Babe Ruth’s 60 home runs in a season. Barry Pepper stars as Roger Maris and Thomas Jane as Mickey Mantle in this made for cable production directed by Billy Crystal. This movie does a great job of exploring the friendship these men shared and the unfair pressures faced by Maris during his quest.

9. THE ROOKIE

Dennis Quaid stars a high school baseball manager in Texas who still can bring the heat during batting practice. Impressed by his skills Quaid’s players convince him to try out for the big leagues if their team makes it to the playoffs. They do and the rest is history, based on a true story.

10. FOR THE LOVE OF THE GAME

Kevin Costner completes his trilogy of baseball films, one that falls far short of his previous gems, Bull Durham and Field of Dreams. This one focuses on the trials and tribulations of a Detroit Tigers’ pitcher in the November of his career. Kelly Preston co-stars.

http://youtu.be/jzkRhD5zMjw

 

Do you agree with the list? Feel free to share your Top 10!

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About Tony Lombardi

Tony Lombardi
Tony is 24x7 Networks, LLC's founder (the parent of EutawStreetReport.com and RussellStreetReport.com) His work has been featured on various sports websites and he is a regular guest on 105.7 The Fan. A diehard Fab Four fan, Tony is a frustrated musician who thinks beating on the steering wheel is akin...more

19 Cheers on “The 10 Best Baseball Movies

  1. avatarMatt P on said:

    Tony, how could you be a baseball fan and never seen it? To me its easily in the top 5. Your killing me for not including it!! You have to rent it one day!!

  2. avatarEd from Bel Air on said:

    Tony I also cannot believe you have not seen Sandlot. For those of us who played baseball 3 times a day (morning, afternoon, evening) 7 days a week in the summer, on grass fields with no lines, and extra gloves for bases, right field closed, and pitcher’s mound poison, Sandlot is the best baseball movie of all time.

  3. avatarDonnarj1971 on said:

    It’s relatively new but you should see Trouble with the Curve, its great and how about League of their Own – it didn’t make your list?

    • Tony LombardiTony Lombardi on said:

      I have seen Trouble…Curve. I would rank it 10 if I hadn’t forgotten about it. League…not so much…although the line from Tom Hanks’ character, “There’s no crying in baseball” is a classic!

  4. Tony LombardiTony Lombardi on said:

    Ok, rented The Sandlot yesterday and while I did enjoy it, the junkyard dog angle was a bit overplayed and IMO it’s not in the Top 5 as some have suggested although I would now put it at No. 10.

    • avatarPedro Cerano on said:

      Im glad you said it and not me, the movies good if your 12 years old but its not worthy of the top 10. neither was League of their Own, or Angels in the Outfield.

  5. avatarJames Roselle on said:

    I would have put League and Sandlot kids above *61 and Eight men Out…. however I would reaarange that order some… but Bull Durham stays #1.

  6. avatarKelly on said:

    The Natural is definitely better than Major League. Yes the Sandlot is cheesy with the whole “dog” thing, but I love that movie. Would put it in my top 5.
    5: Sandlot
    4: *61
    3: The Natural
    2: Field of Dreams
    1: Bull Durham

  7. avatarC. Reynolds on said:

    Tony
    you have to check out The Perfect Game. It is from a true story of a Little League team. I won’t say more, but it’s a good underdog story.

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