I am a lover of baseball, and I played it for almost 10 years. Baseball movies hold both great morals, funny moments and cheesy quotes. These are my personal top five baseball movies.
5. “Bull Durham” (1988)
“I’m just happy to be here. Hope I can help the ball club.”
Our list starts off with a local classic. “Bull Durham” follows the fictional story of a catcher and pitcher combo who do not get along very well at first and play for the Durham Bulls. Pitcher “Nuke” LaLoosh (Tim Robbins) has a gifted arm, but continues to make rookie mistakes in the minors. Veteran catcher “Crash” Davis (Kevin Costner) has many lessons to teach the young pitcher.
I am not originally from North Carolina, and I watched this movie when I did move here. My favorite position to play was catcher, so this movie spoke volumes with its message: The catcher is always right.
The comedy is stuck in the ‘80s, with many jokes that are in poor taste and a love triangle that takes away from the baseball part. Nonetheless, it is a classic and is definitely worth the watch, although I will warn that viewer discretion is advised.
“Bull Durham” is free on Tubi with ads.
4. “A League of Their Own” (1992)
“Are you crying? Are you crying? There’s no crying. There’s no crying in baseball!”
A historical comedy set during WWII when the MLB was struggling to stay open with the decline of men available to play. To solve this, the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League (AAGPBL) was formed, allowing women to play in order to keep the sport of baseball alive. “A League of Their Own” follows the fictional story of the Rockford Peaches, coached by a very doubtful Jimmy Dugan (Tom Hanks), who believes that the league is a waste of time, but is eventually proven wrong. The movie also showcases Madonna and Geena Davis.
“A League of Their Own” gained a lot of popularity among the public, pulling over $130 million worldwide. I personally enjoyed both the historical context of the film and its good comedy.
You can rent “A League of Their Own” on most movie platforms, and it is sometimes shown on CMT. The next one will be on July 5 at 12:30 p.m. and 6 p.m.
3. “The Sandlot” (1993)
“You’re killing me, Smalls!”
I know, this movie is seriously overrated for a large number of people, but “The Sandlot” will still hold the test of time.
“The Sandlot” follows a gang of neighborhood kids in 1962 who play baseball everyday in a sandlot. Scotty Smalls (Tom Guiry) moves into town and tries to make friends with the neighbors, but is embarrassed by his inability to properly play the sport. Nonetheless, the leader of the squad, Benny Rodriquez (Mike Vitar), lets him in and mentors him, allowing Smalls to get close with his new friends.
The charm behind “The Sandlot” is both its comedic jokes about puberty and baseball, but also a wholesome message that baseball can bring anyone together.
There are a few sequels; however, these are not nearly as good as the original. Disney+ announced that “The Sandlot” will reboot as a TV show starring the original cast.
“The Sandlot” is on Hulu, Starz and Encore.
2. “42” (2013)
“Maybe tomorrow, we’ll all wear 42. That way, they won’t tell us apart.”
Now onto the more serious movies. When I was little, I once wore the famous number “42” on my jersey, and had no idea of the historical significance of that specific number. A few years later, “42” came out.
“42” is a biographical story of Jackie Robinson, the first African American baseball player. Played by Chadwick Boseman, Robinson is drafted by the Brooklyn Dodgers by owner Branch Rickey (Harrison Ford). Robinson has a fantastic start in the minors and soon makes it to the majors, where he is met with plenty of adversity from his teammates and other ball clubs. He then shows his talent in the game of baseball, and gains respect from his team and the rest of the league.
The movie stirs many emotions, and is both informative and inspirational. “42” displays a great mix of Robinson’s struggle on and off the field. “The Jackie Robinson Story” from 1950 was the original biographical film about number 42, starring Jackie Robinson himself. An updated version of his story was needed, and “42” fits the role beautifully.
You can rent “42” on Amazon Prime video and Vudu for $3.99.
1. “Field of Dreams” (1989)
“If you build it, he will come.”
With Academy Awards nominations and a message that hits home to many around the country, “Field of Dreams” stands the test of time as one of those movies that can be watched by anybody, regardless of age.
Ray Kinsella (Kevin Costner) is a corn farmer in Iowa who gets a vision and strange whispers telling him, “If you build it, he will come,” as well as “Ease his pain.” Ray builds a baseball field in his corn farm, and despite heavy financial loss, insists to his family that the visions and messages mean something. Ray is baffled when Shoeless Joe Jackson and other members of the infamous “Black Sox” team show up to play baseball on his new field, despite having passed away years before. However, his mission is not complete, and he goes on a journey to finally “Ease his pain.”
Although a little slow in today’s standards, the movie's message and story is timeless. The journey and mystery behind the plot is exciting enough, but the movie’s baseball scenes compliment the story well. The ultimate ending is sure to bring tears to anyone’s eye, and is the reason that this movie is my top choice.
“Field of Dreams” is available on Hulu, Starz and Encore.