The Best Baseball Movies to Watch Before MLB Season Starts
As the start of the Major League Baseball season approaches, fans all over the world are gearing up for another exciting season of America’s favorite pastime. While there’s nothing quite like the excitement of watching your favorite team hit a home run or score the winning run, getting into the spirit of the game can be even more fun with some classic baseball movies. Whether you’re a die-hard baseball fan or just looking for some entertainment, we’ve rounded up the best baseball movies to watch before the MLB season starts. From legendary classics to newer releases, these films capture the thrill of the game and will have you rooting for your favorite team in no time.
The Natural (1984)
The Natural is one of the best baseball movies around, and it still holds up today. Directed by Barry Levinson and starring Robert Redford as Roy Hobbs, this iconic baseball film follows a talented baseball player who returns to the sport after a long absence. Based on the 1952 novel of the same name by Bernard Malamud, Hobbs is a promising young player whose career is cut short when he is shot by a mysterious woman. Years later, Hobbs returns to the game as a middle-aged rookie for the New York Knights.Read More »
Watch the trailer for The Natural.
Bull Durham (1988)
Starring Kevin Costner, Susan Sarandon, and Tim Robbins, the classic romantic comedy, Bull Durham, follows the lives of three individuals involved with the Durham Bulls, and their ups and downs during the minor league baseball season. Kevin Costner plays Crash Davis, an experienced catcher who is brought in to mentor a young, talented pitcher named “Nuke” LaLoosh (played by Tim Robbins). At the same time, Crash becomes involved with a local woman named Annie Savoy, who has a tradition of taking a new player each season as her lover and muse.
As the season progresses, Nuke struggles to control his pitches and maintain his focus, while Crash and Annie’s relationship becomes increasingly complicated. Along the way, the three characters learn valuable life lessons about love, loss, and the ups and downs of professional sports. Bull Durham is known for its witty dialogue, memorable scenes, and realistic portrayal of minor league baseball. The film has been praised for its humor, charm, and depth, and is considered a classic of both the sports and romantic comedy genres.
Watch the trailer for Bull Durham.
Eight Men Out (1988)
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Eight Men Out is a 1988 historical drama film directed by John Sayles that tells the story of the infamous Black Sox scandal of 1919, in which members of the Chicago White Sox baseball team were accused of throwing the World Series in exchange for money from gamblers. Based on the book by Eliot Asinof and featuring an impressive ensemble cast, including John Cusack, Charlie Sheen, David Strathairn, and John Mahoney, this iconic baseball movie effectively captures the historical context of the time, with stunning sets and costumes that transport the viewer back to the early 1900s. The performances are all excellent, with John Cusack delivering a particularly standout performance as Buck Weaver, a player who was banned from baseball despite being innocent of any wrongdoing.
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Perhaps what makes Eight Men Out so compelling is the way it delves into the complex moral and ethical issues at the heart of the scandal. The film does not present a black-and-white picture of good guys versus bad guys but rather portrays the players as flawed individuals who are driven to make difficult decisions in the face of corrupt team management and a tempting financial offer.
Watch the trailer for Eight Men Out.
Field of Dreams (1989)
Arguably one of the best movies about baseball on this list, the 1989 baseball film Field of Dreams is a classic tale of redemption and is often cited as one of the most inspirational sports films ever made. Starring Kevin Costner and James Earl Jones, the film follows an Iowa farmer named Ray Kinsella (Costner) who hears a mysterious voice telling him to build a baseball field in his cornfield. He does so despite protests from his family and the local community and soon discovers that the field has magical properties when legendary baseball players from the past begin to emerge from it.
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As Ray’s journey unfolds, he discovers more about himself and his relationships with his father and other loved ones while learning valuable lessons in faith, determination, and redemption. The film is filled with memorable scenes and some of the most quotable quotes and features some of the best actors in Hollywood. Field of Dreams is truly a timeless classic that captures the beauty, hope, and wonder of baseball.
Watch the trailer for Field of Dreams.
