Are you going stir crazy during the nationwide quarantine period? Do you miss watching your favorite sports and the replays of past games just aren’t cutting it? Last week, in the first of a multi-part series, we took a look at football and basketball movies to watch during the sporting hiatus.
In Part II of the series, we examine a few baseball movies you can check out during the hiatus/quarantine.
There are several movies that center around Major League Baseball and it wasn’t an easy task to narrow the list down to four baseball movies to check out. These are four of the multitude of baseball movies you can check out.
Field Of Dreams
Field of Dreams, starring Kevin Costner in the lead role, begins with an Iowan farmer working on his farm and hearing a voice saying, “If you build it, he will come.” The farmer, Ray, then interpreted the “it” in the phrase as a baseball field Ray, with the support of his wife, and aginst his brother-in-law’s wishes, built a baseball field in a section of the family farm. For the first year after Ray built the field, he didn’t hear any more voices or receive any direction on what to do with the field and he became discouraged. Meanwhile, his brother in law continued to pressure Ray to lease out some of the farmland and destroy his field. However, Ray and his wife told the brother-in-law people would pay admission to watch the magic on the field of dreams, and he reluctantly gives them a chance to do so.
Ray was ready to give up on his vision, but he hears the voice again and takes a journey to find deceased players who were banned and blackballed after cheating accusations in the 1919 World Series. Ray is able to find several of the players who take to the field along with other ghosts and the field of dreams becomes a magical place for great baseball memories brought to life. In the end, Ray reunited with his estranged father on the field of dreams and before he could disappear in the cornstalks with the rest of the ghosts, Ray asks him to play a game of catch and calls him “dad.” The movie ends with a line of cars waiting to watch the players on the field of dreams, not only justifying Ray’s vision but also he and his wife’s assurances to his brother-in-law that people would come to watch baseball on a special field.
A League of Their Own
Tom Hanks, Geena Davis, Madonna, and Rosie O’Donnell are just a few members of the star-studded cast of A League of Their Own, and one of the most common baseball quotes comes from this classic movie.
“There’s no crying in baseball.”
The movie takes place during World War II when many women filled jobs that typically were “men’s jobs” because the men were off fighting in the war. The owners of baseball teams decided they would do the same thing in order to keep the baseball season alive, so begins the journey of finding women for the first women’s professional baseball team. The first two women to join the team was a pair of sisters, one who wanted to play, and one who didn’t want to play, but joined the team to appease her sister. Tom Hanks plays the drunken team manager, Jimmy Dugan, a former baseball player with a chip on his shoulder because he doesn’t want to coach women.
The storyline revolves around the two sisters, who were eventually split up in a trade, and the other members of the team striving to keep the women’s league alive despite the lack of concern and care from the Dugan, other owners, and the constant belittling they endured. The two sisters’ teams end up facing each other in the World Series, which meant only one sister could win. It was a highly emotional game with quite a bit at stake and no matter who won, everyone ended up winners. The movie ended with a present-day ceremony at the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum and the two sisters reuniting.
Major League is a comedic movie released in 1989. Among the star-studded cast are Charlie Sheen, Tom Berenger, Corbin Bensen, Margaret Whitton, and Wesley Snipes. This classic movie is centered around the Cleveland Indians baseball team and the new owner, who has plans to move the team from Cleveland to Miami. In order to ensure this happens, she must have a losing team in Cleveland and she puts together a roster of players with little to no talent in hopes of achieving a losing season. The players, however, get wind of her plan and foil it by winning games.
The storyline focuses on the determination of the team to overcome their individual and collective stigmas to turn a horrible team into a winning team, despite hurdles and challenges purposefully placed by the owner of the team. After beginning the season with mediocre play and finding out the plan of the owners, the Indians began the transformation to turn themselves into a winning team and keep the team in Cleveland. Not only is this film about baseball and overcoming adversity when they’re the obvious underdogs, but it also had a love story with a happy ending as well.
The Sandlot is a family classic in the baseball movie genre. The story revolves around Scotty Smalls, the new kid in town, and his journey to learn how to play baseball so he can join the kids who play baseball every day in the neighborhood sandlot. Even though he doesn’t know how to play baseball, he tried out for the team anyway and because the team was one player shy of a team, they accepted Scotty. The best player in the neighborhood, Benny, takes Scotty under his wings and soon the rest of the team accepts Scotty as one of their own. Scotty learns the peculiarities of the boys and the team rules, one of which is not to hit a home run over the fence of the sandlot because of a ferocious guard dog, the beast.
One afternoon during a game in the sandlot, Benny hit a ball so hard it came unraveled and the team wasn’t going to be able to continue to play that afternoon because they couldn’t afford a new ball. However, Scotty decided to save the day and went home to get a ball out of his stepfather’s collection. Unknowingly, it was a special ball signed by Babe Ruth. Since Scotty saved the day with the ball, the team let him have the first at-bat, and he hit the ball over the fence. Scotty was overtaken with fear as he knew he would be in trouble for taking the ball without permission, and it was then Benny and Scotty’s mission to get the ball back. After a few mishaps, the boys were able to get the ball from the beast’s owner, who happened to be a former baseball player from the same era as Ruth. He gives Scotty a ball signed by famous New York Yankees, and Scotty takes that back to his stepfather along with the ball he had taken. The story ended several years later with Smalls as a radio commentator for the Los Angeles Dodgers and Benny as one of the team’s superstar players.
The Sandlot is a sweet story of youth friendships formed over the sandlot games and relationships formed between different generations. This movie will always be near or at the top of great baseball movies.
In the first part of this series, we discussed some of the great football and basketball movies, and in this piece, we discuss some of the greater baseball movies. Next up in our series: hockey and boxing movies.