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Thursday, February 6, 2014


“You know, if my dog was as ugly as you, I'd shave his butt and tell him to walk backwards.”
     - The Great Hambino

Ahh yes… Hamilton Porter, aka ‘The Great Hambino”.  He, Smalls, Squints, Yeah Yeah, and Benny “The Jet” Rodriguez made one hell of a baseball movie.

Yes, I’d love a s’more.  Thanks Ham!
As a baseball fan there are few things more entertaining than a BASEBALL movie.  It’s also one of the highlights of this time of year.  From late January – March…TBS, TNT, MLB, and the like dust off the baseball flicks to get us in the mood for the upcoming season.

And now that the “Super” Bowl is over (I didn’t find it so super, did you?), we can focus. 
FOCUS. ON. BASEBALL.  We've got a couple of weeks before Spring Training begins, so baseball movies are probably your best bet at feeding the 108-seemed addiction.

So what’s your favorite baseball movie?  Tough question, isn’t’ it? 

I asked about fifteen people this same question and got “It’s hard to name just three!” almost every time. 

But in the end, these were your picks (in order):

     1.       Field of Dreams 
             The Sandlot (tied)
 3.       Major League
4.       Bull Durham 
             The Natural (tied)

Shoeless Joe Jackson: The first two were high and tight, so where do you think the next one's gonna be?
Archie Graham: Well, either low and away, or in my ear.
Shoeless Joe Jackson: He's not gonna wanna load the bases, so look low and away.
Archie Graham: Right.
Shoeless Joe Jackson: But watch out for in your ear.

All good picks.  I could watch any of these movies on repeat until Opening Day.  Something I found interesting is that there is nothing on this list made after I was 13 years old!  (The Sandlot, 1993, was the most recent)  In fact, these movies are on average 25.4 years old.  But I guess that’s what happens when you ask a bunch of 30+ year olds their favorite anything.  Haha

Topps is producing Major League baseball cards to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the movie.  BOOM!
There were only two relatively recent movies thrown out there; Trouble with the Curve and Money Ball.  Each only got one vote, but they were mentioned.  I really liked Money Ball.  If only it weren’t about the freaking As.  We hate them, remember?

Also interesting is that NO ONE said:  A League of Their Own.  That was a damn good movie.  You sexists.  Haha

Okay...okay...I'll stop crying.

Of course one of the hazards of being a baseball fan though is that you’re in danger of liking a terrible movie, just because the crappy movie you love involves baseball. 

Exhibit A:

 Even awesome views of RBiA couldn’t save this little piece of hell.

Exhibit B:

If there’s any part of you that doesn’t think this movie sucks… that part of you is wrong.

“Fever Pitch” and “For Love of the Game” round out my list of horrible baseball movies.  I mean, there are plenty of bad ones, but these four are the absolute worst. 

“The Rookie” was based on a true story and was partly filmed in RBiA…how could that NOT be good?  I don’t know how…but it ain’t.  It’s so hokey.  The same goes for Angles in the Outfield; hokey X 100.  I guess I should have known better, both were Disney releases after all.  They should really stick to movies about animal kingdoms and toy cowboys, etc.

But, I will say that hokey doesn't always discount a baseball movie.  I mean who could forget this kid?: 

"Pitcher’s got a big butt!"
If you didn’t repeat that line at least 27 times after you saw that movie the first time, you’re un-American.  Also, I don’t care if this movie is completely preposterous and about a 12-year old in the big leagues…or however old Henry Rosenbagger is supposed to be…I’ll still watch it. 

And all I can say about “Fever Pitch” and “For Love of the Game” is that it is very rare for something to be classified as a “romantic comedy” to make a good baseball movie; or any kind of sports movie for that matter.  Bull Durham definitely has its romantic elements, but even Wiki knows better.  Google “Fever Pitch” and you’ll get "...romantic comedy film starring Drew Barrymore and Jimmy Fallon".  Google "Bull Durham" and you'll turn up "...American romantic comedy sports film".  See what I mean?  Baseball is the overarching theme, the romance just kind of happens.  Can't say that for the other two here.

So I’m sure you’re dying at this point to know my personal top 3.  I heard everyone out before even trying to decide.  I always have my favorites in rotation, but to pick three and rank them?  Help me baseball Jesus!  (And yes, he can hit a curve ball)

“You trying to say Jesus Christ can’t hit a curveball?"

I used these factors to choose my winners:  general enjoyment, quotability, & level of baseball involved in the plot.

So…here you have it: 
        1.    The Sandlot   
         2.    Major League
         3.  Bull Durham  

The Sandlot:  Pure kid joy over my favorite sport.  Massive quotability + nostalgia.  Love it.

Major League:  Harry Doyle for President!  Hilarious, infinitely quotable. 

Bull Durham:  A woman whose first true love was baseball?  Yeah…I’ll take that.  Me & Annie…RIGHTHERE.

“Just a reminder, fans, comin’ up is our ‘Die-Hard’ Night here at the stadium.  Free admission to anyone who was actually alive the last time the Indians won a pennant.” 

Get your baseball movies in now kids!  Only 9 days until our pitchers & catchers report. 

Time to go to church.

"I've tried 'em all, I really have, and the only church that truly feeds the soul, day in, day out, is the Church of Baseball."

1 comment:

  1. I like Major League, The Natural, and A League of Their Own :)

    Haven't seen Sandlot or Bull Durham....obviously need to.