This past weekend, I tweeted out some thoughts initially about Field of Dreams and then more broadly about my favorite baseball movies. I figured there would be some Field of Dreams stans, but I found the majority of my thinking to be reasonable.
Apparently, several people disagreed.
I left a few notable films out of my tiered rankings because I wasn't thinking of every baseball movie ever created off the top of my head, so I wanted to create a clear list so everyone knows where I stand. Let's begin.
This is just a great damn movie. It features possibly the best acting performances of both Brad Pitt and Jonah Hill's careers. There was stiff competition for the top spot, but in my humble opinion, the confluence of greatness in this film makes it the best baseball movie ever produced.
2. Major League
Major League was the stiffest competition for the No. 1 overall pick in the baseball movie draft before just being edged out by Moneyball. But there is no denying this movie is one of the all-time greats and certainly the most quotable baseball movie of all-time.
3. Fever Pitch
Here's where things apparently get controversial. I was legitimately shocked at the amount of people who don't like Fever Pitch. I'm honestly still not sure if they're serious or not. This is the best romantic comedy ever made and it's centered around arguably the greatest comeback story in the history of sports.
Anybody that doesn't like this movie can go get fucked and I feel so strongly about it, I've got half a mind to make it No. 1 now. This movie is elite.
4. The Rookie
I really hope I don't find out as a result of this blog that people don't like this movie, because it would cause me to possibly fly into a fit of rage. If Jim Morris's journey from a high school coach who can't get grass on the baseball field to the Big Leagues don't make you tear up just a little, you suck.
5. For Love of the Game
I don't give a damn what anybody says about Bull Durham or Field of Dreams, For Love of the Game is the best baseball movie Kevin Costner has been a part of. If Fever pitch is the best romantic comedy of all-time, I suppose this is certainly the best baseball romantic drama ever, if not the best romantic drama period.
6. Rookie of the Year
I recently discovered Jeff Lowe hates this movie because it has "plot holes." Well yeah, no shit. Anybody who gets in a tizzy because the Cubs go from sucking to playoff contention after adding a reliever throwing gas should probably watch the scene above where a 12-year-old throws a baseball 450 feet and signs a Major League contract.
This movie is fun and people looking for plot holes in an obviously outlandish movie are the worst.
7. Trouble With the Curve
Since everybody got up in arms about Fever Pitch, I assume there is going to be no love lost for Trouble With the Curve, either, which is a damn shame. If you haven't seen this movie, watch it. if you have seen it and dislike it, I dislike you.
Clint Eastwood, Amy Adams and Justin Timberlake are traversing the South with the No. 1 pick in the MLB Draft, a legendary scouting career and the unlikeliest of love stories hanging in the balance? Find me a better combo in film than that.
8. The Sandlot
The Sandlot is fine. It's not great; it's not bad. It's fine.
It's carried by a few iconic scenes and the rest is pretty boring, in my opinion. But it deserves to be on the list just because everyone thinks they like it, even if it's only because they've been conditioned to think that.
9. Bull Durham
This list really falls off after No. 7.
My thoughts on Bull Durham are virtually identical to The Sandlot. It's an ok movie that, for whatever reason, everybody is supposed to like. Just having to repeatedly hear the name "Nuke LaLoosh" is enough to downgrade this movie, if nothing else.
10. Mr. 3000
Mr. 3000 is a film I do not hear discussed nearly enough. This is a good original story with a great ending. It's sure as hell better than watching the ghost of Babe Ruth in a corn field.
RIP Bernie Mac.
So that's my top 10 and I did not have to leave off any baseball movies I like — I actually had to include two that I really don't. So if it isn't on this list, it is a bad film.
I appreciate everyone's understanding and respectful discourse as it relates to this list.