The Best Baseball Movies of All Time
Over the past 160 years, baseball has lifted and broken spirits. Every spring, there is hope. Come autumn, there is mostly despair as we wait for the cold, dark winter. That is the beauty of a sport that has nudged its way into American folklore to the point where its hard to imagine one without the other. And thus, baseball has become the subject of some fantastic pieces of cinema. Whether the film be about falling in love with the pastime for the first time or the trials and tribulations of a player trying to make it to the show, the baseball diamond has provided a setting for some of Hollywood’s most iconic films.
Based on the superb book by Michael Lewis, the Brad Pitt-led film takes a look at the statistical revolution that has swept through baseball over the past three decades. While most of the movie’s best parts take place off the field, the movie has just enough on-field action to satisfy those who aren’t into the “nerd” side of the sport as much as they are into the game itself.
Ballplayer: Pelotero (2011)
This critically-acclaimed documentary followed two highly sought after prospects–Miguel Sano and Juan Carlos Bautista–from the Dominican Republic as they began the process of trying to sign a Major League deal. Narrated by John Leguizamo, the film gives a gripping look at what it takes for players to make it from the Dominican Republic.
Perhaps the most underrated baseball movie ever made, Sugar is a fictional tale about a 19-year-old baseball player, Miguel “Sugar” Santos, and his dream of trying to make it to the Major Leagues. The movie does its best to give an earnest look at the tough journey ahead of ballplayers in the Minor Leagues, especially those from other countries.
Bull Durham (1988)
Perhaps the quintessential baseball movie, Bull Durham, features Kevin Costner giving one of the best performances in a sports movie as Crash Davis, a minor league lifer who is given the task of bringing along his organization’s next hot talent, Ebby Calvin “Nuke” LaLoosh (played by Tim Robbins) and introducing him to the grind of being a professional ballplayer.
The Sandlot (1993)
As American as apple pie or baseball, itself, The Sandlot tells the tale of a group of suburban kids trying to make their way through the summer by getting together and playing baseball. A movie for both baby boomers and their offspring, The Sandlot is probably the most quoted baseball movie ever made.
Eight Men Out (1988)
Baseball is a game that survives off tradition and Eight Men Out tells the story of the most infamous moment in the Major League history, when Arnold Rothstein paid off the Chicago White Sox to throw the 1919 World Series against the Cincinnati Reds. The movie gives a detailed look at how the scandal played out and the legends, like “Shoeless” Joe Jackson, that it left behind.
Major League (1989)
More than anything, Major League makes you feel like you’re along the ride for the fictional season it portrays. The movie that gave us ‘Wild Thing’ and Jobo also does a great job of capturing the sights and sounds of a baseball game throughout the film.
The Natural (1984)
Despite a troublesome encounter that cut his young career short before it even started, Roy Hobbs (played by Robert Redford) returns to prominence 16 years later as a 35-year-old rookie. The Natural is a story of opportunities lost and redemption gained where Hobbs’ body and moral fiber are pushed to the limit.
A League of Their Own (xx)
With World War II sending a majority of MLB players overseas, A League Of Their Own chronicles the ups and downs of an all-female replacement league. Starring a killer cast headlined by Rosie O’Donnell, Geena Davis, Madonna, and Tom Hanks, this movie has perhaps the most famous quote on this list: “There’s no crying in baseball.”