In my household, October means one thing: baseball. The first day of October marks the beginning of a month long post-season playoff culminating in the World Series. It’s a glorious thirty days of competition, athleticism, and excitement. In honor of the playoffs, and to get in the mood for the World Series, I’ve compiled a list of my top five baseball movies of all time.
1. The Sandlot
Though it was not a box office success, this movie has come to define the very heart of baseball. The Sandlot is the story of boys, friendship, and baseball. It’s reminiscent of a time in America long past, with campouts, first kisses, fireworks, and a very large dog. The Sandlot is one of the most iconic baseball movies ever, and a movie everyone can enjoy regardless of their feelings towards baseball.
2. A League of Their Own
A League of Their Own is certainly different than every other baseball movie because all of the players are girls. The movie, which takes place during World War II, follows the story of a girls’ baseball league while the men are overseas fighting in the war. The film boasts stellar performances from Geena Davis and Tom Hanks, who develop great raport and camdraderie. In this movie, baseball is stripped to its very heart—the love of the game. Plus, it can boast some of baseball’s most famous lines—There’s no crying in baseball!
Field of Dreams is one of the most famous baseball movies of all time. It tells the story of a man with a special calling to build a baseball field for some of the game’s greatest players. In the process, it brings his family together, and everyone is reminded of how special family and baseball are. The movie stars Kevin Costner and James Earl Jones.
4. Bull Durham
Yes, another Kevin Costner baseball movie. This one is unique because it follows a minor league team. Bull Durham is the story of an old-timer who has spent years in the minor leagues and is tasked with mentoring a promising young player. It offers a look into the traditions, superstitions, and practices of baseball.
As one of the newest baseball movies, Moneyball offers insight into one of the most important developments of the modern game—statistics. Moneyball tells the story of Billy Beane, the general manager of the Oakland A’s, who uses a young economist’s mathematical theories to put together a low budget baseball team that sets (and still holds) the record for most baseballs games won in a row. Moneyball highlights the modern method of analyzing players and their values based on statistics, a method that won the Red Sox the World Series in 2004. Moneyball also offers a look at the business side of baseball and how players are traded and teams are assembled. It’s truly a unique picture of the inner workings of a baseball organization.
There are so many good baseball movies that it is difficult to pick the five best, so if you’ve seen the five movies I mentioned above, check out these five honorable mentions:
This movie tells the story of Jackie Robinson, the first African American player to play baseball in the major leagues. Jackie overcomes racism, prejudice, and discrimination to become one of the greatest players ever.
2. Pride of the Yankees
This film recounts the story of another one of baseball’s greats, Lou Gehrig, who struggles with his baseball career and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, a muscle deterioration disease.
3. The Rookie
4. Angels in the Outfield
Christopher Lloyd lights up this comedy as an angel sent to help the Angels win baseball games. This movie also features Danny Glover and a very young and adorable Joseph Gorgon-Levitt.
5. For Love of the Game
Yes, I know, another Kevin Costner baseball movie, but this one is good too. A pitcher throws a perfect game as the movie flashes back to his past career and personal life. The game is announced by legendary Dodger announcer Vin Scully.
Enjoy these amazing baseball movies and don’t forget to watch the NLCS and the ALCS, and then the World Series. Go Dodgers! (Or Cardinals, if you’re Emily)