Watching movies is part of America’s pastime. So is baseball. Put baseball and movies together and you have a recipe for one of the greatest things to enjoy. Throughout the years, some of the baseball movies shown in the theater, have made us laugh, cry, raise our voice and cheer for the teams playing. Take a look at the Top Ten best moments in the world of cinematic baseball.
(***Disclaimer: some clips are rated PG-13 and use foul language***)
10. Bad News Bears
The Bears start out as a misfit team with a boozing coach who doesn’t care. The team later comes back to face the Yankees of the Little League. (*spoiler alert*) So the movie doesn’t end with the Bears winning first, but it ends better. The Yankees toss out a condescending chant for the Bears but the team is stronger now and sticks up for themselves. Tanner yells “Hey Yankees! You can take your apology and your trophy and…” you can guess the rest of the line. We all love some good baseball smack talk and this never gets old. Starting the countdown, the Bad News Bears lands at #10 on the Best Moments in Baseball Movies.
Courtesy of TM & Paramount (1976)
Yes, yes, of course Sandlot made the list. In all honesty, Sandlot could make just about any movie list for any genre, situation or countdown. In this case, Sandlot comes in at #9 for best baseball moment in history of movies. Everyone, at some point, has played baseball and yelled “You play ball like a girl!!” The entire movie is a classic, but this scene especially. Baseball has forever been changed because of this insult. Although, ironically enough, #8 is a different kind of baseball movie, one where playing ball like a girl isn’t really the insult it’s made out to be.
Courtesy of YouTube Movies
8. A League of Their Own
So perhaps of all the scenes in A League of Their Own, this one doesn’t portray women’s ball as tough and strong, but it sure does make us all laugh. Just as Manager Jimmy Dugan (played by Tom Hanks) yells to Evelyn, she can’t stop the waterworks. Which of us haven’t though? It’s hard when you make a mistake then hear the constant nagging of a coach. However, Jimmy gets his when he lets his mouth slide and throws out an insult to the ump… something about how he looks in his hat. With players like Dottie and the rest of the girls, “playing like a girl” isn’t such a bad insult after all.
Courtesy of TM & Sony (1992)
7. The Rookie
In one of the great feel-good movies of baseball, The Rookie gives you hope to never give up on your dreams. Based on a true story, Jimmy Morris is a high school teacher who always dreamed of pitching in the big leagues. Struggling to make ends meet but still holding on to what he longed for, he gives it a shot. Thinking nothing will come of it, he goes to a try out. Amazingly, he gets drafted by the Tampa Bay Rays. Pitching at 98 mph but was a bit out of the age range of most younger athletes. As the movie continues, most everyone, even his parents, discourage him from continuing his dream. Finally, at the end of the movie the bullpen phone rings, and Jimmy is told to warm up. His son and wife cheer and hope for his first MLB debut. Grab the family and pass the popcorn and get ready to feel empowered and hopeful. Baseball has a way to bring us hope and so does The Rookie.
Courtesy of YouTube
6. Major League
The famous lines “The Indians win it. The Indians win it! Oh my gosh the Indians win it!” pushes the movie Major League to #6. In this comedy, the owner of the Indians creates a plot to ruin her team, but the players fight back and start to win games. The past-their-prime players begin to find the slots and make their way to win the title. The final scene has that slow motion ending that we all laugh at but watch intensely. It’s funny, it’s goofy and it’s a great baseball movie with eventful takes and enjoyable baseball.
Courtesy of YouTube Movies and Paramount Pictures
This movie has some tough choices for top scenes. Should I go with the real tear-jerker of the movie with G-Baby and his final run or the fun spirited moment of Notorious B.I.G? The film twirls all your emotions throughout the whole movie. Easily one of the greatest movies of baseball but could rank in the top of regular movies. Hardball isn’t a “rags to riches,” but rather a movie of finding the best in the worst and sometimes taking time to see beyond what meets the eye. Adorable kids, who are brash and rough around the edges, learn to come together and play baseball. In the most enjoyable scene of Hardball, Miles struggles to find it in him to throw another pitch and get out of his rut, but the coach and players help him find the confidence by singing his favorite song, Notorious B.I.G., Big Pappa and they all throw their hands in the air. Miles strikes out the kid and the team comes together to cheer. It brings a smile to my face just thinking about it. Who doesn’t love a movie about kids and baseball? It’s a win, win.
Courtesy of TM & Paramount (2001)
4. Field Of Dreams
“But baseball has marked the time. This field, this game, is a part of our past, Ray. It reminds us of all that once was good, and it could be again. Ohhhhhhhh, people will come, Ray. People will most definitely come.” What a line. Who hasn’t mimicked Terence Mann in Field of Dreams and said, “…people will come. People will definitely come.” This movie brings you to the roots of baseball and you begin to appreciate the pastime and those that continue to preserve the game of baseball. One of the key scenes in this movie is when Ray sees his dad come out of the fields and they have a game of catch. Field of Dreams ranks at #4 for best baseball movie moments because of the strings it pulls and the chills you get when you see the players warm up and the people pile in to watch some good old-fashioned baseball.
Courtesy of TM & Universal
3. Angels in the Outfield
What a feel good movie this is. As a young boy, Roger saw his dad walk out. He told his son they would be a family again if the Angels ever won the pennant. However, if that was ever going to happen, the Angels would need a miracle. Roger prayed for just that and got his miracle. In this humorous and heartfelt movie, Angels in the Outfield is perfect for any occasion, whether you are looking for a baseball movie or not. The scene that hits the grand slam is the last scene of the big game for the pennant. The pitcher fails and fails again and doesn’t think he can finish the inning with a win. Then, the two boys begin to “signal” the sign that angels are there to help and the entire stadium stands to fly their wings. Angel or no angel, the pitcher feels the confidence and believes he can do it. He strikes out the batter, the fans go nuts, and Roger and J.P. end up becoming a family with GM George Knox. Easily in the top 3, Angels in the Outfield is a guaranteed hit for best moments in baseball movies.
Courtesy of YouTube Movies
Moneyball hits closer to home, as the best moment just so happens to end with the Kansas City Royals losing, however, the moment Hatteberg of the Oakland Athletics hits the homer, you can’t help but to feel happy and excited for the A’s. It was for the team’s 20th straight win after making an incredible comeback, as the A’s were initially seen to be hopeless. In the film, the footage of the actual moment is flashed between the cinema film. Encompassing the true story of Billy Beane and Peter Brand, Moneyball tells the story of how a team did a 180 and turned a franchise from a losing team to a winning team based on statistics and a new formula for how to win games.
Courtesy of YouTube
Cut to 1:44 for the best moment in baseball cinema. The entire movie is hands down the best movie about baseball, but this last scene stands strong among the rest. As Jackie Robinson goes up to bat against Pirates’ pitcher Ostermueller, the bad blood between the two is remembered. Earlier in the season, Jackie is sniped in the head by a fast pitch made by Ostermueller who doesn’t seem remorseful at all. In this scene, Jackie doesn’t back down and asks for something he can hit. With racial tension in baseball, the stakes are high. The pitch is sent and as the crack of the bat meets the ball, you can hear the force behind the hit. Jackie hits a home run and it makes you want to jump out of your seat. Although the movie has moments that are hard to watch, the history and the story of Jackie Robinson are vital to baseball and this movie does the job to make you feel for Jackie and go through his journey in the league.
Courtesy of YouTube Movies
You can stream all these baseball movies online, but catch the real events in action. Buy baseball tickets from Tickets For Less to attend any and all games for the best prices and great views.