Continuing on with our sports movie rankings, the collection of gentleman and scholars over here at Blue Collar Media group have voted on our Top 10 baseball movies of all time. Just like with our top ten football movies article, this list is an amalgamation of seven different lists with 10 points being awarded for a 1st place vote all the way down to one point for a last place vote.
Honorable Mention: The Benchwarmers (12 points)
I’m glad I got a chance to write about this one because The Benchwarmers is just a fun movie all around. It’s hard not to love a movie boasting a cast of Rob Schneider, David Spade, Jon Lovitz and Jon Heder fresh off his Napoleon Dynamite prime. This silly and lighthearted movie is chalked full of laughs and invites the viewer to reminisce about the good times they had on the diamond as a kid.
Sort of like a dramatic version of Bad News Bears set in the Inner City, Hardball follows a degenerate gambler played by Keanu Reeves who has to coach a little league team to pay off his gambling debts. Featuring Michael B. Jordan in his feature film debut as one of the smart mouth kids on the team, Hardball is probably remembered more fondly now than it was initially received.
Obviously 42 had to make this list given the incredible and powerful true story it follows. I could recap it for you but if you don’t know the story of Jackie Robinson by now that sounds like more of a personal problem. A pretty much perfectly cast film with Chadwick Boseman as Jackie and Harrison Ford as Branch Rickey. Given what it’s about and how Boseman’s journey ended, 42 is a movie that will be talked about for a long time.
8. The Rookie
Now I’ve never been a huge baseball fan, but some baseball movies are nothing short of inspirational. And Dennis Quaid’s The Rookie is a shining example of this. Quaid gives one of the best acting performances of his career as real life major league pitcher Jimmy Morris. A high school science teacher and baseball coach who decides to chase his dream and debuts in the MLB at the age of 35. Stories like that of Jimmy Morris are one of many reasons why we love sports.
7. A League of Their Own
A classic 90’s comedy about an often forgotten piece of sports history – the first ever all female professional baseball league. When you look through the cast of this movie you Just know you’re in for a good time. The cast boasts Geena Davis, Lori Petty, Madonna and Rosie O’Donnell and I’m well aware that I just aged myself by appreciating that cast. But that cast is before you even mention that this movie also features Young Tom Hanks when he was just charming and funny, before he turned into one of the best actors of all time.
6. Bad News Bears
Our voters didn’t specify which version of Bad News Bears this is so I’m just going to write about the Walter Matthau version from the 1970’s. Because it is the superior version of this movie and no further discussion will be held on the matter. I don’t mean that as a knock on the 2006 remake with Billy Bob Thornton at all, Thornton excels in that movie as he does in all his roles. But when I talk Bad News Bears I’m talking about what started it all. Not only one of the best sports movies ever, one of the best comedies ever. The original Bad News Bears is a movie everyone needs to see at least once.
This movie will probably be most remembered as the movie that made the world take Jonah Hill seriously as an actor. As well done as this movie is all the way around, it’s Hill’s performance as Peter Brand that really makes it click. Faced with the task of turning the Oakland A’s around with one of the lowest payrolls in the league, Billy Beane (Brad Pitt) enlists Brand and his unorthodox approach to scouting to help him. Even if you’re tired of all the analytics in the game today it’s still worth seeing how it all started.
4. Major League
Once again not just one of the best sports movies ever, but also one of the best comedies ever. The Cleveland Indians new owner intentionally puts together a horrible team so they can relocate the team after the season. All goes as planned until the players uncover the plot and come together to start winning games out of spite. As most of the movies on this list this film boasts a star studded cast for its time including Tom Berenger, Wesley Snipes before prison and Charlie Sheen before he went crazy.
3. The Sandlot
Part of me feels like this movie isn’t given enough respect only being number 3 on this list, but the two we have in front of it makes me okay with this placement. If you for some weird reason have not seen this movie then finish reading this later and go out and buy The Sandlot. Don’t rent it, just buy it. Loaded with iconic scenes all throughout, this tale of a group of friends trying to recover an autographed Babe Ruth baseball is literally the exact definition of a timeless classic.
2. Field of Dreams
Like I said, it was hard to argue with The Sandlot at three when I saw what was in front of it. Convinced by a voice in his head, and without any real reason why, Ray Kinsella (Kevin Costner) decides to risk his entire livelihood and build a baseball diamond in the middle of his corn field on his struggling farm. Without even being able to explain what he is doing and on the brink of losing his house, Ray takes a leap of faith and decides to trust the voice that tells him "if you build it, they will come." Like many sports movies, Field of Dreams isn't really about baseball. It uses baseball as a metaphor for the relationship between a father and a son and how often times something as simple as a sport can drive a wedge between two people. But, if you let it, it can also be what brings you back together. If this movie doesn't make you want to have a catch with your dad then something isn't right.
1. Bull Durham
Obviously Bull Durham is number one on this list, if it wasn’t then we’d never be taken seriously again. I guess there’s just something about Kevin Costner in baseball movies, as Bull Durham isn‘t just the best baseball movie ever, it makes a compelling case for the best sports movie ever. While from a film standpoint Field of Dreams is a better movie, Bull Durham makes the top spot because it is actually about baseball... and love. Kevin Costner plays career minor league catcher Crash Davis at the tail end of his career who once again finds himself on a new team tasked with mentoring a young brash pitcher who's got a "million dollar arm and a five cent head." I could sit here and recap it some more but I’m not sure I could do it justice so just go watch it.
That does it for the BCMG top 10 baseball movies of all time list. Stay tuned for BCMG’s Top 10 basketball movies of all time coming soon. Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go on a bit of a Kevin Costner sports movie marathon... minus Draft Day.
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