With the cancellations of all Georgia sports amid the national concern for COVID-19, sports fans are left watching rerun after rerun involving sporting events of the past.
To fill your baseball void, here’s a list of The Red & Black's top five baseball movies to watch, ranging from historically significant, to comedy-filled as well as unexpected full circle endings:
5. “Bull Durham” (1988)
Starring Kevin Costner, Tim Robbins and Susan Sarandon, “Bull Durham” follows a minor league baseball team aptly called the Durham Bulls, and two of its players — Crash Davis (Costner) and “Nuke” LaLoosh (Robbins). It portrays just how far some players will go to live out their dreams as well as the hardships that can come with hotshot personalities on a team.
It’s directed by former minor league baseball player Ron Shelton and provides comedic insight into the private conversations that players and coaches have throughout the season. Davis acts as the veteran who’s gone through it all in the minors and takes responsibility for fixing LaLoosh’s lack of control on and off the field in order to guide him to the MLB.
“Bull Durham” can be rented online on Amazon Prime, Vudu, YouTube, Google Play, iTunes and Tubi.
4. “42” (2013)
Baseball is routinely dubbed as “America’s pastime,” and America’s past is illuminated through the experiences of Jackie Robinson, who endured all the hardships and racial discrimination that came with playing in the MLB in the late 1940s.
Robinson and Brooklyn Dodgers general manager Branch Rickey are the two main characters in this film, played by Chadwick Boseman and Harrison Ford. Robinson and Rickey collectively make courageous acts that lead to the breaking of MLB’s color line, and the MLB retiring Robinson’s No. 42 league-wide.
“42” can be rented online on Amazon Prime, Vudu, YouTube, Google Play and iTunes.
3. “Moneyball” (2011)
Baseball is arguably the most stat-driven of the major sports in the U.S., and “Moneyball” manifests the value of statistics to the movie screen. It’s based on the true story of Billy Beane, the Oakland Athletics’ general manager at the time, who decided to change the focus of the team from a traditional talent-driven standpoint to a more statistic-based one.
Starring Brad Pitt, Jonah Hill and Philip Seymour Hoffman, it has the perfect blend of conflict and comedy that make for a great movie and more specifically, a great baseball movie. It sweetens you up with Beane’s relationship with his daughter and portrays some of the behind-the-scenes distress, like last-minute trades, that a general manager for a professional baseball team has to go through.
“Moneyball” can be rented online on Amazon Prime, Vudu, YouTube, Google Play, iTunes and Hulu.
2. "The Sandlot" (1993)
It’s safe to say that just about everyone who cares at all about sports, and particularly baseball, has seen “The Sandlot” at least once. It’s set in 1960s suburban Los Angeles, following its main character, Scotty Smalls, and his new group of friends who just live every day like kids.
It includes the kids’ adventure during trips to the city pool and the fair, fireworks on the Fourth of July, as well as the kids plotting and planning to retrieve a baseball that was signed by Babe Ruth. It is filled with hilarious and unforgettable one-liners and is extremely nostalgic for anyone who grew up playing baseball with their select group of friends.
“The Sandlot” can be rented online on Amazon Prime, Vudu, YouTube, Google Play and iTunes.
1. "Field of Dreams" (1989)
Starring Kevin Costner, Amy Madigan, James Earl Jones, Ray Liotta and Burt Lancaster, “Field of Dreams” sets itself apart from the rest by its reflection of the history of baseball, the small-town feel that is often connected with the sport, and the father-to-son heart-grab at the end to make it come full circle.
It’s an amazing sports-fantasy crossover that begins with Ray Kinsella (Costner) walking through his Iowa cornfield to be interrupted by a peculiar voice and a vision of a baseball field, which urges him to build the baseball field himself. Family, determination and redemption are all found throughout the movie, along with unconventional concepts that make it so memorable.
“Field of Dreams” can be rented online on Amazon Prime, Vudu, YouTube, Google Play, iTunes and Hulu.