Hollywood has had a love affair with baseball throughout the ages. Beginning with the first film “Right Off the Bat” made in 1915 to so many modern day classics.
After 19 years in the big leagues, 40 year old Billy Chapel has trudged to the mound for over 4000 innings. But tonight, he’s pitching against time, he’s pitching against the future, against age, against ending. Tonight, he will make the fateful walk to the loneliest spot in the world, the pitching mound at Yankee Stadium, to push the sun back into the sky and give us one more day of summer. ~Vin Scully For Love of the Game
With my love of baseball, it probably comes as no surprise, I’m also a big fan of baseball movies. There’s no shortage of amazing ones to choose from. We can partly thank Kevin Costner for that, as his movies top many people’s lists of favorites. Mine included.
Thursday was an off day for our Dodgers and like many fans that leaves a lot of unfilled hours in the day. Granted, I could’ve cleaned my truck or worked on any one of my unfinished short stories. But, I was jonesing for baseball and began flipping through the channels, maybe the Giants were on and losing, I like watching that. But, no such luck. They were on later in the evening and lost… thanks Nats!
Much to my delight, I found something better… Ok, nothing is better than seeing the Giants lose, so let’s go with a close second. One of the first baseball movies I remember seeing and a lifelong favorite, “The Bad News Bears” (the original) was starting. I love that movie! Amanda Whurlitzer… I am her, she is me.
Kelly Leak, what young girl didn’t crush on that teenage, chain-smoking, motorcycle riding, home run hitting bad boy? Maybe that was just me. Years later, imagine my excitement when movie crush Kelly Leak’s twin, Tim Lincecum, came onto the baseball scene only to become a lousy Giant. Crush crushed.
Watching this movie led me to think about some of my favorite baseball movies. I have to confess, good or bad, I’ll watch any baseball movie that’s on. Especially during the off-season when the baseball hunger is strong.
For the sake of brevity (is it too late for that?) and my desire to share some of your favorites as well, I’ll only list my top five. This list is in no particular order because they’re all great in my humble opinion.
FIELD OF DREAMS
THE BAD NEWS BEARS
PRIDE OF THE YANKEES – I was unable to find a good clip of this movie. But if you like classic movies like I do, this is a must-see baseball movie about the life of Lou Gehrig.