I have to qualify today’s Friday 5 with a little background information. Next weekend, my fiancee and I are headed to a wedding up near Chicago. I hinted that we should probably drive up through Iowa so we can stop by the Field of Dreams. She thought it was a pretty good idea, (See? I do have one occasionally) so that’s what we’re doing. I’ve heard nothing but good things about it and I love the movie so I’m pretty excited. Good enough reason for me to go to a wedding where I only know one person.
So with that in mind, I’m presenting to you the top 5 baseball movies of all time.
5. Major League 1 and 2…but not 3. In fact, let’s just act like 3 was never made.
These movies were released in 1989 and 1994 respectively and they’re just great. The original cast featured some big stars like Charlie Sheen, Wesley Snipes, and Tom Berenger. Both movies are filled with catchphrase worthy lines that have lived through the years in baseball vocabulary. I mean, who doesn’t see a wild pitch and think, “Juuuuust a bit outside” in Bob Uecker’s voice at least once over the course of a game?
4. The Sandlot
The Sandlot makes the cut at #4 simply because every who has ever grown up in a neighborhood with other kids can relate to this movie. The story about kids playing baseball and just generally being kids really just never gets old. Yeah, parts are cheesy (“Just hold up your glove, I’ll do the rest”) but it’s not supposed to a serious movie in the first place. It’s just about baseball in its purest form.
3. The Pride of the Yankees
This movie is about the life and death of Lou Gehrig. Academy Award winner Gary Cooper portrays Gehrig as one of the nicest humans who ever walked the earth and it leaves you with a new appreciation for the Iron Horse. The movie does a great job of not overplaying the parts that everyone already knows about: The Speech and his crippling disease. In fact, it kind of downplays it, which is a good thing given general path that the movie takes.
2. Field of Dreams
The inspiration for this post checks in at number two. The Major League movies may have been full of catch phrases, but the most well known one from any baseball sports movie has got to be, “If you build it, he will come” even if people get it wrong more often than not. The fact that you can visit the actual site just adds to the prestige of the movie. Hopefully it lives up to my standards.
1. Bull Durham
Easy choice here. Bull Durham tops the list of baseball movies by far. The story of Ebby Calvin “Nook” LaLoosh is one that will be told and retold as long as movies are part of existence. It’s a movie that’s just about baseball: How it gets in your blood, how it’s a lifelong passion, and how hard it is to give up. Plus, it’s also really funny. For my money, you can’t beat it when it comes to baseball movies. Actually, you can’t beat it when it comes to sports movies. Maybe Hoosiers. That’s for another Friday 5, though.