We’ll be traveling over some familiar ground here. However, younger fans might not know all the baseball movies listed below.
Classic Baseball Movies
Maybe they’ve heard their dad talking about them. Or heard older family members debate their merits around the dinner table.
But now is a chance to see them for yourself. Or, for the older fans, a chance to view them again.
These are listed in no particular order. That’s because, honestly, we can’t separate them one from another. They are all great in their own way.
Field of Dreams
Yes, it’s a hippie, dippy kind of film. But if there is a better movie about fathers and sons, we haven’t seen it. Kevin Costner plays Ray, a man told by a disembodied voice to build a baseball diamond in his corn field in Iowa. If that sounds like a good start to a memorable fable, that’s because it is. The subplot about Moonlight Graham is almost as good as the main plot. You’ll cry by the end unless you are made of stone.
Here’s the one that takes all the beauty and mysticism of baseball movies like “Field of Dreams” and “The Natural” and completely subverts them. Best example: The bat boy tells the film’s star, once again Kevin Costner, to get a hit and he replies, “Shut up.” It’s essential viewing for fans. The movie is funny and it focuses on minor league baseball, one of the great joys of the game.
Chadwick Boseman is fantastic as Jackie Robinson in this movie about how baseball finally broke the “color barrier” in 1942 when Robinson joined the Brooklyn Dodgers. Everyone is wonderful here, including Harrison Ford as Branch Rickey and Christopher Meloni as Leo Durocher.
A League of Their Own
Who knew one of the greatest baseball movies would be about the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League during World War II? This is an unexpected gem that has stood the test of time. Like all great baseball movies, it’s both funny and heartbreaking.
OK, nothing heartbreaking, here. But back when Charlie Sheen was still an actor, this comedy about a Cleveland Indians team put together for the express purpose of losing remains a classic for baseball fans.
This one also is required viewing for baseball fans. Modern audiences may find it a bit too melodramatic. But it’s a great film about second chances. But it’s also about the beauty of baseball, including one of the most gorgeously filmed home runs in baseball movie history.
The Bad News Bears
This little movie has held up over the years. It’s about a very bad Little League team coached by Morris Buttermaker, played by Walter Matthau at his 1970s best. For a kids’ movie, it’s got some adult themes and moments. But like any good baseball film, it’s also got heart. Plus, it was decades ahead of its time having a female player save the season.
So, during the long months of winter, these films can help you kill the time until pitchers and catchers report in March.