Top Three Baseball Movies
With the All-star break just around the corner that means we’ll have a few days without Indians baseball; and if you’re like me, that’s the longest few days of the summer. I like to fill the void by watching baseball themed movies and I have compiled a list of my top three baseball movies of all time.
#3 "Major League" (1989)
It might seem a little biased that I would pick a movie focused on the Cleveland Indians, but this movie is truly one of the best. Released six years before the Indians made it to the World Series in 1995, you can’t help but notice the similarities between Willie Mays Hayes (Wesley Snipes) and the former all-star centerfielder of the Indians Kenny Lofton, which makes the movie all the more prophetic. Bob Uecker struck comic gold with his portrayal of an apathetic and alcoholic radio announcer, Harry Doyle. Who could forget that perfect line spoken after cursing on the air: “Nobody’s listening anyway”? And who doesn’t get chills when the entire sold out crowd of municipal stadium erupts to sing along to “Wild Thing” when Rick “Wild thing” Vaughn (Charlie Sheen) enters the game against the dreaded Yankees. Most of all this movie made the list because the focus of the film is the game of baseball. Plus it spawned two hilarious and worthy sequels.
#2 "The Natural" (1984)
It’s a movie about the greatest baseball player who ever lived. Roy Hobbs (Robert Redford) is a fictional character who is a young top prospect who has his career sidetracked when he is shot by a crazed fan. The movie is about him making his comeback years after the shooting. He comes into the game when most players start to consider retirement and shatters records with his homemade bat “Wonderboy”. With masterful directing by Barry Levinson and majestic cinematography by Caleb Deschanel (Zoey’s dad) setting the stage for the drama of baseball the magic comes alive with a memorable home run that causes the stadium lights to explode with sparks.
#1 "Moneyball" (2011)
The young director, Bennett Miller, has truly made a masterpiece with his baseball-themed gem. With a magical performance by Brad Pitt and a surprisingly masterful performance by comedy man, Jonah Hill, you can’t go wrong with this film. Oakland Athletics GM, Billy Beane (Pitt) attempts to form a winning team with a small budget that could compete with the Yankees enormous budget. Moneyball reminds you of why you fell in love with the game of baseball and even teaches you things about the game you never knew. The cinematography of Wally Pfister is magnificent and it is a wonder how it didn’t warrant him at least a nomination. There are plenty of amazing baseball movies out there for you to enjoy during the All-Star break; movies that truly show the magic of baseball as it builds friendships, relationships and, of course, hometown love… or disappointment here in Cleveland. Enjoy what you will and Go Tribe!