Who doesn't love a great baseball movie? A perfect choice for family movie night, they often demonstrate perseverance, determination, courage, and teamwork. Plus, they offer some of the very best and most reusable movie lines, from "There's no crying in baseball!" to "You're killing me, Smalls!"
Following is a list of our family's heavy hitters (in alphabetical order). Now let's play ball!
42 (PG-13 for thematic elements and language)
This is a must-see whether or not you are a baseball fan! Legend Jackie Robinson (Chadwick Boseman) left an indelible mark on both the game of baseball and our country when he was signed by the Brooklyn Dodgers as the first African-American to play in Major League Baseball.
The Benchwarmers (PG-13 for language and for crude and suggestive humor)
David Spade, Rob Schneider, and Jon Heder star in this Happy Madison production. That should tell you what you need to know about this comedy. It's not a great movie nor an inspiring story, but it makes us laugh out loud every time.
Bull Durham (Rated R)
Starring Kevin Costner, Tim Robbins, and Susan Sarandon, it is funny, dramatic, and very sexy. For the fan who wants a bit of spice with their sport.
Eight Men Out (PG for brief, strong language... might be PG-13 by today's standards)
The Chicago White Sox were considered the favorites to win the 1919 World Series. When they didn't, eight members of the team — including George "Buck" Weaver and "Shoeless" Joe Jackson — were accused of intentionally throwing the game. The "Black Sox" scandal was one of the darkest moments in baseball history.
Fever Pitch (PG-13 for crude and sexual humor, and some sensuality)
Die-hard Red Sox fans will relate to this romantic comedy inspired by Nick Hornby's memoir, Fever Pitch: A Fan's Tale. Ben (Jimmy Fallon) is falling for Lindsey (Drew Barrymore). But once spring rolls around, Ben finds himself torn between his new love and the team that originally captured his heart.
Field of Dreams (Rated PG)
Ray Kinsella (Kevin Costner) builds a baseball diamond in the middle of his cornfield because he keeps hearing "If you build it, he will come." James Earl Jones, Burt Lancaster, Amy Madigan, and Ray Liotta also star in this film that received three Oscar nominations, including Best Picture.
A League of Their Own (Rated PG)
Although this movie about two baseball-playing sisters is fictional, it was inspired by the documentary of the same name about the short-lived but very real All-American Girls Professional Baseball League (AAGPBL), founded when most of the men were away fighting in World War II.
Major League (Rated R)
One of THE classic sports comedies (but it's not for kids)! The new owner of the Cleveland Indians wants to move the team to Florida but she needs a losing team to do it. She puts together a team of not-great players to achieve her goal, but they start winning just to spite her. It's the cast — including Tom Berenger, Charlie Sheen (before he went completely batty), Wesley Snipes, and Corbin Bernsen — that makes this one so much fun!
Million Dollar Arm (Rated PG)
Based on a true story. A sports agent (Jon Hamm) heads to India to try to recruit cricket players to Major League Baseball.
Moneyball (PG-13 for strong language)
Based on a true story. Billy Beane, general manager for the Oakland A's, didn't have much money to assemble a championship team. So he used computer-generated analysis to determine which players to draft. The film was nominated for six Oscars, including Best Picture, Best Actor (Brad Pitt), and Best Supporting Actor (Jonah Hill).
The Natural (Rated PG)
Inspired by the 1952 novel by Bernard Malamud, this is an irresistable classic. Starring Robert Redford, Robert Duvall, Glenn Close, and Kim Basinger, just watching the trailer is enough to give me chills.
The Rookie (Rated G)
Based on the true story of Jim Morris (Dennis Quaid), whose baseball aspirations were shattered after suffering several arm injuries while playing in the minor leagues. As a high school science teacher and baseball coach, his students get him to try out for the Tampa Bay Rays. He ended his short professional career (1999-2000) with an ERA of 4.80 and 13 strikeouts.
The Sandlot (Rated PG)
Scotty Smalls is the new kid in town who finds his way "in" with the neighborhood kids through baseball. This coming-of-age comedy will take you back to free-range summers, first kisses, and great friendships!