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The Series is Done But the Movies Live On


okbuprofo7
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Hi baseball fans. While MLB channel is a godsend we know that there are many wonderful baseball movies. So...

 

Give me your top five baseball movies...

 

here are mine:

 

1) The Natural

 

2) The Pride of the Yankees

 

3) Field of Dreams

 

4) Major League

 

5) Eight Men Out

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To your list, I'd like to add *Angels in the Outfield* (1951); I attended many games at Forbes Field in my youth and seeing this movie brings back many fond memories of that great ballpark. Paul Douglas was always great, and Donna Corcoran was one of those rare child actors who was endearing without being sappy.

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Those are all good choices and to that list I would like to add "The Babe Ruth Story" with William Bendix, not that clunker with John Goodman, and two movies with Ray Milland, "Rhubarb" about a cat who is the good luck charm for the Brooklyn Dodgers, and "It Happens Every Spring". That's the one where Ray Milland is a pitcher who rubs the ball with a solution that makes it veer away from wood. Because he won by cheating, Major League Baseball would not endorse the movie, so in the film they did not use the name of any major league team or stadium. Ray Milland played for St. Louis, but they were not called The Cardinals or Browns. The stadiums were just named for the cities, like New York Stadium, or St. Louis Stadium. I also like "The Stratton Story" where James Stewart portrayed pitcher Monty Stratton, who lost a leg in an accident, but still came back to pitch in the majors. It's just coincidence, I'm sure, that all four of the movies I mentioned were made in the late 1940's and I saw them on television as a child in the late fifties and early sixties, just about the time that I was becoming a basball fan.

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The Babe Ruth Story is so horrible, you have to keep watching it just to see if it can get any worse. The whole deal with the doctor saving the dog's life, then, years later, operating on Babe -holy moly.

 

Fear Strikes Out is a film I've always enjoyed, even though the actors playing the ballplayers look like actors playing ballplayers.

 

Among modern films, The Rookie is a nice, well-meaning film which an entire family can enjoy.

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And no one mentioned "Bull Durham". I didn't like one specific aspect of it. Tim Robbins' character, Nuke LaLoosh, was supposed to have a tremendous fast ball. If you have ever watched a pitcher deliver a 96 mph fastball, you know his motion is a lot faster than Robbins'. Tim was probably throwing at about 65 mph. But I'll take actors playing ballplayers over ballplayers trying to act. Have you ever seen "Safe At Home" with Mickey Mantle and Roger Maris? Or how about "The Kid From Cleveland" with a young Russ Tamblyn and the 1948 Cleveland Indians? As I hinted at earlier, I think your age when seeing these movies has a lot to do with whether or not you like them.

Have you seen "The Kid From Left Field" with then unknowns Lloyd Bridges and Fess Parker playing ballplayers? Joe E. Brown did a couple, "Elmer The Great" and "Alibi Ike". All of them a bit corny, but I saw them as a child and enjoyed them then. OK, what other baseball movies, good and bad, did you like or dislike?

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  • 2 weeks later...

As someone put it."The Babe Ruth Story" is the" Plan 9 from Outer Space" of baseball bio pics. If you are diabetic avoid this movie at all cost. It will raise your blood sugar levels to dangerous heights. This is one of the worst.It is a shame because William Bendix could have made a good Babe,but he never connects with who the real Ruth was, a better script and direction might have helped him. but the awful tear jerked script strikes out on all counts. About the only things it got right was the name Babe Ruth and the N.Y. Yankees. You put this up against a A+ script and acting of "Pride of the Yankees" and it's no contest. Yes "Pride" does have a few sacrine moments, but they work in this film. They rushed "Babe Ruth Story" so the Babe could attend the premier and the rumor is he walked out before the film was over....But as someone else said you should see this film just for the experience of seeing something so bad...

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Anthony Perkins delivers a grand slam with his performance as Boston Red Sox player Jimmy Piersall., from his early days playing baseball in the sandlots to the majors and his breakdown and being institutionalized ,Karl Malden as domineering father who pushes the young Piersall over the edge is also outstanding, Director Robert Mulligan {To Kill a Mockingbird } beautiful direction puts this baseball picture in the majors.It may not be completely factual but it's good move making...The year before this film came out Tab Hunter starred in a TV production of "Fear Strikes Out"

I remember Piersall when I worked at WPIX in N.Y. and covered the Yankee home games. Piersall would get mad at the home base ump and start kicking dirt on home plate and the ump would sweep it off and he'ld do it again. He would sit in the dugout and hurl insults at Mantle or Yogi when they were at bat. But one day during a game a few fans jumped on to the field and started chasing Piersall, Mantle was on at first base and when he saw this he started running to the outfield and nobody could run as fast as Mickey, he came up behind one of the idiots who was chading Piersall at full speed and grabbed the guy by the neck of his shirt and the guy's feet went straight up in the air, he looked like he was in bed and by that time time police had nabbed the others. Mantle got a standing ovation and Piersall ran over and shook his hand and was laughing....

 

Edited by: fredbaetz on Nov 23, 2009 9:20 PM

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1. *Bad News Bears* - the original with Walter Matthau is as good a movie as they come. All about baseball, crazy parents, winning and losing and how they should not be all that important but are. I watch it every time it's on.

 

>*2-4-6-8*

>*who do we appreciate*

>*Bears! Bears! Bears! Yaaaay!*

 

2. *Pride of the Yankees* - but of course, this is not a baseball movie.

 

3. *Fear Strikes Out* - see fredbaetz's post for why

 

4. *Bull Durham* - it's just plain funny

 

5. *Fever Pitch* - all about being a fan (of anything really) and how it ruins your real life.

 

6. *Damn Yankees* - I love the idea, and the songs are great.

 

7. *Field of Dreams* -Goofy but charming film about baseball's mythology and emotional pull.

 

8. *Still We Believe* -Red Sox "curse" documentary, made just before the curse was lifted once and for all.

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