Baseball is my favorite sport. Baseball is a children’s game that when you play, you remain forever young.
The other day, I ended up watching “The Sandlot” and it reminded me why that movie is my favorite baseball movie of all time. Inspired by that, I have decided to put together my Top 10 favorite baseball movies that I have seen.
(The list will contain clips from the movies. If you don’t want to be spoiled, don’t watch the clips.)
#1 - The Sandlot
The beauty of this movie is that it goes back to the roots of the game. It’s not a story about a big league ball club or anything like that. It’s about kids having fun playing baseball in the summer. That’s what makes baseball so beautiful to me.
I think I like this movie so much because it does take me back to when I was a kid and the summer was my fun time. That’s where I fell in love with baseball and I longed for a bunch of friends that would play baseball with me like that. It’s a fun movie and the entire story explains why I love baseball so much.
#2 - Moneyball
How can you not be romantic about baseball? This movie had to make the list because I am an A’s fan. I loved the book and of course, this movie means a lot to me because I was a part of it (I was an extra and I actually attended to many games that season).
But what makes this movie so beautiful is that it’s not really a baseball story, but a story about how we undervalue so many people by what they appear to be. But if we find their true value, then we can really see their worth. The video above to me summarizes the entire philosophy perfectly.
#3 - Field of Dreams
I remember watching this in high school and not too long after, I read the book from which it was based off. As a story of history and hope, this story is a perfect example of faith and a hope to right what’s wrong.
It’s hard to give too much about this film without spoiling it. But if you know anything about the Black Sox scandal, you know how important it would be to try to fix it. And the above scene alone makes this movie great.
#4 - Bull Durham
Not often do we get to see the real inside look of a minor league team. That’s what this movie is all about. We get a real look at the hopes and dreams of so many ballplayers trying to get into the show. This one really got me to understand the value of the minor league system.
The love triangle storyline I can live without. But when an aging player realizes that his time has gone and that his true value is to help a young prodigy, that’s what a lot of the minors has become now. A beautiful story.
#5 - Everyone’s Hero
The little kid inside of me loves this movie. It’s all very cute and it doesn’t really stand up against all the great baseball movies out there. But this movie really makes me love the beauty of the sport. It’s a fun family movie.
A little boy, whose dad is the Yankees equipment manager, accidentally allows Babe Ruth’s lucky bat to get stolen. Now his goal is to get the bat and go all the way to Chicago to return it to Ruth. Along the way, he stumbles upon the Negro Leagues and it just paints a gorgeous story about trusting and challenging yourself to do what’s right.
#6 - Rookie of the Year
This movie takes on what every boy’s dream of making it into the big leagues. I think the fact that the movie was so far-fetched in terms of letting a boy play big league ball, it still was so cool for me as a kid to try to live through this movie as a dream of playing baseball.
This movie is full of comedy and it also has a nice story about the aging pitcher that realizes that it’s time for him to step away. It’s a classic family movie and at the end, it’s really cool to see the relationship between his son and his mother grow.
#7 - Major League
I love the Cleveland Indians and this hilarious film finally gives the Indians some love. A cast of crazy characters with no business winning ballgames. Yet somehow through all that, they end up being a very good team.
It’s a good cast of actors and each player has their unique characters that make this film fun. It’s not deep or anything like that, but it’s a very nice underdog story that reminds us that anything can happen on the baseball field.
#8 - Mr. 3000
Yes, I know this movie isn’t all that great. In fact, if people ask about famous baseball movies, this is unlikely to be brought up. But the story of this movie is really touching. With Bernie Mac’s character coming back to get three hits to reach 3,000 hits well after his retirement, he comes across a group of players that shows him something he never realized.
I love how this movie takes a deeper look at what it means to play team baseball. And this movie reminds us that the records are not important. It’s the way a team comes together for the win. That’s what makes this movie beautiful.
There’s a lot of history that goes behind the women’s league back in the day and this movie gives us a lot of great insight into it. Not many of us care too much about it, but this movie gave us a great history lesson. Plus, it also allowed the real women who were players a chance to tell their story (and appear on screen).
I think Tom Hanks gives one of his best performances ever in this as he tries to move past his playing days and manage this team. You get a chance to understand the real struggles of these women and how hard they are trying to keep something so important to the American fabric alive during war time. Beautiful film.
# 10 - The Natural
Wait a minute. Why isn’t this higher on the list? Yes, people would consider this the best baseball movie of all time but I disagree. This entire film was very mysterious in what Roy Hobbs was all about. It didn’t capture me that much, but I still felt the importance of the story. Maybe it was too way unbelievable.
To live a dream for your father, then to claw all the way to back to fulfill it. That was a great story. And there’s just a mystique about the Wonderboy and the massive homers. But I think what made this movie was that final scene. It’s embedded in our minds forever.
(Side note: Stephen King wrote a baseball book that is kind of similar to this. Good book too.)
Honorable mention: Angels in the Outfield, Hardball, The Perfect Game, Bad News Bears, For Love of the Game
Worst baseball movie ever: Fever Pitch
I haven’t seen yet: Eight Men Out, 61*