2. Fields Of Dreams
3. Natural, The
4. Eight Men Out
5. Rookie, The
It’s been previously stated that I love baseball movies, plain and simple. Admittedly, while Moneyball is laced with comedy, it is technically a drama. The same can be said for everything penned by Aaron Sorkin. I really enjoy fact based sports films even if there are some liberties taken with the story. Case in point, Jonah Hill’s character doesn’t exist. He’s inspired by someone else who actually joined the team before the timeline of the movie. Field of Dreams is beautiful. The ending gets me every time, hard. Remove it from the film and place it into another genre, and I’d think it was hokey. But there’s something very poignant about a simple game of catch. The Natural seems very far-fetched and yet it plays out so realistically you think that it’s based on fact. The final sequence still gives me shivers. The exploding lights, the crowd cheering, the swelling score, all perfect. Eight Men Out is the true story of the 1919 Chicago White Sox which of course, inspired Field Of Dreams. Much like The Natural, a terrific ensemble cast. The Rookie is another addition to the long line of inspirational true stories churned out my Disney and like the others, I was sucked in. This one seemed to take less liberties. However, Dennis Quaid (who’s great in the role) is much older than his real life counterpart so you think of him as older and so the story loses a bit if you were to read about the guy’s actual age.
Footnote – Although 61* missed the cut, it is a fantastic baseball from director Billy Crystal about the race to beat Babe Ruth’s long-standing single season home run record between Mickey Mantle (Thomas Jane) and Roger Maris (Barry Pepper). This would easily make my top 5, but I’m restricting the lists to theatrical films only and this one was made for HBO.
Missed The Cut: 61*, 42, The Babe & Blood Games