Monday, April 21, 2008

Let me think - Best Baseball Movies

Robert over at "Thoughts of a Father" suggested that I write a post about my favorite baseball movies. I didn't forget about this, would you believe its been in the 70's here in the frozen north? All you southern readers out there may not know about this, but midwesterners lose their minds the first couple of days it hits 70 degrees. We leave our homes and go outside in the morning and we don't return until sunset. Its also the time we see our neighbors again. At least here in Minnesota, we don't see our neighbors for 4 months every year.

Oh, but I digress.

I think its important to understand something that I think makes for a truly great baseball movie. The actors need to actually be able to play baseball. I can't emphasize this enough. Some of the movies most commonly on the best baseball movies truly suck in my opinion because the baseball is just so unbelievable.

The movie Major League is a very good movie. Its actually a movie I quote quite often at a baseball game. My biggest complaint and the reason it will never be a great movie is some of the actors really suck at baseball. The bright spots in this movie were Corbin Bernsen, and sometimes Charlie Sheen. Much of the rest of the cast just wasn't believable.

But I will never stop saying "Give him the heater." and "Its too high."

Rookie of the Year, Angels in the Outfield and Little Big League are movies that are close to my heart. I loved the stories. Each has a magic quality that has allowed me to watch them time and again. Little Big League will always find its way into the top 5 baseball movies because...wait for it...wait for features the greatest baseball team, my beloved Minnesota Twins.

An actor that comes to mind that really looks he knows how to play the game is Tom Selleck, unfortunately, his movies about baseball haven't been very good. I don't know of any other actor that looked he could jack one out of the park.

Of all the actors that have ever played in a movie featuring baseball, no other actor compares to Kevin Costner. I really don't believe he is the greatest actor of all time, but as far as baseball movies go, 3 of my all time favorite baseball movies he was in.

These are my 3 favorite baseball movies of all time and look, each one starts Kevin Costner. One of the qualities that made these movies so good was the fact that actors in these movies actually looked like they could play baseball.

My favorite movie of the 3 is For Love of the Game. If you love baseball and a great story, this movie is for you. Kevin Costner plays major league pitcher whose had a Hall of Fame career and is looking at the end of his days in the bigs. Costner's performance on the mound is fantastic. His mechanics were solid and the productions understanding of the nuances of the game were spot on.

I really appreciated the way this movie respected the game of baseball. The game itself was an integral part of the story. I won't go into any spoilers here, but many of the traditions of a game of this importance were not forgotten. The little details were not missed.

So there you have it, my favorite baseball movie of all time is For Love of the Game.

You have one you think is better? Let me know. You think Kevin Costner sucks as an actor? I'll agree that he doesn't seem to be able to play a different character, but when his character is a baseball works great! What are your favorite baseball movies?


Greg said...

Bull Durham has my vote!

I am by no means a great baseball fan, nor do I watch many baseball movies, but Bull Durham is a classic and I go to it whenever I see it on TV.

Of course there is an arguement to be made for Major league. Not because it is a great movie, or even a real good movie. I like it becuase I was IN IT!!!!

Thats right, while they were filming at the old County Stadium, my aunt took me there 4 nights in a row for the shooting!! It was a great time that I will never forget.

But now I digress.

Bull Durham still has my vote for the best!

dmarks said...

Great post.

"Dances with Wolves" and "Field of Dreams" are on my small list of all-time favorite movies, which causes me to rank Costner high.

In "Field of Dreams", consider that the drive south from Chisholm, Minn in the VW bus after Kevin Costner picked up James Earl Jones probably passed in/near Red Wing or Rochester (in the context of the story).

I thought "Angels in the Outfield" was OK, better than I would have expected.

I thought "The Sandlot" was pretty good. Possibly great. However, you have to wrap your mind around the giant monster dog. Some just cannot.

One bad one is one with a kid who became a super pitcher due to a badly healed arm injury. I forget the title.

I liked "The Natural" too.

Heather said...

I loved your top three. I also have to watch the Natural every time I see that it is on, although the movie ends differently than the book. And we love the Sandlot.

Michael said...

Bull Durham, no question, winner in the clubhouse.

Read a great story in Rob Neyer's new book. Supposedly, during the filming of "Cobb", Roger Clemens (who is portraying Big Ed Walsh) is supposed to brush back Tommy Lee Jones (Cobb). The two begin exchanging heated words, and someone on the set asks the director, "What happens if he hits Tommy in the head?"

"Well," director Ron Shelton replies, "then we're filming the Ray Chapman story"

Nap Warden said...

I just had to come over and tell you that the turkey drop was one of the funniest moments in television...ever!

Robert said...

Well we have some in agreement and some not so much. I loved Field of Dreams and For Love of the Game but was not a big fan of Bull Durham. Maybe I'll give it a try again sometime. And ya, what a huge disappointment Tom Selleck's baseball movie was.

Thanks for covering this topic. You inspired me to post on it as well. Please come over and take a look.

On another baseball note, I'm excited that I get to go to a Dodger game tomorrow night. We have pretty good seats so I'm bringing my camera. I should hopefully have some good shots up in a few days.