Top Baseball FilmsPosted: Sunday, September 9, 2007
To be revised, but will include…
Eight Men Out — A tragic look at a baseball team, also showcasing the beginnings of America’s sports-obsessed culture that continues to this day.
Major League — At the other end of the spectrum. Forget the cliched plot about the underdogs winning the pennant and the love story (despite the gorgeous Rene Russo) and enjoy how it fetishizes the culture and quirks of baseball.
Bang the Drum Slowly — Yes, the pacing of the film certainly reflects the title, but works because of the touching friendship between Michael Moriarity’s Henry “Author” Wiggins and Robert DeNiro’s dumb-as-a-box-of-rocks dying back-up catcher. Also looks like a piece of early ’70s kitchz, which always gets a few extra points in my book.
Not on the list:
That Minor League Film with Kevin Costner as Crash Davis and Susan Sarandon — Overrated. I don’t need Susan Sarandon telling me about the lyrical joys of baseball. Nor do I need Susan Sontag telling me the same fucking thing. About the only good thing about it is that it helped usher in the late 80s/early 90s boom of rediscovering Minor League Baseball, which unfortunately morphed into putting a ball team in Staten Island while abandoning classic Minor League towns like Pittsfield, Mass. (OK, that was the Coney Island team, but that gets a pass for simply being Coney Island.) The abandonment of Albany as a maket can be forgive, since it is such a shitty sports town unless you’re Siena hoops, UAlbany hoops (only in a winning season) or a Saratoga pony for 6 weeks. By the way, why the fuck is Troy’s minor league team playing on a college campus away from any downdown shit to do before or after a game, or at least in a quaint rural setting. And where the fuck is “Tri-City”? Another great fuck-up by the locals here. Figures.
OK, I digress…
The Natural — Looked at now as some sort of a classic, it was never beloved earlier. And can’t be forgive for changing the ending to Hollywood-uplifting.
Field of Dreams — Never saw it. I put this in the same category as Forrest Gump — two late ’80s/early ’90s beloved films that surely must be overrated because everyone fucking loves them. Forget it. Though if you ever find yourself in Dyersville, Iowa, (we did, once) the Field of Dreams site is more than worth the visit. The chance to walk into cornfields directly from the outfield, and the farm house overlooking the field make it worth the visit to the two sites (yes, there are two sites, since the field actually straddles a property line, and thus, there are two visitor centers).