From the dead ball era to the steroid era, the list of the best baseball movies of all time covers it all. America’s pastime, the game of baseball has endured world wars, strikes and a battle with performance enhancing drugs, but it still captures the hearts of people throughout this fine land and abroad. The best baseball movies take us to a place where we don’t have to worry about a mortgage, or an angry boss, they take us out to the ballpark on a sunny July day, and tell us a story about boyhood dreams of legging out a double at Yankee Stadium. They remind us of our fathers, brothers and mothers, helping us learn the game that we loved as boys, and adore as men. Without further adieu, let us take a crack at the best baseball movies of all time.
Field of Dreams - 1989
I know you have said it at least once, most likely in jest, “If you build it, he will come.” Of course you have, we all have. The saying haunted Ray Kinsella (Kevin Costner) throughout the film. Pushing him to do the unthinkable and build a baseball field in place of his cornfield in the middle of Iowa. The movie beautifully portrays the juxtaposition of religion and baseball, a game that has a lot of religion indeed. The story moves forward bringing second chances to ball players from throughout the ages. The last ball player to arrive was Ray’s father, John. The movie ends with John and Ray having a catch, a scene that brings with it a wave of emotion. This movie is one of the best baseball, family and father son experiences out there. Give it a shot.
Bull Durham – 1988
A baseball movie set in North Carolina, following the Durham Bulls, a minor league ball club littered with young talent and has beens. Kevin Costner steals the show as the career minor leaguer about to earn the dubious record of most career home runs in minor league baseball history. His character, Crash, has been brought in to catch and mentor the Bulls’ young phenom pitcher, Nuke Laloosh. The two players get caught up in a love affair with Bulls groupie Annie Savoy played by Susan Sarandon. The movie does a wonderful job of capturing comedy romance and baseball, a feat that has yet to be duplicated. Bull Durham was ranked by Sports Illustrated as the #1 Greatest Sports Movie of All Time. We agree with SI. Do you?
Fear Strikes Out – 1957
As we have seen, the best baseball films aren’t about baseball and only baseball. The subplot makes the story memorable. One of the best baseball movies of all time comes to us from 1957 in the form of “Fear Strikes Out.” This baseball movie chronicles the ups and downs of baseball star Jimmy Piersall. The film is based on Piersall’s biography, written by Al Hirshberg. It stars Anthony Perkins and Karl Malden. Fear Strikes out juxtaposes baseball and bipolar disorder in this fantastic story of courage in sport.