Of all the major sports, baseball seems to lend itself best to motion pictures. There have been dozens of outstanding baseball movies, but again, we’re only interested in the ALL-TIME BEST 10 BASEBALL MOVIES!
10. The Rookie (2002)
Dennis Quaid stars as a once-great pitcher looking to recapture his glory as he approaches 40. The film is a true underdog story and is actually based on real-life events. I know Disney has a history of some pretty cliched sports movies in the last couple decades, but The Rookie seems to have a little more substance to it than other works. Jim Morris’ (Quaid) debut in the MLB is one of the more powerful scenes in baseball movie history.
9. The Sandlot (1993)
The Sandlot really takes you back to your childhood, which seems intentional on the film’s part. The movie is filled with memorable scenes and a cast of talented child actors. The Sandlot harkens back to a more innocent time, when the worst you could really do was piss off James Earl Jones…or was that Star Wars? The only part that was troubling was Dennis Leary as the dad. Now, Dennis may be a fine father in real life…but his later roles jade this one a bit when you go back and watch it again.
8. A League of Their Own (1992)
This is a movie you can easily watch over and over again. The plot surrounding women’s professional baseball is really interesting, as is the backdrop of World War II, which is happening concurrently. The performances are really outstanding as well. Keeping all this in mind, Tom Hanks completely steals the show as crude manager, Jimmy Dugan.
7. Eight Men Out (1988)
The true story of the “Black Sox” boasts an incredible cast and a captivating look at one of the most infamous scandals in professional sports history. At its core, the film is as much tragedy as anything else, as one of the finest baseball teams ever constructed is systematically dismantled before our very eyes.
6. Major League (1989)
It’s not all fame and glory for MLB players. No movie portrays that better or funnier than Major League. The late James Gammon has one of the more underrated performances as gruff manager, Lou Brown, whose job it is (or isn’t per owner Rachel Phelps) to make a winner out of misfit toys. In fact, performances across the board are extremely strong, including a young Charlie Sheen.
5. Moneyball (2011)
Moneyball is the true story of how advanced statistics forever changed Major League Baseball. The film is truly one of the best in the last decade. Brad Pitt is solid as always, and Jonah Hill turns in a superb performance as well. At the end, we learn that the film was about much more than merely baseball.
4. The Pride of the Yankees (1942)
This portrayal of Yankee great, Lou Gehrig is both inspirational and heartbreaking. The “Iron Horse” was one the greatest to ever play the game. Gary Cooper brings to life the triumph and tragedy that was Gehrig’s life and career. If you’re eyes don’t water a bit during Gehrig’s climactic speech, you have no heart.
3. The Natural (1984)
A lot of people don’t like The Natural, because they take it too literally. As much as the film is about baseball, it is really more of an examination of American sports mythology. To truly appreciate the tall tale of Roy Hobbs, imagine that your grandfather is telling you the story as you watch the film. If you do that, you’ll really appreciate how original and outstanding The Natural is.
2. Bull Durham (1988)
Probably the best at capturing the quirkiness that is professional baseball, Bull Durham is a fantastic film with a stellar cast. Costner, Robbins, and Sarandon make Bull Durham consistently hilarious and occasionally poignant. The film has more memorable quotes than all others on this list combined and will change the way you watch a baseball game forever.
1. Field of Dreams (1989)
Field of Dreams is as much about the father-son relationship as it is about baseball. The film plays out like a modern day version of The Odyssey. The prize at the end of Field of Dreams though, is reconciliation and forgiveness. The film has an undeniable weight about it that many other sports movies can only contrive. In my opinion, not only is Field of Dreams the best baseball movie of all-time, but maybe best sports movie as well…
Tomorrow, be on the lookout for the ALL-TIME BEST 10 TV DOCTORS!