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 Classic Baseball Movies

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2016 - Cory Hegedus
2015 - Eric Loucks
2014 - Grant Fox
2013 - Tyler Lilja
2012 - Anthony Fanelli
2011 - Zach Zimmerman
2010 - Tim Norris
2009 - Jon Murphy
2008 - Dan Norris
2007 - Zack Martin
2006 - Mike Harvat
2005 - Brandon Gnesda
2004 - Dave Campbell
2003 - Tyler Anderson
2002 - Eric Floriani

Elmer the Great (1933) stars Joe E. Brown as a ballplayer involved with crooks. Real ballplayers Babe Herman, Charlie Root, Larry French, Tuck Stainback and George Burns also appear. (Out of print.) Death on the Diamond (1934). Murder mystery filmed at Wrigley Field and Sportsman's Park. With Robert Young, Madge Evans, Ted Healy. (Out of print.)
Alibi Ike (1935) is another, even better, Joe E. Brown vehicle, featuring the big-mouthed comic as a ballplayer who has excuses for all his failings. With William Frawley, plus Olivia de Havilland in her first screen role. (Out of print.) Pride of the YankeesPride Of the Yankees (1942). Gary Cooper as Lou Gehrig in one of the greatest sports movies of all time. Nominated for best picture. With Teresa Wright and Walter Brennan, plus real ballplayers Babe Ruth, Joe McCarthy, Bill Dickey, and others.
The Babe Ruth Story (1948). William Bendix doesn't really look much like an athlete, which Babe Ruth was, in spite of his girth, and the movie isn't very accurate, but it's fun to watch. The Babe died of cancer a month after the film was released. With William Frawley, Charles Bickford, Claire Trevor. The Kid from Cleveland (1949). Not a very good film, but fans will enjoy seeing Bill Veeck, Bob Feller, Lou Boudreau, Satchell Paige, Hank Greenberg, Tris Speaker, and other real players. Starring George Brent, Lynn Bari, Ann Doran, Tommy Cook, Russ Tamblyn. (Out of print.)
The Stratton Story (1949) tells the tale of White Sox pitcher Monty Stratton, whose leg was amputated when he was 26. Jimmy Stewart and June Allyson play Stratton and his wife. With Frank Morgan and real players Jimmy Dykes, Bill Dickey, Spec Shea, Ted Lyons, Luke Appling, Gene Beardon, Lou Novikoff and George Vico. It Happens Every Spring (1949). Ray Milland stars as a physics professor who invents a substance that makes a baseball impossible to hit and becomes an instant pitching sensation. Cute comedy with good special effects. With Jean Peters, Ed Begley, and Ray Collins.
Take Me out To the Ballgame (1949) is the musical about fictitious infielders ("O'Brien to Ryan to Goldberg") played by Gene Kelly, Frank Sinatra, and Jules Munshin. With Esther Williams, Betty Garrett, Edward Arnold. The Jackie Robinson Story (1950). Jackie plays himself in the story of the first black major league player. With Ruby Dee, Louise Beavers.
Kill the Umpire (1950). William Bendix, of "Life of Riley" fame, loves baseball and hates umpires - so naturally he goes to umpire school! Very funny. With Una Merkel, Ray Collins, William Frawley. (Out of print.) Angels in the Outfield (1951). The Pittsburgh Pirates get help from the Angels - the real kind (as opposed to the ones from California). Remade in 1994. Paul Douglas, Janet Leigh, Keenan Wynn, Bing Crosby, and players Ty Cobb and Joe DiMaggio.


