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Ranking my 10 favorite baseball movies of all time

Apr 16, 2013, 2:14 PM EST

Bull Durham poster

OK, so yesterday I linked to IMDB’s list of the top 10 baseball movies of all time and suggested that any list ranking “Fever Pitch” ahead of “The Natural” while leaving “Major League” off entirely is sort of tough to take seriously.

Of course, it’s a lot easier to pick on another person’s list than it is to come up with your own list, or at least to come up with your own list and publish it on the internet so other people can pick on it.

With the trio of disclaimers that I haven’t seen some prominent baseball movies since I was a kid, did not include/consider documentaries, and put approximately 20 minutes of thought into compiling this entire thing, here’s my top 10:

1. “Bull Durham”
2. “Major League”
3. “The Bad News Bears”
4. “The Sandlot”
5. “A League Of Their Own”
6. “Eight Men Out”
7. “The Natural”
8. “Field Of Dreams”
9. “Moneyball”
10*. “Mr. Baseball”/”Rookie Of The Year”/”Little Big League”

* Yeah, that’s technically 12 movies. Whatever. As always, complaints can be lodged via Twitter.

123 Comments (Feed for Comments)
  1. jlilly67 - Apr 17, 2013 at 6:29 AM

    The Sandlot? Really? C’mon

  2. minimiggy - Apr 17, 2013 at 7:40 AM

    Hasn’t anyone seen Benchwarmers?

  3. santolonius - Apr 17, 2013 at 8:06 AM

    what this list proves is someone needs to reimagine the baseball movie, since these are all the same movie when you get right down to it. the formula: there’s a hero/heroes. he/they play (or manage) inspired baseball. he’s up, he’s down, he’s up again. there’s a baseball game at the end to seal the deal.

  4. vanquish0916 - Apr 17, 2013 at 9:17 AM

    Stop whatever you’re doing right now and go watch Sugar!

    • droman79 - Apr 17, 2013 at 12:48 PM

      Couldn’t agree more, great, powerful movie.

      Gonna watch it again tonight.

  5. spudchukar - Apr 17, 2013 at 10:10 AM

    Of the more arcane variety, first, the original “Angels in the Outfield” will always be my favorite. Starring Paul Douglas, Janet Leigh, and Keenan Wynn. The scene at the orphanage, where the little girl in the film, the one who can see the Angels, is visited hoping to be chosen by prospective parents, removes her glasses, cause “they never pick ones with glasses” tears me up every time.

    The Monte Stratton story is pretty darn good too, but if you want to see something really good, check out “Flashing Spikes”. It was a TV movie, made in 1962. Directed by John Ford. This is back in the days when TV considered itself an art form. The sponsor is Alcoa, thus the Alcoa Premier name for the program. It stars Jimmy Stewart, John Wayne, Jack Warden, Don Drysdale, Vern Stephens. Fred Astaire introduces the series. Adapted from the Frank O’Rourke Novel, and also stars other lesser known ballplayers, Harry Carey Jr., and the music was done by John Williams.

  6. eoyguy - Apr 17, 2013 at 1:35 PM

    For me, theres “The Natural”, then everything else. I have never read the book and don’t care to, it would only ruin the movie for me. The time frame, the cinematography, the mythical quality are unrivaled in a sports movie. The scene at the fair, at sunset, with him pitching to the Wammer, with the bugs flying around in the “magic hour” glow, is just perfect.

    • chiefagc5675 - Apr 22, 2013 at 8:34 PM

      I would agree with you if I hasdn’t recently found out it was based on Eddie Waitkus. I didn’t even think of him as a power hitter. His best year might have been when he played with the Whiz Kids- Philadelphia Phillies who won the 1960 pennant but got wiped by the Yankees in 4.

  7. jfk69 - Apr 17, 2013 at 4:39 PM

    Snow in August
    Fitting for Jackie Robinson’s Anniversary and a great life lesson with the baseball backdrop.

  8. vicvega422 - Apr 17, 2013 at 7:29 PM

    Benchwarmers

  9. bills4 - Apr 17, 2013 at 10:46 PM

    The Natural. Should fill all of the top three spots!

  10. collegenumber19 - Apr 18, 2013 at 2:21 AM

    Long Gone is the greatest sports movie most people have never seen. It is by far the best baseball movie ever. The characters are classic. Stud Cantrell – when god made men he made them out of string, he had a little left so he left that little thing. When god made women he made them out of lace, he didn’t have enough so he left that little space. Thank you god!!! This movie had more one liners than all others combined.

  11. adamsowder33 - Apr 18, 2013 at 5:48 PM

    The Natural is way too low. And Mr. Baseball is an embarrassment that should never be on any kind of list of any kind.

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