Baseball. America’s Pastime. There’s something about the sport that lends itself to great stories. Perhaps it’s the great, deep history of the game or maybe that it’s often a child’s first love that stays with them into adulthood or possibly it’s just coincidence. The one thing that’s undeniable is that there are a ton of great baseball movies. Seeing as it’s summer, a few months into the season, and the release of Million Dollar Arm, we thought it would be fun to rank some of our favorite baseball movies ever made. Once you’re done reading, let us know how we did!
3. The Sandlot (1993)
The Sandlot is the ultimate childhood baseball movie. It’s about the adventure of boys growing up; true camaraderie and the love of the baseball. While the critics may have largely disliked the film, I think they miss part of the point, it’s a movie that let’s kids simply be kids and makes everyone that watches it want to grab a ball and mitt and head to the neighborhood park for a pickup game. Plus, is there any movie more quotable than this one, that’s gotta count for something.
2. A League Of Their Own (1992)
Most of the lists around the web focusing in baseball movies don’t usually list this one anywhere near the top 5, but for all of its sentimentality, A League Of Their Own stands alone as one of the few great movies to center around female athletes, and there’s a lot to be said for that. The performances throughout this film are incredibly solid, and the writing is both funny and emotional. League is definitely a classic, a fantastic baseball story of female baseball players bringing hope and joy during a dark point in our nation’s history, WWII.
1. The Natural (1984)
Robert Redford and Robert Duvall star in the quintessential sports movie. It has everything you want in a sports film without being too cheesy. The unknown player comes out of nowhere in his 30s and in the face of opposition becomes the greatest hitter in the game. And everyone loves an underdog! The Natural is the perfect ode to America’s past time, full of heart wrenching pain and triumphant joy.
Honorable Mention – Eight Men Out (1988)
This all-star cast (John Cusack, Christopher Lloyd, Charlie Sheen and others) explores the dark side of sports. While it doesn’t feature the feel-good story line as many of our favorite baseball movies, the performances here are just too irresistible. It’s actually kind of refreshing to see a sports movie that acknowledges that it’s not all fun and games.
BONUS: Alright, I’m sorry to write a ranking of baseball movies and not feature Bull Durham. It would be number 5 on my list, which may seem like blasphemy to some. Bull Durham is great, and one of the greatest sports films ever, but not in my top 3, I just felt wrong not mentioning it.
3. Fever Pitch (2005)
I know I’ve already written about this for Valentine’s Day, but it’s such a sweet movie. I’ll just leave you with this quote on the importance of baseball:
“…the Red Sox never let you down. …they haven’t won a World Series in a century or so? So what? They’re here. Every April, they’re here… Does anyone else in your life do that? The Red Sox don’t get divorced. This is a real family. This is the family that’s here for you.”
2. Major League (1989)
I’ve seen this movie too many times to count. The Cleveland Indians are the worst team in the league and they will try anything, so that ownership won’t move the franchise to Miami. They find the craziest ragtag group of players and hilarity ensues. Plus, any baseball movie with is better with Bob Uecker.
1. A League of Their Own (1992)
No other choice for my Number One. A historical film with humor, baseball, women being awesome, and Tom Hanks peeing for a whole minute. I wanted to be Geena Davis when I grew up because of this movie.
Honorable Mention – A Kid in King Arthur’s Court (1995)
Sure, my real answer is probably The Sandlot or 42. But I’m going way out in left field on this one. Calvin Fuller is a high school baseball player who gets magically transported through the dugout to King Arthur’s court. It’s a classic.
3. Moneyball (2011)
This film is great because honestly, who doesn’t love an underdog? This was also a huge role for Jonah Hill, which he played marvelously.
2. Field of Dreams (1989)
I don’t think this one need much explanation. “If you build it, he will come.”
1. The Sandlot (1993):
Okay so this probably isn’t the best baseball movie of all time, but I don’t care. It’s my number one because it’s funny, fun to quote, and is an all around great story about some cute kids. This movie almost defines nostalgia. Plus, James Earl Jones.
Honorable Mention – The Rookie
Mostly because it reminds me of my childhood. And I like Dennis Quaid.
What did we miss? What did we get right?