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It's that time of year: What's the best baseball movie?

 
 
Reply Mon 5 Apr, 2004 10:10 am
It's the greatest time of the year: major league baseball is starting, and the Cubs haven't choked yet. With that in mind, what is the best baseball movie?

My picks:

The Natural
A League of Their Own
Bull Durham
Pride of the Yankees
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jespah
 
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Reply Mon 5 Apr, 2004 10:21 am
I have yet to see The Natural or Pride of the Yankees (sacrilege, I know!). I certainly agree with your other 2 picks.

How 'bout Eight Men Out? And here's a film I haven't seen but have heard great things about: Fear Strikes Out.
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Setanta
 
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Reply Mon 5 Apr, 2004 10:25 am
Never saw A League of Their Own, nor Bull Durham. I enjoyed The Natural, but don't think it was a great movie. Pride of the Yankees has always been my favorite--although that is sacrelige for a New York Giants fan such as myself. (My Grandfather, when i was four, obtained a pint-sized silk pitcher's warm-up jacket for me, with Yankees emblazoned across it. I told him i didn't want it, 'cause i like the Giants ! ! ! Thought the old boy would die of apoplexy. He did eventually get me a Giants jacket, and sent me to two games of the 1954 Series with his chauffeur [guess he couldn't overcome his own distaste]. All i remember about those games is the really huge hotdogs.)
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Setanta
 
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Reply Mon 5 Apr, 2004 10:27 am
By the by, Joe, do not the Cubs again have a bull-pen to make the opposing sluggers tremble?
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PDiddie
 
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Reply Mon 5 Apr, 2004 10:28 am
Field of Dreams.
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fbaezer
 
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Reply Mon 5 Apr, 2004 11:04 am
Field of Dreams - a film not only about baseball, but about the love of baseball

It Happens Every Spring - a very nice comedy: a university professor discovers the formula to become a top class pitcher
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joefromchicago
 
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Reply Mon 5 Apr, 2004 11:11 am
jespah: Oddly enough, I've never seen "Fear Strikes Out" either. Jimmy Piersall is something of a legend in these parts, not because of his performance on the field (he never played for the Cubs or the White Sox) but because he was paired with Harry Caray when they broadcast White Sox games. Piersall was famous for calling the players' wives "horny broads" who were only after their husbands' money. He was also the baseball advisor in "Fear Strikes Out." He attempted to teach Tony Perkins how to play ball, or at least act as if he was a ballplayer; according to Piersall, that wasn't very easy, as Perkins ... well, let's just say he was not the athletic type.

As for "Eight Men Out," I'm rather ambivalent. I think the filmmakers spent so much effort on getting the period details right (and they did a damn fine job) that they forgot to add any kind of dramatic tension to the story. But any movie with Studs Terkel can't be all bad, and John Sayles is a dead ringer (pardon the pun) for Ring Lardner.

Setanta: Yes, rooting for the Yankees is something like aligning oneself with Sauron and his dark legions, and Lou Gehrig was certainly not the saint that he was portrayed to be, but "Pride of the Yankees" is still a great movie.

And the Cubs have certainly improved their bullpen this year: LaTroy Hawkins by addition, Antonio Alfonseca by subtraction.
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ebrown p
 
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Reply Mon 5 Apr, 2004 11:36 am
Another vote for "Field of Dreams"

"Oh, you're from the Sixties. Get out! Go back to the past while you can!"
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Dartagnan
 
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Reply Mon 5 Apr, 2004 11:40 am
There was one I saw years ago, can't recall the title, but it started Joe E. Brown. He played for the Cubs in the film--and they beat the Yankees in the World Series. Obviously, it was fiction, but it was a lot of fun. Maybe I'll google Joe E. Brown and figure it out...


[A bit later]
I found it: "Elmer the Great" (1933).
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patiodog
 
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Reply Mon 5 Apr, 2004 11:43 am
Bull Durham, in spite of my intense dislike of Kevin Costner's acting.
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mac11
 
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Reply Mon 5 Apr, 2004 11:54 am
Field of Dreams gets my vote (love James Earl Jones in that), but The Rookie was good, too.

D'art, is this the Joe E. Brown movie?

IMDb page on Alibi Ike
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fbaezer
 
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Reply Mon 5 Apr, 2004 12:05 pm
A little bit of trivia about "Field of Dreams".
I once checked it in a baseball database. Archie Graham did exist, a Major League player with one game played, no at bats.
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flyboy804
 
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Reply Mon 5 Apr, 2004 12:05 pm
My favorite is "Bang the Drum Slowly" with Michael Moriarty and Robert De Niro, batterymates, one of whom has a terminal illness and who get support from each other.
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Dartagnan
 
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Reply Mon 5 Apr, 2004 12:15 pm
Mac,

Evidently, Joe E. Brown did several baseball movies. The one I was thinking of is "Elmer the Great" though it appears that he played a Cubs pitcher in both movies...Thanks for looking!
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Raggedyaggie
 
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Reply Mon 5 Apr, 2004 12:58 pm
Pride of the Yankees and The Natural are my favorites, but I want to put a good word in for "A League of Their Own".
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Brandon9000
 
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Reply Mon 5 Apr, 2004 01:18 pm
Some other good ones are "Damn Yankees" and "It Happens Every Spring."
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Jer
 
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Reply Mon 5 Apr, 2004 01:19 pm
field of dreams...

...has made many a grown man cry. good flick.
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joefromchicago
 
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Reply Mon 5 Apr, 2004 01:46 pm
ebrown_p wrote:
Another vote for "Field of Dreams"

"Oh, you're from the Sixties. Get out! Go back to the past while you can!"

That's a great line.

Yeah, I almost put "Field of Dreams" on my short list. It's a terrific movie (and, like "Bull Durham," it's good despite Kevin Costner). Ultimately, though, "Field of Dreams" and "The Natural" are about the same thing: fathers and sons connecting through the medium of baseball. And I think "The Natural" is just a better movie than "Field of Dreams." "Field of Dreams" is sentimental, "The Natural" is mythic.

Speaking of great lines, I think "A League of Their Own" has the best:

"Are you crying? Are you crying? ARE YOU CRYING? There's no crying, there's no crying in baseball. ... Rogers Hornsby was my manager, and he called me a talking pile of pigshit. And that was when my parents drove all the way down from Michigan to see me play the game. And did I cry? NO. NO. And do you know why? Because there's no crying in baseball. There's no crying in baseball!"
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Lightwizard
 
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Reply Mon 5 Apr, 2004 03:22 pm
"Bull Durham" and one reason is Kevin Costner's on target performance (and I'm not a Costner fan) not to mention Tim Robbins and Susan Sarandon. It's really about the guts of the game.
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cjhsa
 
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Reply Mon 5 Apr, 2004 03:28 pm
The best baseball movie ever made is "The Sandlot".
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