Opinion Corner: Flicks for when the rain fallsNo one likes rain delays and chances are there will be a few more before the season ends. Next time it starts coming down, do the next best thing to watching baseball, put in a movie about baseball.
By: Ben Rodgers, The Jamestown Sun
No one likes rain delays and chances are there will be a few more before the season ends. Next time it starts coming down, do the next best thing to watching baseball, put in a movie about baseball.
In no particular order here are this scribe’s top 5 baseball movies of all time.
“The Natural” This 1984 film starring Robert Redford, Robert Duval and Glenn Close, follows the unlikely path of Roy Hobbs, a ballplayer like no other, as he becomes a middle-aged rookie on a meddling team. This movie, along with “Hoosiers” created the sports/drama genre and when you’re talking baseball movies don’t count “The Natural” out.
Movie quote: “And then? And then when I walked down the street people would’ve looked and they would’ve said there goes Roy Hobbs, the best there ever was in this game.”
“Major League” This 1989 comedy is one of the funniest sports comedies ever, up there with “Caddy Shack.” A motley crew of ball players, ranging from a convict and a voodoo-practicing slugger, join forces and give the baseball fans of Cleveland something to finally be happy about. This movie actually used former ball players Steve Yeager and Pete Vuckovich as characters. Oh yeah, and Bob Uecker is the play-by-play voice.
Movie quote: “In case you haven’t noticed, and judging by the attendance you haven’t, the Indians have managed to win a few here and there, and are threatening to climb out of the cellar.”
“Bull Durham” They sure knew how to make baseball movies in the ’80s. This 1988 flick stars Kevin Costner as veteran catcher Crash Davis and Tim Robbins as upcoming star pitcher Nuke LaLoosh. This one doesn’t take place in the majors but rather in Durham, N.C. Davis is forced to mentor LaLoosh as young eventually learns from old. Susan Sarandon plays a love interest so this movie serves a dual purpose. Women might actually enjoy this movie. Plus Costner has a rant like no other that’s not fit for print.
Movie quote: “A good friend of mine used to say, ‘This is a very simple game. You throw the ball, you catch the ball, you hit the ball. Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose, sometimes it rains.’ Think about that for a while.”
“The Sandlot” Because yeah you didn’t really have a childhood unless you played sandlot baseball growing up. This 1993 family-friendly flick follows Scotty Smalls as he moves to a new neighborhood and makes new friends while learning how to play America’s past time. An autographed baseball signed by some girl named Baby, goes missing after a homer and the group of kids must retrieve it while avoiding a beast of a dog. This reminds me of those summers growing up and rounding up other kids in the neighborhood to play some baseball.
Movie quote: “We all lived in the neighborhood for a couple of more years, mostly through junior high school-and every summer was great. But none of them ever came close to that first one. When one guy would move away, we never replaced him on the team with anyone else. We just kept the game going like he was still there.”
“Moneyball” I can’t leave out the only baseball movie written by Aaron Sorkin. This 2011 film shows how Billy Beane started the use of sabermetrics to determine undervalued players with skills that don’t command the contracts small market teams can’t afford. Other teams outspend, Beane and his A’s found a new way of evaluating talent. Based on a true story, this one is for fans of the game and all its delicate interworkings, plus the writing is second to none.
Movie quote: “The problem we’re trying to solve is that there are rich teams and there are poor teams. Then there’s 50 feet of crap, and then there’s us. It’s an unfair game. And now we’ve been gutted. We’re like organ donors for the rich. Boston’s taken our kidneys, Yankees have taken our heart. And you guys just sit around talking the same old “good body” nonsense like we’re selling jeans. Like we’re looking for Fabio. We’ve got to think differently. We are the last dog at the bowl. You see what happens to the runt of the litter? He dies.”
Five very different movies tied together with one common thread —baseball. Try to have one of these on hand next time the rain tarp is rolled out.
Rodgers is a news writer at the Sun and frequent contributor to the Opinion Corner