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10 Best Baseball Movies of All Time From The Sandlot to Field of Dreams
Warner Bros/Universal Pictures/Columbia Pictures/Paramount Pictures
Baseball and Hollywood have a lot in common. Both love a good underdog story, both are the American past time, both have a tendency for disgruntled alcoholic mentors who must be reminded of their love of the game. Baseball, movies, and America are the perfect trifecta—and that’s why this sports sub-genre produces some iconic cinema. If you love a good comeback, a final at-bat, a lot of spitting and cussing, then you’ll love these best baseball movies of all time.
Eight Men Out (1988)
In 1919, indignant members of the Chicago White Sox—including John Cusack and Charlie Sheen in his first baseball movie—conspired with gamblers to intentionally lose the World Series. Based off one of the biggest scandals in baseball history, it’s an engrossing film for obsessives of sports history.
The Sandlot (1993)
It’s the movie that changed pickup baseball forever, the film that captured young millennials’ dreams of backyard glory and beyond. Scottie Smalls moves to a new neighborhood, where he learns the ways of baseball from his new friends—but then learns even more about life when he’s forced to retrieve his father’s Babe Ruth-signed baseball from the clutches of “The Beast” next door.
Major League (1989)
The new owner of the Cleveland Indians assembles an intentionally horrible team so she can have an excuse to move the team to Miami. But when the team finds out, they start to win thanks to the leadership of Manager Lou Brown and Ricky Vaughn (Charlie Sheen), who can finally hit the ball after getting glasses. Despite a social media push by IRL Indians fans, Sheen did not throw the first pitch during the team’s 2016 World Series run.
The Bad News Bears (1976)
Walter Matthau is a drunk, washed-up minor-league baseball player who’s hired to coach the Bears—the worst Little League team in Southern California. It inspired two sequels a TV series, a 2005 remake, and all the baseball jokes your dad is still using today.
In his first leading role, Chadwick Boseman stars as Jackie Robinson in this biopic which chronicles the baseball icon’s transcendent battle to brake the racial barrier. Boseman proved a stunning fit to portray the heroism and reserve Robinson needed to fight crushing hatred.
Field of Dreams (1989)
Just one year after Bull Durham, Kevin Costner returns to the diamond (a DIY one this time) as an Iowa farmer who hears a voice in his corn field that tells him, “If you build it, he will come.” It’s an iconic line that begins a journey that truly captures the spiritual nature of the game and its legacy.
A League of Their Own (1992)
Based on the real All-American Girls Professional Baseball League, which replaced the MLB during WWII, this Penny Marshall-directed film stars Geena Davis, Rosie O’Donnell, and Madonna as the Rockford Peaches. The all-star cast is complete with Tom Hanks as the washed-up club manager Jimmy Dugan, who has the iconic line, “There’s no crying in baseball.”
The Natural (1984)
Robert Redford plays Roy Hobbs, the talented young player who leaves baseball only to return 16 years later to carry the struggling New York Knights to victory. It has one of the most iconic final at bats in baseball movie history—a home run that destroys the lights, with Hobbs running the bases in a shower of sparks. (In the book The Natural is based on, Hobbs actually strikes out at the end.)
Based off Michael Lewis’s nonfiction book of the same name, Moneyball is a baseball movie with surprisingly little baseball. Instead, the Aaron Sorkin-written script somehow makes the talking heads behind the scenes management of baseball actually exciting. Plus, it details a new era of the game driven by sabermetrics with a true underdog story.
Bull Durham (1988)
In his first of four baseball movies, Kevin Costner is Crash Davis, a veteran minor league catcher sent down to the single-A Durham Bulls to mentor Tim Robbins as hotshot pitcher Nuke. It’s a clash of egos that gets even more complex when Susan Sarandon’s Annie enters the picture—a follower of the Church of Baseball, who finds herself in a love triangle with Nuke and Crash.