Harper’s Bazaar and Bleacher Report posted rankings of baseball movies, which Wayne Price recently shared. Below are both the lists, but first here’s my top ten. While a couple of the movies on the other lists look promising (Hard Ball, 42, The Phenom, 61, Sugar) several others are hardly worth watching (Rookie of the Year, Angles in the Outfield). My ten:
1. Field of Dreams. The book that spawned the movie, Shoeless Joe, by W.P. Kinsella, is a good read.
2. Fever Pitch. Hilarious climatic scene.
3. Eight Men Out.
4. A League of Their Own.
5. The Sandlot.
6. For the Love of the Game. Vin Scully calls the game.
7. The Natural.
8. The Rookie. I was in the stands when they filmed.
9. The Bingo Long Traveling All-Stars and Motor Kings. Billy Dee Williams, James Earl Jones, Richard Pryor. Made in my hometown.
10. Bull Durham.
Harper’s Bazaar’s top 18 baseball movies. Makes sense they gave the top spot to the movie about women’s baseball.
1. A League of Their Own 1992 Tom Hanks Geena Davis
2. The Pride of the Yankees 1942 Gary Cooper. Haven’t seen.
3. Bull Durham 1988 Kevin Cosner Susan Sarandon
4. 42 2013 Harrison Ford. Seen parts of it.
5. The Natural 1984 Robert Redford
6. Moneyball 2011 Brad Pitt
7. The Bad News Bears 1976 Walter Matthau
8. Field of Dreams 1989 Kevin Cosner James Earl Jones
9. Fever Pitch 2005 Jimmy Fallon Drew Barrymore
10. Eight Men Out 1988 John Cusack Charlie Sheen
11. For the Love of the Game 1999 Kevin Cosner Vin Scully
12. The Sandlot 1993 James Earl Jones
13. 61 2001 Billy Crystal. Haven’t seen.
14. Rookie of the Year 1993. Haven’t seen.
15. Sugar 2008. Hadn’t heard of this one.
16. The Phenom 2016 Ethan Hawke plays a helicopter parent. Sounds interesting.
17. Summer Catch 2001 Freddie Prinze Jr Jessica Beal. Seen parts.
18. Major League 1989 Charlie Sheen, Bob Uecker
Bleacher Report’s Top 25 Baseball Movies. Includes several oldies I’d never heard of before. Can’t believe it left off 42.
1. Field of Dreams 1989 Kevin Cosner Ray Liotta
2. The Natural 1984 Robert Redford
3. Bull Durham 1988 Kevin Cosner Tim Robbins
4. Pride of the Yankees 1942 Gary Cooper. Haven’t seen.
5. The Sandlot 1993 James Earl Jones
6. 61 2001 Anthony Michael Hall. Haven’t seen.
7. Eight Men Out 1988 John Cusack Charlie Sheen
8. Bang the Drum Slowly 1973 Rober DeNiro. Haven’t seen.
9. Major League 1989 Charlie Sheen Bob Uecker
10. For the Love of the Game 1999 Kevin Cosner Vin Scully
11. The Bad News Bears 1976 Walter Matthau Tatum O’Neal
12. A League of Their Own 1992 Tom Hanks Geena Davis
13. Fear Strikes Out 1957 Anthony Perkins Karl Malden. About my camp buddy Jimmy Piersal. Haven’t seen.
14. It Happens Every Spring 1949 Ray Millard. Haven’t seen.
15. Damn Yankees! 1958 Tab Hunter. Haven’t seen.
16. The Rookie 2002 Dennis Quaid
17. Kill the Umpire 1950 William Bendex. Haven’t seen.
18. Cobb 1994 Tommy Lee Jones. The true story of when Furman Bisher interviewed the elderly Cobb. Seen parts.
19. The Jackie Robinson Story 1950 Jackie Robinson. Haven’t seen.
20. Don’t Look Back: The Story of Leroy Satchel Paige 1981 Louis Gossett Jr. Hadn’t heard of it.
21. Hard Ball 2001 Keanu Reeves Diane Lane. Haven’t seen.
22. Angels in the Outfield 1994 Danny Glover Tony Danza Christopher Lloyd. Seen parts.
23. Fever Pitch 2005 Jimmy Fallon Drew Barrymore
24. Rookie of the Year 1993 Gary Busey. Haven’t seen.
25. The Scout 1994 Albert Brenden Fraser. Haven’t seen.
HM. The Naughty Nineties 1956 Abbott & Costello. Not really a baseball movie, but it included the famous “Who’s on First?” routine.
No one listed Richard Pryor’s other baseball movie: Brewster’s Millions. Perhaps for a reason.
Had to mention the ESPN 30/30 SEC Storied on Herschel Walker Top notch, but that’s not baseball.