Major League (1989)
Released in the same year as one of the most iconic baseball movies of all time (see above), Major League may very well be the greatest comedy about baseball of all time. Directed by David S. Ward, the film follows a fictional team of misfits and castoffs, the Cleveland Indians, as they battle for first place in their division against the heavily favored New York Yankees. With characters such as pitcher Ricky “Wild Thing” Vaughn (Charlie Sheen) and outfielder Willie “Mays” Hayes (Wesley Snipes), the film’s cast of lovable misfits helps to make this an irresistibly funny movie with plenty of action, suspense, and laughs.
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Major League is a great example of how a comedy can still be entertaining and meaningful while tackling serious subjects such as sportsmanship, teamwork, and camaraderie. The film has become a cult classic in the world of baseball movies, and its iconic characters, quotes, and scenes are still well-known among fans of the game.
Watch the trailer for Major League.
A League of Their Own (1992)
Starring Tom Hanks, Geena Davis, Lori Petty, and Madonna, A League of Their Own is one of the most popular baseball movies ever made. Directed by Penny Marshall, the film tells the story of a professional women’s baseball league formed during World War II to replace men who had been drafted into military service. Although initially met with skepticism and ridicule, the league ultimately proves its worth by becoming popular among fans.
The film is an inspiring story of female empowerment and perseverance in the face of adversity, as well as a love letter to baseball itself. The performances are all excellent, particularly Davis and Hanks as they bicker like siblings while also showing genuine care for one another. The soundtrack is also excellent, with a variety of classic songs that perfectly capture the spirit of the film. A League of Their Own is an enjoyable and uplifting film that serves as an important reminder of how far women have come in the world of sports.
Watch the trailer for A League of Their Own.
The Sandlot (1993)
What will likely go down as the greatest baseball movie about kids, The Sandlot is the perfect coming-of-age story for even the most casual of baseball fans. Directed by David Mickey Evans, the film follows a group of friends who play baseball in a sandlot near their homes in California. The boys become embroiled in a rivalry with a local neighborhood bully and must find a way to beat him if they want to keep playing.
The Sandlot is an incredibly charming and funny movie that is full of nostalgia for those who grew up during this time period. The chemistry between the boys, as well as the hilarious one-liners and slapstick comedy, make it a great watch. Even though it’s almost thirty years old now, the film still stands the test of time and remains a beloved classic.
Watch the trailer for The Sandlot.
Starring Brad Pitt and Jonah Hill, Moneyball is a heartwarming drama based on the true story of how Oakland A’s general manager Billy Beane revolutionized baseball in 2002 by using analytics to build a winning team with a small budget. Directed by Bennett Miller, the film follows Beane as he works to assemble a team that can compete with richer franchises such as the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox.
Moneyball is an inspiring story of how one person’s vision and innovation can have far-reaching consequences for an entire sport. The film is both entertaining and thought-provoking, with great performances from Pitt and Hill. It also serves as an important reminder of the need for change and innovation in all aspects of life, not just sports.
Watch the trailer for Moneyball.
Starring Chadwick Boseman and Harrison Ford, 42 tells the inspiring story of Jackie Robinson becoming the first black baseball player to play in Major League Baseball. Directed by Brian Helgeland, the film follows Robinson’s struggles as he deals with racism and discrimination while trying to prove himself on the field.
42 is a powerful and moving film that highlights the importance of standing up for what you believe in and never giving up, despite all odds. The performances are all excellent, particularly Boseman and Ford as they show a deep respect and admiration for Robinson’s courage and determination. 42 is an important reminder of how far we have come since Robinson first broke the color barrier, but also how far we still have to go.
Watch the trailer for 42.
The Best Baseball Movies On Deck for the Season
Baseball has always been a beloved American pastime, and the movies about it are no different. Whether you are a die-hard fan of the sport or just looking for a great film to watch, there is no shortage of fantastic baseball movies to choose from. From the classic drama of The Natural to the romantic comedy of Bull Durham to the historical depth of Eight Men Out, each of these films brings something unique to the table. So grab some popcorn, put on your favorite team’s jersey, and settle in for a home run with these ten best baseball movies.
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