With that in mind, I hope you will accept this, my top five best baseball movies of all time. While you read, please feel free to enjoy this excellent clip of Dave Brubeck playing the timeless jazz classic Take Five.
But it's not just that one line, Tom Hanks is awesome in this film about the professional women's baseball leagues that existed during WWII. He is funny, smart, and he gives a wonderful performance. Now, despite the fact that it also has both Madonna and Rosie O'Donnell in it, it is well acted all around. It captures the struggles America had with the changing roles of women as men went off to war. It is Rosie the Riveter in cleats and well worth two hours of your time.
Number Two: Field of Dreams - Depending on who you ask, this is either a pretentious, self-indulgent movie filled with ham handed imagery or it is the best baseball movie ever made. My wife would fall in the later camp. She would even put this movie in the top five movies of all time. As she puts it, "[Field of Dreams is a]combination of baseball, relationships, magic, hope and love. Those things we all want to believe in. Most importantly, it's a movie about second chances." She's right and mostly I agree with her, but today, for my money, this movie falls just short of my number one baseball movie of all-time.
Other than the language of 12 year-old boys, it is a movie that is safe for the whole family and it gives you a sense of longing for the simplicity of childhood when a baseball, some gloves, a bat and a sandlot were all it took to make not only a lifetime of special memories, but also a hero.
For Honorable Mention, throw in Major League, Eight Men Out and The Rookie. All good baseball movies that are worth a rental. In fact, the Rookie makes Carolyn's Top Five list. I liked it, but there is only room for five and tough choices had to be made.
Since I mentioned it, here is Carolyn's top five list. I can't argue with any of her choices, heck, they are the same as mine except The Rookie and A League of Their Own. The only other difference is the order.
Carolyn's Top Five Baseball Movies:
5) The Rookie
4) The Sandlot
3) The Natural
2) Bull Durham
1) Field of Dreams
In any order, watch'em all, you won't be disappointed in any of these films featuring the boys of summer. And as a Cubs fan, I think I'll watch them on an endless loop through October. I think that's the only way to keep my love for the game from being tainted by the massive craps they've been taking on the field at Wrigley and around the rest of the NL.