Cinematic countdown

There are just 13 days until Opening Day (fewer if you count those games in Japan, but I’m not counting them).  In preparation for the big day, I’m having a baseball movie marathon over the next few weeks.  Every day from now until Opening Day, I will watch at least one baseball movie (I’ll probably watch two tomorrow and three on Saturday).  Last year, I watched them in alphabetical order. This year, I’m watching them in chronological order, based on the year they were released (except for the two I’m getting from Netflix this weekend). 

So…without further ado, here’s my lineup:

Tonight – The Natural (1984)
Thursday – Bull Durham (1988) and Major League (1989)
Friday – Field of Dreams (1989)
Saturday – A League of Their Own (1992), 61* (2001) and Eight Men Out (1988) (( the last two are coming from Netflix, which is why they’re out of order))
Sunday – Rookie of the Year (1993)
Monday – Major League 2 (1994)
Tuesday -  Major League 3 (1998)
Wednesday – For Love of the Game (1999)
Thursday – Summer Catch (2001)
Friday – The Rookie (2002)
Saturday – The Pitcher & the Pin-Up (2003)
Sunday – Fever Pitch (2005)

Now, I realize some of these only have baseball as a sidebar, but I don’t care.  They’re in my collection anyway. :) 

Naturally, "Field of Dreams" is high on my list.  It was filmed in my home state, and I just think it’s a beautiful movie.  I’m also a ****** for "Fever Pitch" because of Jimmy Fallon and Drew Barrymore.  "The Rookie," "The Natural" and "Fever Pitch" get extra points because they have Rangers tie-ins. 

There are a few other baseball movies I wish I owned — "The Sandlot" and "Bad News Bears" (the original one).  Someday, I’ll add them to my shelves.  Are there any others I should see/own?

3 Comments

Naked Gun, only because of the final scenes at the end of the movie. The baseball segments are classics. How about Angels in the Outfield. My kids still like that movie even if it is sappy. The Scout, who can resist Steve Nebraska? Mr. Baseball with Tom Seleck (spelling). Mr 3000, Its stupid but hey it’s baseball. http://www.baseballmovie.com/baseball-movies.asp
Here is a link to a good list.

“The Rookie” – I always get that one confused with “The Natural”. Not sure why, but I always do.

I saw that back when it came out, and I caught my first glimpse of the Ballpark in Arlington in it – that was before I really got into Rangers baseball, but it’s always going to be my favorite baseball movie because it kind of introduced me to the Rangers for the first time. It at least predispositioned me toward them, as it took me till 2004 to really start rooting for them.

http://lonestarincalfornia.mlblogs.com/

It looks like a great lineup of Baseball Movies, and a perfect way to get ready for the upcoming Baseball season!

You list some of my favorites, but there are other baseball movies and documentaries that I like [that you may or may not have seen], that may be of interest to you…So, the following is my “top-9″ list, plus “extra innings”, of my favorite Baseball Movies:

1. Pride of the Yankees (1942) – My favorite Baseball Movie of all-time. Classic movie about the life of the great Yankee first-baseman, Lou Gehrig, his love of baseball; and, also, really a love story between Lou and his wife…Gary Cooper is great in the role as Lou Gerig, and as an extra bonus, Babe Ruth plays himself in the movie. This is the movie that I always looked forward to when it was shown on TV [when I was growing up as a kid], and it always made me proud to be a Yankee fan, then, and to this day!

2. Field of Dreams – so many things to love about this movie, especially, the great speech by James Earl Jones towards the end of the movie, which sums up the game of baseball so perfectly!

3. Bull Durham – Fun Movie that makes you feel like you are part of that minor league team!

4. The Natural – Very inspirational, with a different and more positive ending than the book!

5. Eight Men Out – A trip back in time to the early days of baseball. The music was fun to listen to, but a sad time for the game of Baseball!

6. A League of Their Own – Another fun movie that brings us back to an earlier time in baseball. The players on those teams probably had a great time. Too bad the Womens Baseball League was not able to continue after World War II ended!

7. Babe Ruth Story (1948)- William Bendix, as Babe Ruth…Not a great movie, but it is about “The Babe”; and, I did always look forward to watching it when it would be on TV!

8. Bang The Drum Slowly (1973) – Robert DeNiro [in one of his first starring roles] – plays a ballplayer who is dying, but inspires his team. Good, but sad movie! Of course, DeNiro is great in this role!

9. Bad News Bears (1976) – actually, the movie was on one of the cable channels a couple of nights ago, and I watched this movie for the first time in a long while. A very funny movie! Walter Matthau, and a very young Tatum O’Neal give great performances in a movie that makes you want to be a kid again!

Extra Innings…

10. The Rookie – Inspirational true story of pitcher Jim Morris trying to make a comeback in the Majors!

11. *61 – Only really viewed this movie a couple of times. Great story of Mantle and Maris chasing Babe Ruth’s HR record in 1961…Billy Crystal did a great job [directing] to get every detail right. But, I don’t think it was a great movie, just okay [in my view]. Maybe I need to watch it a few more times!

12. The Babe (1992) – John Goodman played Babe Ruth in this movie…a movie that really shows the “dark” side of Ruth. Not a great movie, and I think a really terrible perormance by Goodman. But, again, it is a movie about Babe Ruth! I wonder if anyone will ever make a decent movie about Ruth, “The Greatest Baseball Player Ever” !!!

And two movies I want to see…

- The Final Season (2007) – true story about a small town H.S. Baseball team [from Norway, Iowa], playing its last season before the team is merged with a larger H.S…the movie is scheduled for release [on DVD] April 8, 2008!

- American Pastime (2007) – about imprisoned Japanese men [living in the U.S. after the attack on Pearl Harbor], who start a Baseball League in prison, and challenge Americans to an unforgettable game! The movie has already been released on DVD.

Finally…Three Other Baseball Classics…

* “Baseball” (1994) – Ken Burns’ great [18 hour] PBS documentary on the history of the game of Baseball!

* “The Bronx is Burning” (2007) – Great [8 hour] ESPN mini-series on the 1977 New York Yankees; and, also, the events of “77 [such as the "Son of Sam" killings]. Very well done concerning the details of that year, and great performances by all in this mini-series!

* “The Ghosts of Flatbush” (2007) – Great [2-hour] HBO documentary about the (1947-1957) Brooklyn Dodgers! There are many great details about the team and players, as well as, playing in the WS vs. the Yankees, and, also, reasons why the Dodgers left New York for LA !!! The many old flim clips, really bring you back to a great era in Baseball, when New York had three teams: The Yankees, Dodgers, and NY Giants!

Well, there are my favorites…Maybe, you will get a chance to watch some of them [also]…

I hope you enjoy your “Movie Marathon” !!!

Take care,

Jimmy

http://baseballtheyankeesandlife.mlblogs.com/

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