Coming around the bend for Baseball Movie Month, we have a Cubs-centric movie! Rookie of the Year is a 1993 baseball comedy, featuring the Chicago Cubs. It is about little leaguer Henry Rowengartner, whose broken arm heals in an odd position, enabling him to throw 100 MPH fastballs. He is picked up by the Cubs after impressing the Wrigley Field crowd by throwing back a homer that reaches home plate. Rookie of the Year stars Thomas Ian Nicholas and Gary Busey.
Rookie Of The Year is a silly movie. Yes, it's a silly concept. I'm not expecting a movie to be realistic when it's about a little leaguer magically getting the ability to throw hard. To me, it was like watching a live action cartoon, and I don't mean that in a complimentary way. Everything and everyone is silly for the sake of being silly, and the result is a bunch of easily forgettable surface level gags. As someone who loves dumb movies, I'm surprised I just couldn't get into it, but I just didn't enjoy it.
For example, details like the Cubs pitching coach. Not only is he so ridiculous that he'd never be an actual pitching coach ever, but his clumsy gags just keep popping up over and over. He's like an unfunny clown. Jokes need a set up. You can't just have someone dancing around on screen saying "look at me, look at me, I'm so silly." It's just not funny.
I give Rookie of the Year a 4/10. If it wasn't for the fact that it is Cubs centric, I'd probably forget about it.
Rookie of the Year is one of my all-time favorite baseball movies. That doesn't necessarily make it a good movie, but being a Cubs fan, I love it. If I'm being objective, Rookie of the Year is a terrible movie. The story is meant to be silly, sure, but its ridiculousness could have worked with good acting, funny bits, or good baseball action. Rookie of the Year has none of these. In fact, the baseball scenes are so bad that it's impossible to forget that these are actors and not baseball players. There's really nothing else to add except I love this movie as a Cubs fan and hate this movie as a baseball fan. I give it a 4/10 only because it's a Cubs flick.
• Rookie of the Year was directed by Daniel Stern. It is the only movie he's directed to date. His name might not be instantly recognizable, but you might remember him for being this guy:
Yes, Rookie Of The Year was directed by one of the Wet Bandits from Home Alone.
• Gary Busey's must ace was a fake.
• Henry's hidden ball trick used to get one of the final outs against the Mets wouldn't work in real life (big surprise). Time doesn't start until the pitcher has the ball on the rubber, meaning the 1B holding onto the ball keeps it as a dead ball.