The Tuesday Discussion: Our Favorite Baseball Movies!
This week we kept it light asking our writers to share their favorite baseball movie with us…
Patrick Gunn – Moneyball is the best baseball film I’ve ever seen. Brad Pitt is fantastic as usual and screenwriter’s Aaron Sorkin and Steven Zai did a fantastic job adapting Michael Lewis’ book and finding the humanity in the story. The sudden ending bogs the film down a hair, but overall this is a really strong movie.
My favorite baseball film, right now, is Major League. Yes, some of the humor doesn’t hold up very well and the story is incredibly generic. That being said, this film captures the joy of playing baseball and all of the scenes on the field are a pleasure to watch. Tom Berenger and Charlie Sheen are great leads, and Wesley Snipes, Dennis Haysbert and James Gammon are great in supporting roles.
John Nocero – (Spoiler Alert…) My favorite baseball movie is For Love of the Game. By far. It is hokey in spots, but at the heart, it is a love story between Billy Chapel, a famous accomplished pitcher nearly the end of his career, and Jane Aubrey, his previous love who split with him who is watching the game in real time at the airport.
As the game progresses, with friend and catcher Gus Sinski aware that something is on Billy’s mind other than baseball, Billy dominates the Yankees’ batters, often talking to himself on how to pitch each one but he also was thinking about how he shut Jane out of his life, unaware he is pitching a perfect fame.
Before the Tigers take the field for the bottom of the ninth inning, Billy has final ruminations about his career and his love for Jane. He autographs a baseball for Wheeler, who has been like a father to him for many years. Along with a signature at the end, Billy inscribes the ball with “Tell them I’m through. For love of the game.”
Gets me every time.
Paul Semendinger – As a kid growing up, my favorite movie was Pride of the Yankees. I loved that movie (still do). I used to cry every single time Lou Gehrig gave his speech. The Irving Berlin song Always that seems to play as the background music continually throughout the film is one of my favorite songs ever. Gary Cooper, Theresa Wright… it’s just so so so good.
Then along came The Natural, which, in many ways, is presented and plays just like Pride of the Yankees. The cinematography in The Natural is just fantastic. I also love the story. Robert Redford as Roy Hobbs is just fantastic. There are some scenes in that movie that rank among my favorites in all movies – ever.
And then there is Field of Dreams. On the sidebar are links to my Field of Dreams stories. I don’t think anything more needs to be said there. I still cry when that film comes on and I think I always will. That’s just a magical and very special film.
Lincoln Mitchell – My favorite baseball film is a new documentary called The Adventures of Superfan. The film tells the story of a middle aged man who spent 35 years of his life on a a fascinating and bizarre quest to get the signature of every player, coach and manager who appeared in the 1979 San Francisco Giants media guide that he bought when he was a boy. The film is about a Giants fan not a Yankees fan, but it is a fun exploration of being a baseball fan, the role baseball plays in our lives, one man’s quest, friendship and more. It has just been released on Amazon Prime.
Ethan Semendinger – Field of Dreams is the easy answer. It’s easy because it’s a great movie and because the first time I saw it, I had the pleasure of watching it with my grandpa and my dad after they returned from their epic trip to the actual field in Iowa. It was special watching the movie with the man who taught my dad to love baseball and who was by extension, the man who taught me to love baseball. Three generations of baseball fans… Good stuff.
Derek McAdam – 42 is by far my favorite baseball movie. The movie is based on the upcoming of Jackie Robinson, who is portrayed by Chadwick Boseman. Harrison Ford plays the role of Branch Rickey, then Brooklyn Dodger General Manager. Boseman and Ford both execute their roles fantastically, which is arguably why this takes the number one spot on my list of favorite baseball movies. The film also has a solid cast of support including Christopher Meloni from Law and Order: Special Victims Unit and Alan Tudyk, who has appeared in movies such as 3:10 to Yuma, Tucker & Dale vs. Evil and many other films. All around, it is a fantastic movie to invest a couple hours into.
Mike Whiteman – My favorite baseball movie is 42. It vividly illustrates the good that can come from baseball.
Tamar Chalker – It has to be A League of Their Own – saw it in the theater when I was a kid really starting to fall in love with baseball.