Updated: Nov 12, 2019
Cubs DNA team shares their favorite baseball movies.
It's a tie between Little Big League and The Natural.
Little Big League was my favorite growing up. I analyzed and breathed baseball like Billy Heywood, so it hit a soft spot in my heart. As a bonus, I knew the answers to the trivia questions that Billy and Grandpa were shooting back and forth. I also knew about the three runners at one base thing, and that the trick pickoff play at the film's climax is, in fact, a balk.
The Natural is the glory days of baseball at it's finest. It's cheesy and slow-moving but presents baseball in a nostalgic and dreamlike state. And seriously, who doesn't get chills with the theme song? It's an excellent period piece.
Yeah, I know it's cliche and that some people hate it (hint: They're MONSTERS) but my favorite baseball movie is Field of Dreams. Road trips to watch baseball, Moonlight Graham, ghosts, and sticking it to the man! What's not to love? The actual location is absolutely magical, too. I've been there twice, one time it was packed to the gills with people and I got to take an at-bat. It was awesome! The second time I was there I was completely alone. I could feel the magic of the movie around me. It was awesome! It's why I was so excited about MLB's initiative to hold a game there. It sounded amazing, but then I realized Manfred was involved so it was going to be terrible. It IS going to be terrible. Ugh. Still, the magic of the movie is the final act where Ray has a catch with his dad. My father died when I was 29, and we never had a great relationship when he was here so the idea about reconciling over a game of catch hits me every damn time.
This is tough. My childhood favorites were The Sandlot and Angels in the Outfield. Moneyball is another fantastic movie and I think that will be my choice. You get both baseball and the inner-workings of a front office which I love. Great acting all around and just a good movie.
Without a doubt, it's A League of Their Own. Not only does it have a ton of classic lines, but it was the first education most people got about the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League (AAGPBL). Before its release, the average Joe didn't even know the AAGPBL ever existed, let alone how awesome and athletic those ladies were. I mean, come ON... they had to play real, actual fast pitch baseball in tiny skirts with no sliding pads and a bunch of losers ogling them from the stands! Now that I'm a mom of a baseball loving little girl, I've been able to sit down with her and share the film with her as well, and listen to her talk about being a Rockford Peach for Halloween. And isn't that kind of bonding what movies really should be about?
Mine is also A League of Their Own. I grew up playing softball and the movie took me back to all the fun times I had with my friends and the camaraderie we built playing the game. Plus seeing women on the screen playing ball and kicking butt was really exciting as a young woman. The ladies were finally represented on screen!
There is also an episode on the "X-Files" (one of my favorite shows of the '90's) called "The Unnatural". Set in the late 1940's, it told the story of a black baseball player in Roswell, NM called John Exley. Exley ended up being an alien with a love for baseball. There were also themes of racism and segregation but the episode was heartbreakingly beautiful in romanticizing baseball. It's my favorite series' stand-alone episode and really well written and directed by one of the X-Files' stars, David Duchovny.
Hey Tina, I had forgotten about that X-Files episode and now I want to go back and rewatch it! That is a great one!! This is a tough question! Do I pick Major League which featured a pre-Tigers Blood Charlie Sheen playing a character who reminded me of Mitch "Wild Thing" Williams? Or what about Soul of the Game (a TV-movie, but those count right?) featuring Delroy Lindo as Satchel Paige. Paige's story about NOT being able to be a MLB rookie until the age of 42 always gutted me and I always found his story fascinating. Or should I pick Bull Durham which features THE SEXIEST monologue by Kevin Costner EVER?
But this is FAVORITE movie, so it has to be the one that brings the biggest feeling of glee. That you watch the movie and you not only want to be a part of it but you want to BE that main character. And who hasn't dreamed of being a kid standing on first base at Wrigley Field, taunting the pitcher in front of him? Yep, my pick is ROOKIE OF THE YEAR!