The greatest baseball movies of all time? Since there are too many great films to choose from, so I narrowed my list to the Top 10. In no particular order:
Greatest Baseball Movies of All Time
Moneyball (2011) – The film is based on the 2003 nonfiction book by Michael Lewis. An account of the Oakland Athletics and their general manager Billy Beane’s attempts to assemble a competitive team in 2002. Voters nominated Moneyball for six Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Actor, and Best Supporting Actor. In sum, one of the best baseball movies ever made.
The Bad News Bears (1976) – the movie follows Morris Buttermaker (Walter Matthau) , an alcoholic ex-baseball pitcher who becomes a Little League coach for the Bears. Despite two sequels, a remake, and a TV series, this version remains the best version of the story.
Eight Men Out (1988) – The movie dramatizes the Black Sox Scandal, in which eight members of the Chicago White Sox conspired with gamblers to lose the 1919 World Series. In addition to being well-received, the film provides a justification for the historical doubt surrounding Shoeless Joe Jackson’s involvement in the scandal.
42 (2013) – a biographical film about the game’s first modern-era black Major Leaguer, Jackie Robinson. Starring Chadwick Boseman and Harrison Ford, the movie depicts the difficulties and racism endured by Robinson. While the film strove to capture the essence of Robinson’s struggle, it is historically inaccurate in certain depictions. Despite this, a thoroughly enjoyable film.
Major League (1989) – a comedy film released in 1989, starring Tom Berenger, Charlie Sheen, Wesley Snipes, and Corbin Bernsen. The movie tells the story of a fictionalized version of the Cleveland Indians baseball team. The owner plots to field a horrible team to drive attendance down in order to move the team to Miami. However, the team of misfits rallies to win the American League pennant.
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Pride of the Yankees (1942) – this a biographical drama film released in 1942, starring Gary Cooper as legendary New York Yankees first baseman Lou Gehrig. The film chronicles Gehrig’s rise to fame and his struggles with a fatal disease that eventually forced him to retire. In fact, Pride of the Yankees is the only baseball movie to win an Oscar (for Film Editing).
The Natural (1984) – The film tells the story of Roy Hobbs’ journey to overcome obstacles and personal demons to achieve greatness in baseball. Voters nominated The Natural for four Oscars, including Best Supporting Actress for Glenn Close. Actually, Eddie Waitkus, a major leaguer in 1941 and 1946-55, was the inspiration for the character of Roy Hobbs.
Field of Dreams (1989) – The film stars Kevin Costner as a farmer who builds a baseball field in his cornfield that attracts the ghosts of baseball legends, including Shoeless Joe Jackson and the Chicago Black Sox. The Academy nominated the film for three Oscars in 1990: Best Picture, Best Adapted Screenplay, and Best Original Score.
Bull Durham (1988) – The film is set in the world of minor league baseball, a rarely explored subject. It follows the love triangle between an experienced catcher (Kevin Costner), a rookie (Tim Robbins), and baseball groupie (Susan Sarandon). The Academy nominated the movie for an Oscar (Best Original Screenplay).
A League of Their Own (1992) – A light hearted film released in 1992, starring Geena Davis, Tom Hanks, Madonna, and Rosie O’Donnell. The film tells the story of the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League, which was created during World War II when many male baseball players served in the military.
This is my list of the greatest baseball movies ever made. Of course, many of you will disagree with some or all of my choices. However, that’s the beauty of the subjectivity of articles like this. Which of your favorite baseball movies would you put on this list?
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