View Full Version : Best Baseball Movies according to SI

05-17-2014, 05:27 PM
Let the discussion begin!

In 2003, SI named Bull Durham the greatest sports movie ever made -- not just the greatest baseball movie. The writing (Ron Shelton) and acting (Kevin Costner, Susan Sarandon, Tim Robbins) truly rise to levels that compare to great blockbusters, not just the sports genre. But let's be honest: you can get 10 people in a room and get at least five different opinions on the best baseball movie of all time. So I tried to build a consensus list. I took the top baseball movies as recently chosen by six different sources -- Rotten Tomatoes, Forbes, ESPN, Fox, the Orange County Register and IMDb -- and came up with a points system based on those rankings. Here are the results:

1. Bull Durham (1988)
2. Field of Dreams (1989)
3. The Bad News Bears (1976)
4. Moneyball (2011)
5. The Natural (1984)
6. A League of Their Own (1992)
7. Pride of the Yankees (1942)
8. The Sandlot (1993)
9. Major League (1989)
10. Bang the Drum Slowly (1973)

The ones that just missed the list include Eight Men Out (1985), The Rookie (2002), Fever Pitch (2005), and 42 (2013). When you look at that top 10 list you might notice two major threads. The first one is a clear definition of the golden age of great baseball movies. Six of the top nine baseball movies of all time were made from 1984-1993. Not coincidentally, it was during those years that baseball drew huge television audiences. The highest-rated World Series game ever occurred in 1986 -- Game 7 between the Mets and Red Sox. The 1991 World Series drew an average of 35.7 million viewers despite pitting Atlanta against Minnesota -- two clubs from smaller markets with little history of success.

And then the 1994 strike happened. And everything stopped. We got Ed in 1996 and For Love of the Game in '99. Baseball lost so much more than the World Series in 1994. It lost its perceived innocence, its deeply embedded place in culture as something uniquely American and reliable -- or, as the old advertisements went, right there next to hot dogs, apple pie and Chevrolet. It never came back completely from that strike -- as an American commodity, yes, and then some, but not as an American cultural institution. And there is too much competition in sports and entertainment to go back there again.

But maybe recent films like Million Dollar Arm are barometers of a cultural renaissance for the sport. After all, another thread you might have noticed in that consensus top 10 list is sentimentality. The baseball movies succeed not when they define championships but when they tap human emotions. Bull Durham, Field of Dreams, The Natural, Pride of the Yankees, The Sandlot, Bang the Drum Slowly, even Moneyball -- about an Athletics team that never even made the World Series -- tug at your heartstrings.

Likewise, the success of Dinesh and Singh is not that they won the World Series or made it to the major leagues. Dinesh was released in 2009 and Singh underwent Tommy John surgery in 2013 (come to think of it, nothing makes him a full-fledged pitcher more than that) and is still sidelined after having bone chips removed from his elbow. Their success is that they forged a dream where none existed -- and that they showed Bernstein that there is more to life than just the next deal. The point is that we all could learn from Dinesh and Singh. And that's the magic about great baseball movies: it's not just about the baseball.

Read More: http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/mlb/news/20140516/million-dollar-arm-jon-hamm-best-baseball-movies-ever/#ixzz320xWPxo0

05-17-2014, 09:13 PM
Some good ones in there. But my list looks like this...

1. Bull Durham
2. Major League
3. A League of Their Own
4. Eight Men Out
5. The Rookie
6. The Sandlot
7. Fever Pitch
8. Little Big League
9. Angels In the Outfield
10. For Love of the Game

05-17-2014, 09:16 PM
Sandlot was awesome...the sandlot scenes were filmed in a neighborhood here in Salt Lake, they had a cast reunion last summer.

05-17-2014, 09:27 PM
Field of Dreams and Eight Men Out are at at the top of my list.

05-17-2014, 09:32 PM
Field of Dreams would have been #11 on my list. :D

Porch Dweller
05-18-2014, 08:00 AM
I'd take out Bull Durham and replace it with Eight Men Out. I've just never gotten the love for Bull Durham. I do have a strong anti-Costner streak, though, as the man is usually about as expressive in his movies as Keanu Reeves.

05-18-2014, 09:46 PM
Looks solid...(never seen 7-10).

05-19-2014, 06:38 AM
1. Major League
2. 61*
3. For Love of the Game
4. 42
5. The Rookie
6. Pride of the Yankees
7. A league of their Own
8. Field of Dreams
9. The Natural
10. Cobb