The one constant through all the years, Ray, has been baseball. America has rolled by like an army of steamrollers. It's been erased like a blackboard, rebuilt, and erased again. But baseball has marked the time. This field, this game, is a part of our past, Ray. It reminds us of all that once was good, and it could be again. -Terrance Mann (Field of Dreams)
When it comes to sports, baseball is my favorite, no question. When I was 9, I moved with my mom from Washington state to Georgia, not knowing anybody. That same year I began playing baseball for the first time and thus began a love that will never die. Since then baseball has always been a large part of my life. I played throughout high school and even in college. Injuries held me back towards the end so I didn't get to go any farther, but even after, the love for the game has stayed with me. So though I no longer play, the best part about being a movie junkie is getting to live vicariously through great characters even if it's for a moment. So today I'm here to tell you about my favorite movies about the greatest game ever played. Careful, you might just get the feels.
5. The Rookie
I remember this movie fondly as it came out not long after I had begun playing baseball. The Rookie tells a Disney version of the true story of Jim Morris, the oldest player to ever join the Major Leagues as a rookie. In this film, Jim Morris grows up living for baseball, eventually gets drafted, then unfortunately due to injury his career was ended. As an older man he is a teacher and baseball coach, and while coaching, his players notice that he throws batting practice a little harder than most coaches. And by hard I mean fast, and by fast I mean 98 miles per hour. Having noticed this, the players eventually convince Morris to attend an open tryout just to see what happens. From then on we follow the journey of an old man trying to show what he's made of and prove all the doubters wrong and fulfill his dream. This film relates specifically to me because I know what it's like for people to tell me I'm not good enough. I know the doubt that becomes a recurring mindset, as well as the feelings of why I'm even doing this? Who am I kidding? I'll never make it. Though I didn't make it with an MLB team, I did get the chance to play in college, which is more than most can say, and I am eternally grateful for that, and won't soon forget it.
4. The Sandlot
The Sandlot is another film that holds a special place in my heart. It's a coming of age story about a group of boys with a passionate love of baseball. The newest of the group is a boy whose father had left him and his mom, and has now moved to a new town with his new stepdad and his mother. He doesn't exactly fit in initially but he eventually befriends these boys and is welcomed, and eventually develops a lifelong bond with them that lasts forever. This is basically how my first year in Georgia panned out. I was just a kid trying to fit in.
3. Fever Pitch
Fever Pitch is a movie I love because it is basically an exaggerated version of my fandom for baseball. The only part I hate about this film is that Jimmy Fallon's character is a Red Sox fan. I am a Yankees fan. So you can probably see the conflict I have with this film. Nevertheless, it is a very funny movie about a man trying to balance the two greatest loves in his life, his new girlfriend, and the Red Sox.
Moneyball is a probably the best film in this group as it was nominated for multiple Oscars, and even saw Jonah Hill (who was previously only known for his comedic roles) earn a nomination. This film, in simple terms, is the story of a man who goes against the grain in order to turn something into nothing. Brad Pitt's character Billy Beane is the general manager of the Oakland Athletics baseball franchise. He has just lost his top tier players who led the team the previous year, and is trying to build a winning team with an organization that has no money.
1. Field of Dreams
Now this film is the one that gets me every time. EVERY TIME. This is a movie about fathers and sons and their legacies. I personally grew up with a single mom, not ever knowing my father. So this story was especially gripping for me as Kevin Costner's character was on a journey to know his own father better. It's a heartfelt movie that has a gut-punching payoff that will leave any man with tear-filled eyes.
So there's our list. Are there any films you would have added to this list? Do you have any great baseball related stories you'd like to share? Let me know and comment below!