Forget March Madness and good luck finding 10 Easter movies anyway. Spring is here, though it sure doesn’t feel the case and its been way too long since we did an old fashioned top ten post. So, in time for opening day tomorrow, here are a top 10 of Baseball Movies. We also realized that some baseball movies are pretty bad. Other than these.
1) The Natural (1984) – It’s quite a slow paced movie, which makes me wonder how I was more suited to watch it and enjoy it 20 years ago, but it was “that” good. I tried not to commit an order to this list, but its hard to find a baseball movie better than this one. And, from a voting perspective, this was an easy winner.
2) Moneyball (2011) – Solid movie, and though Pitt and Jonah Hill get all the credit, I think Philip Seymour Hoffman was pretty good in this movie too, even if the person he played in the movie (Art Howe) was furious about it and hasn’t had a job since (hopefully happily retired at least).
3) Major League (1989) – Comedy, baseball, late 80’s, uh-oh, likely a movie that I’ll like. Plenty of useless banter too for an Indians franchise that hasn’t won much in recent years in reality either.
4) Field of Dreams (1989) – If you build it, they will come. Everyone knows this line. It’s also Kevin Costner’s best movie, take what you want from that statement. Ray Liotta and James Earl Jones also were good in this movie too. Haven’t seen it in a while though, and perhaps some stories are best left as is.
5) Road to the big Leagues (2008) – Hats off to the 2013 WBC Champions. Great documentary about baseball in the Dominican Republic, and not like that other baseball documentary in 1994, which was 18 hours long.
6)The Bad News Bears (1976, certainly not the 2005 remake!) – Classic movie that I enjoyed as a kid, but for them to try a 2005 remake was pointless. Things are too politically correct now. Which is a shame, because the 1976 one had some gems in it.
7) Brewster’s Millions (1985) – More of an off-field movie perhaps, but I have to admit, nostalgia plays some role here, as I found this movie hilarious when I was a kid. Plus it had Richard Pryor and John Candy. What says mid-80’s better than that? The downside is that you realize years later some athletes actually spend just as irrationally.
8) Unknown / Kokoyakyu (2008?) – I saw a random Japanese baseball documentary while on a plane from Japan. It made no sense verbally, yet I still was captivated by it and watched it (perhaps because all the other channels were in Japanese too, except some CNN nonsense). And it is not Kokoyakyu, though that seems to have a similar perspective and that one is worth a mention here too. Only difference is the one I saw on the plane had big league teams like the Seibu Lions in it. Hoping someone tells me the name of it!
9) The Sandlot (1993) – Two movies that are similar in some ways, but totally at other ends of the spectrum in some ways too. The Sandlot take you back in the era when movies for nostalgia circa generations past were quite upbeat (was released in 1993, but could have passed for a movie done earlier).
10) The Rookie (2002) – Yes its cheesy, but its a true story, disney-fied to some extent perhaps. Perhaps I’m giving credit to the actual story behind the movie rather than the movie though? However, what could have easily been “made for TV” style, was actually a decent showing.
11) Baseketball (1998) – Damn, this was 15 years ago? I put this at number 11, as I know plenty of people won’t count this as a baseball movie. But I don’t plan on making a base-ketball list!
Honorable mentions, movies I haven’t seen and other people’s suggestions: Bull Durham (which I know a lot of people would put on their own top 10), The Babe, A League of Their Own, Bang The Drum Slowly, Eight Men Out.
Missed anything? Probably, but there are 3 strikes allowed. Either way, enjoy opening day. If movies had any say, those Hollywood teams would win one this year.