Top 20 Baseball Movies: 15-11

movies
The long baseball winter is almost over, and if you need a little extra help to push through the last few weeks, a good baseball movie or two is a great way to go. We’ll be counting down the top 20 baseball movies of all time over the next couple weeks. Here is numbers 11 through 15. If you missed the first installment, #16-20 can be found here.

Picture

15) 61*

This movie, directed by Billy Crystal, while not the best baseball flick it is really good because it delves into the lives of Roger Maris and Mickey Mantle. The story is about the two Yankee sluggers in their quest to break Babe Ruth’s home run record. 61* received critical acclaim, however it has gone unseen by a lot of people due to the fact that it was an HBO production. It also addresses the asterisk in the record book which was a point of contention in MLB for many years.

Final Grade: QUEUE WORTHY


Picture

imdb.com
14) Little Big League

This is a pretty good movie, even with the unrealistic story line. It follows Billy Heywood, a teenage kid, whose grandfather owns the Minnesota Twins. Billy’s grandfather passes away and leaves him the Twins in his will. Billy fires the manager and names himself manager. What separates this movie from some of the other Disney type films is the use of real (at the time) Major League players, like Griffey, Pudge, Kevin Elster, Leon Durham and many others. While it is unrealistic as mentioned before, this movie is easy to like, thanks to Heywood’s innovative strategies to inspire an uninspired team, foreword-thinking bullpen management, and focus on making the game of baseball fun.

Final Grade: QUEUE WORTHY


Picture

imdb.com
13) The Rookie

The Rookie is the real life story of former pitcher Jim Morris, played by Dennis Quaid. It follows Morris, a high school teacher and baseball coach, who on a bet tries out for the Tampa Bay Devil Rays. This is a good movie, and worth it, since it is based on a true story. Quaid does a great job as an actor and doesn’t have a terribly unbelievable throwing motion, and, again the use of real major leaguers is always a bonus.

Final Grade: QUEUE WORTHY


Picture

imdb.com
12) For Love Of The Game

If you were to poll 10 movie critics, they would rank this last, due to the $50 million budget and box office revenue. Kevin Costner as received a Razzle Award for this. However, this movie ranks 12 on our list because it has now gained somewhat of a cult following. This film follows the perfect game performance of Billy Chapel, an aging pitcher for the Detroit Tigers. It has a lot of flashbacks, which helps tell the story. Not great, but good. Vin Scully calling the action in the movie doesn’t hurt either.

Final Grade: QUEUE WORTHY


Picture

imdb.com
11) Long Gone

This inclusion into our Top 20 will be a head scratcher for most, having never heard of this movie. It stars William Petersen, from CSI fame, as a player/manager of the last place Tampico Stogies in the Gulf Coast League in 1957. The movie follows the career of many of the players through slumps, racism and crooked schemes by their owners. The film is a real life look at the minor leagues in the south during racial turmoil and life as a baseball player in the 1950’s. It has a very Dan Jenkins feel to it, even though he is not the author. This movie is rare and hard to find, and has probably only been seen by few, but really enjoyable. It was an HBO original in 1987, and produced on VHS with a very limited number of copies.

Final Grade: MUST SEE (If you can find it)

The top ten will be coming to you soon! Leave your own thoughts/disagreements in the comments. 

Patrick Despain is the founder and CEO of Shutdown Inning. You can e-mail him at Patrick.Despain@shutdowninning.com or get him on twitter @Shutdowninning

Patrick Despain
Patrick is a member of the IBWAA and creator of Shutdown Inning. He was raised him Arlington, Texas and grew up watching games on HSE and listening to Eric Nadel and Mark Holtz on the radio. He is a long time Rangers fan and never achieved his dream of being a bat boy. He know lives in Georgia with dreams of a Texas return.

Leave a Reply