Neuman’s Movie Monday-Top 10 Baseball Movies*
With the 2017 World Series starting this week, it's a good time to do the top 10 baseball movies*.
It can't be baseball without an asterisks these days. In this case, it's the Top 10 Baseball Movies that I've seen. I will justify below the omissions.
10. Mr. 3000
I had a harder time picking the last movie on this list than I did picking number one. Really, the only reason this one is on the list is for one scene. The guys are in the dugout and talking about what baseball sounds like. It's not the crack of the bat but what song the ice cream truck would make. Each guy had a different ice cream truck song that would play as the truck drove past their childhood ball field. It's a good scene and a reminder that this is a kids game in the middle of a movie about a bunch of ego maniacs.
9. Rookie of the Year
This is a movie that's so bad, it's good. Thomas Ian Nicholas is kind of annoying but you might chuckle a few times at Daniel Stern. It is every kid's dream to play in the majors and the writers actually figured out how a kid could play but breaking his arm. There are a lot more preposterous kids baseball movies and this one right up there.
8. Little Big League
Speaking of preposterous kid baseball movies, "Little Big League" is where a kid is bequeathed the Minnesota Twins and then assigns himself as the manager of the club. This only rates higher with me because I'm a Twins fan and the fact that there was a movie made about my team, made this movie a lot better than it actually is. There are some entertaining scenes and a good family film.
7. The Sandlot
This is the quintessential kids baseball movie. There would be a lot of people that could put this on the top of their list. The move that Squints puts on Wendy Peffercorn is as legendary as this movie is. It could be the middle of winter and people could still watch "The Sandlot."
6. Field of Dreams
Another classic baseball movie. This one has a little more. It's about family, too. Ray (Kevin Costner), had a bad goodbye with his father years ago and gets an odd way to reconnect with him. Ray blindly follows his instincts and we see why in a great ending to this film.
Brad Pitt is Oakland A's GM, Billy Beane, who used math to find a winning team and a winning team for cheap. This is a good baseball movie with very little baseball in it. But to get a look inside what it takes to be a club's General Manager, is a very cool and different perspective. There's pressure from the owner to win with no money, scouts who see him doing things different which is very "un-baseball", and the fans reaction to this team. It is based a true story and it was proof that math could change the game.
4. The Bad News Bears
The original Bad News Bears is so funny. Walter Matthau is the ultimate curmudgeon and it comes through perfectly in "The Bad News Bears". The struggling bears are the best rag-tag group of kids there is and this is a must watch.
3. Major League
When a prissy owner takes over the Cleveland Indians and wants them to do poorly so she can move the team to Miami, you get this classic baseball movie. This is a great movie and if "The Bad News Bears" was the best rag-tag group of kids, these Indians are the best rag-tag group of pros. As good as the guys on the field are, the guy who really steals the show is Bob Uecker as Harry Doyle. Uecker as the announcer and the way he makes them sound like greatest team that is just catching bad breaks makes this a laugh out loud comedy.
2. A League of Their Own
With the boys off fighting in the war, it's up to the girls to be ball players. Dottie Hinson (Geena Davis) is the best player in the league. We see her struggle with her love of the game and her desire to be a stay at home wife and hopefully mother. You can see how the girls have fun but also have the anxiety of not knowing how their husbands are doing overseas. Tom Hanks is so great in this movie as the coach who couldn't care less. This is a great movie from start to finish. Also hats off to John Lovitz as the scout, Ernie Capadino.
1. Bull Durham
This is just a great baseball movie. The struggles of a Triple A team both on and off the field are apparent as the Durham Bulls try to put together a winning team. Kevin Costner plays the catcher who is trying to get the young headcase pitcher (Tim Robbins) to the big leagues. He is the perfect "baseball guy" but hates that he can't get himself back to the bigs. Any baseball fan would like this movie, and since I played catcher growing up, it hits home for me as well.
Omissions only because I haven't seen them:
"Pride of the Yankees"
"Eight Men Out"
Baseball Honorable Mention Movies:
"Major League 2"
Baseball Movies I don't like:
"Angels in the Outfield"
Movies that are close to baseball but aren't: