The Best Baseball Hollywood Has

With Brad Pitt’s Moneyball nominated for 6 Academy Awards this year and spring training just around the corner I felt it was time to countdown the 5 best baseball movies of all time. In Moneyball Billy Beane uses a line that, I’m not sure if it was actually spoken or not, but it quickly became one of my favorites, “It’s hard not to be romantic about baseball”. That pretty much sums up Hollywoods love affair with America’s past time. With that in mind this list was born.

 

5.For Love Of The Game

Kevin Costner plays aging star pitcher, Billy Chapel who can see the end of his illustrious career right in front of him. He begins to think of life after baseball and what to do with it and who to spend it with. His longtime girlfriend, Jane has made a life choice that, unknown to Billy, doesn’t include him. During a routine start on the final day of the season, Billy looks back on his career and relationship with Jane. More focused on his thoughts than the game, Billy goes on to make history in what will be his last game. A movie that has enough baseball to appeal to the men and enough of the love story to appeal to women, For Love Of The Game appeals to all.

 

4.Major League

An all time classic comedy about a basement dwelling Cleveland Indians team threatening to be moved if the teams dismal ways continue. A greedy owner throws together a misfit team in hopes of relocation to Miami. The one thing they didn’t count on was the hope of this teams last chance players and their hope at pulling out a winning season. With one of the most memorable roles as the teams play by play announcer, Bob Ueker delivers some of the most loved lines associated with the game of all time.

 

3.Bull Durham

Kevin Costner’s second movie on the list is without question one of his best movies of all time. Costner stars as minor league baseball legend Crash Davis who is traded and tasked with helping develop young hotshot pitcher, Nuke Laroosh. With Laroosh destined for the majors he has a few kinks to work out and not just in his mechanics but in his attitude and approach to the game. Noted as the movie that introduced one of Hollywood’s longest relationships of Tim Robbins and Susan Sarandon the memorable chemistry was clearly felt between Sarandon and Costner.

 

2.Moneyball

The true story of the 2002 Oakland Athletic’s and their frustrated general manager and how with the second lowest payroll in the game, they still managed to produce one of the most memorable season’s in recent memory. Billy Beane played by Brad Pitt is forced to re-examine how a team is built using a new system of statistics and mathematics now known as sbermetrics. Having changed the game forever with the help of his new young assistant, Peter Brand wonderfully played by Academy Award nominee Jonah Hill. Moneyball is a movie that transcends the game and tell the story of being able to make a difference no matter what the outcome.

 

1.The Natural

Adapted from the classic novel by Bernard Malamud, The Natural is the story of Roy Hobbs, a man who was raised to be and had the skills to be the best player the game ever saw before tragedy stuck and he was forced away from the game for 16 years before finally working his way to the majors. Determined to make the best of his limited time he inspires a down on their luck team to rise to the best the game has to offer. With a classic performance by Robert Redford and perfectly cast as the teams manager is Wilford Brimley who is looking for one final chance at a winning season. Perfectly cast and beautifully shot, The Natural is a love story to baseball’s golden era and has the rousing cheering ending we love from our sports movies.

12 thoughts on “The Best Baseball Hollywood Has

  1. All fantastic movies. I might have tried to find a place for Field of Dreams on the countdown, but I can’t argue with what you’ve got.

  2. Good list! I agree with dukemich that I’d have tried to fit Field of Dreams on there (man, Costner had a real thing for baseball flicks, didn’t he?) but so pleased you included Major League. That’s a guilty favourite of mine.

    Thanks for the ‘like’ too!

  3. I gotta say, I haven’t seen most of these movies (though I do have Bull Durham in a still-shrinkwrapped DVD somewhere), but I’m not a huge baseball fan either.

    I did really enjoy A League of their own though (admittedly I haven’t seen it since I was a kid)… how does that movie stand in the eyes of a baseball fan?

    • a league of their own crossed my mind it was close. Tom Hanks was great and it was a feel good movie. It’s a very good baseball movie

  4. Yeah I agreed with your list, although I might have tried to make a case for Field of Dreams or Eight Men Out. But The Natural was indeed great. Having grown up in Buffalo I went to that stadium as a kid and father with my own son to watch the Herd (as we called the Bisons). Saw a 19 year old Johnny Bench play parts of 2 seasons there before leaving for Cincinatti and eventually Cooperstown. Lot of memories in the old ballyard that is now gone.

  5. Great choices. I don’t want to repeat several of the baseball films that have already been mentioned that are not on the list, but if you get a chance check out the movie “Long Gone,” if you’ve never seen it.

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