Rhubarb (1951). Cat inherits baseball team (The Loons). Chaos results. Based on a story by H. Allen Smith. With Ray Milland, William Frawley, Jan Sterling. (Out of print.) The Winning Team (1952). Ronald Reagan plays famed pitcher Grover Cleveland Alexander. With Doris Day, plus real players Bob Lemon, Hank Sauer, Irv Noren, Gerry Priddy, Al Zarilla, Peanuts Lowery, George Metkovich, Gene Mauch.
The Pride of St. Louis (1952) is an average Dizzy Dean biopic starring Dan Dailey as Diz. With Richard Crenna, Joanne Dru, and Chet Huntley as an announcer. The Kid From Left Field (1953) is the precocious son of "Pop" Cooper, a disgraced ex-ballplayer working as a peanut vendor at the ballpark. The kid ends up managing the team as a front for his father, until illness forces Pop to come forward and take the place of the old manager. With Dan Dailey, Billy Chapin, Lloyd Bridges, Richard Egan, Anne Bancroft, Ray Collins. (Out of print; remade in 2002.)
Big Leaguer (1953). Based on the life of big league scout John B. "Hans" Lobert, who is running the New York Giants rookie camp. Edward G. Robinson, Vera-Ellen, Jeff Richards, Richard Jaeckel, and Carl Hubbell as himself. (Out of print.) Roogie's Bump (1954). Remington "Roogie" Rigsby is just a kid, but he ends up pitching for the Brooklyn Dodgers. Very similar to 1993's "Rookie of the Year." Robert Marriot, Ruth Warrick, William Harrigan, and ballplayers Roy Campanella, Billy Loes, Russ Meyer and Carl Erskine.
Fear Strikes Out (1957). Anthony Perkins plays Jimmy Piersall in a mostly-fictional but engrossing account of the ballplayer's mental breakdown. With Karl Malden. Damn Yankees (1958). A Washington Senators fan sells his soul to the Devil, played by Ray Walston, in perhaps his most memorable role. Great songs, with choreography by Bob Fosse. The Broadway musical was better, but this is still fun. Gwen Verdon, Tab Hunter.
Safe At Home! (1962). Mickey Mantle and Roger Maris star in a fairly lame film about a young boy who lies about his dad's relationship with the two stars. Timed to take advantage of Roger's 61-home-run year. With William Frawley, plus manager Ralph Houk and pitcher Whitey Ford. Bang the Drum Slowly (1973) stars Robert DeNiro in his first big role as a terminally ill catcher. With Michael Moriarty, Vincent Gardenia, Phil Foster, Heather MacRae, Selma Diamond, Danny Aiello.
The Bingo Long Traveling All-Stars & Motor Kings (1976). One of my favorite baseball films, and a very enjoyable movie all around, with an excellent cast, including Billy Dee Williams, James Earl Jones, Richard Pryor, Ted Ross, DeWayne Jessie, Stan Shaw. The Bad News Bears (1976). A good cast makes this forumula losers-to-winners movie quite enjoyable, unlike the various sequels. With Walter Matthau, Tatum O'Neal, Vic Morrow, Joyce Van Patten, Jackie Earl Haley.
Don't Look Back (1981) stars Louis Gossett Jr. as Leroy "Satchel" Paige in a made-for-TV movie about the life of the Negro League pitcher who made it to the big leagues at the end of his career. Tiger Town (1983). The Disney Channel's first movie featured a fictitious Detroit Tiger pitcher. Tiger Manager Sparky Anderson and broadcaster Ernie Harwell appear as themselves. With Roy Scheider, Justin Henry, Ron McLarty. (Not on video.)
The Natural (1984). This movie is about baseball the way that Casablanca is about WWII, but there are a lot of baseball scenes in it. Robert Redford as Roy Hobbs, with Robert Duvall, Glenn Close, Kim Basinger, Barbara Hershey, Wilford Brimley, Richard Farnsworth, Robert Proskey, Joe Don Baker, and Darren McGavin. Based on the novel by Bernard Malamud, many of whose fans don't much like it. Very watchable nonetheless. Bull Durham (1988). Kevin Costner stars as Crash Davis, a catcher in the twilight of his career who's given the job of watching out for young pitching stud "Nuke" LaLoosh, played by Tim Robbins. Lots of fun, with some good baseball moments. With Susan Sarandon.
Eight Men Out (1988) retells the story of the 1919 Black Sox World Series betting scandal involving "Shoeless" Joe Jackson. With John Cusack, Clifton James, Michael Lerner, Charlie Sheen, John Mahoney, D.B. Sweeny, David Strathairn, Christopher Lloyd, Michael Rooker, Perry Lang, James Read, Bill Irwin, Kevin Tighe, Studs Terkel, John Anderson. Field of DreamsField Of Dreams (1989). Another film that isn't really about baseball, even though it takes place mostly on a ball diamond. Nominated for Best Picture. Kevin Costner, James Earl Jones, Amy Madigan, Burt Lancaster, Timothy Busfield, Gaby Hoffman, Ray Liotta.
Major League (1989). Funny film about a Cleveland Indians team put together by their owner with the express purpose of losing who defy the odds and win anyway. With Tom Berenger, Charlie Sheen, Corbin Bernsen, Margaret Whitton, James Gammon, Rene Russo, Wesley Snipes, Dennis Haysbert, Charles Cyphers. A League of Their Own (1992). Story of the Woman's Professional Baseball League created during WWII to fill the void left by the fact that most male ballplayers were in the military. With Tom Hanks, Geena Davis, Madonna Lori Petty, Jon Lovitz, David Strathairn, Garry Marshall, Megan Cavanaugh, Rosie O'Donnell, Renee Coleman, Ann Cusack, Tracy Reiner, Janet Jones, Tea Leoni, Bill Pullman.

The Rookie (2002) When a shoulder injury ended his minor league pitching career twelve years ago, Jim Morris resorted to the next best thing: coaching. But Jim's team, knowing their coach is a great ball player, makes a deal with him: if they win the district championship, they want Jim to try out for a major-league organization. Going from worst to first, the team makes it to state, and Jim is forced to live up to his end of the deal. While there prove to be a lot of pitches to be thrown before he makes it off the mound, big-league dreams are revived, and there's no telling where he could go.

For the Love of the Game (1999) Billy Chapel (Kevin Costner) is having a bad day. His girlfriend Jane (Kelly Preston, stunning as ever) says she's leaving, and his boss (Brian Cox) says he's selling the business and ace employee Billy may be out of job. Sounds like business as usual for an old-fashioned veteran. However, the business is baseball and for Billy Chapel, the 40-year old former all-star for the Detroit Tigers, it means his career--and his life--is at a crossroads.
Sandlot (1993) When egghead Scotty Smalls moves to town just before the summer vacation of 1962, his first priority is to make friends. He heads to the nearby sandlot only to humiliate himself before the local kids, but star player Benny "The Jet" Rodriguez befriends the awkward boy, teaches him the basics of baseball, and welcomes him to the team. It's a summer filled with camaraderie and fun until Smalls hits his first home run. Problem is, Smalls's home run sends his stepfather's "Babe Ruth" autographed baseball into a neighboring yard that's patrolled by a snarling, slobbering monster called "The Beast." Creativity reigns and hilarity ensues when the boys risk everything to retrieve the ball. A final heroic encounter with "The Beast" and his owner yields some very surprising results. Major League II (1994) Those diehard Cleveland Indians that went from worst to first in the hit original now cope with fame and its perks as the hangdog team tries to hit, hustle and joke its way back to the top. Charlie Sheen, Tom Berenger and Corbin Bernsen star.