Best Baseball Movies

Modern Age (1970-present)

Best to Worst

Coming: Sony Pictures optioned the movie rights to the book Moneyball. They plan to turn it into a major motion picture focusing on Oakland general manager Billy Beane's efforts to keep the A's competitive with a modest payroll.

1. The Natural (1984)... Robert Redford, Robert Duvall, Glenn Close, Kim Basinger, Wilford Brimley, Richard Farnsworth, Barbara Hershey, Robert Proskey, Joe Don Baker, Darren McGavin. Redford stars as Roy Hobbs, the quintessential baseball hero. This movie has it all: An all-star line-up of actors, a great script and soundtrack, tremendous special effects and many memorable moments. The baseball scenes are believable (though some improbable) and the atmosphere is authentically vintage. Based on the novel by Bernard Malamud, all of the book's main characters are here: Max Mercy, Iris Gaines, Memo Paris, Pop Fisher, Harriet Byrd, Judge Banner, Sam Simpson and Bump Bailey. (Loyal fans of the book generally hate the movie because they believe an injustice was served Mr. Malamud, a fine writer with an unusual way with words. Read the book – you'll be amazed). Former players Phil Mankowski and Joe Charboneau briefly appear during National Anthem. Old-timer Sibby Sisti plays the Pittsburgh Pirates manager. Filmed at Buffalo's War Memorial Stadium, since demolished.

2. 61* (2001)… Thomas Jane, Barry Pepper, Anthony Michael Hall, Jennifer Crystal, Christopher Bauer, Christopher McDonald, Bruce McGill, Charles Esten, Richard Masur, Bobby Hosea. Director Billy Crystal created a docudrama about the historic 1961 home run race between Roger Maris and Mickey Mantle. Constantly hounded by the press, the introverted Maris was also harassed by hate mail and death threats. Mantle took some of the pressure off him but had to drop out of the race in September with a hip injury. Crystal was a stickler for detail. They filmed the Yankee Stadium scenes at old Tiger Stadium right down to recreating the famous center field monuments. "It took a crew of 27 men three weeks to spray-paint 49,000 seats," said Ross Greenburg, executive producer of HBO Sports. He even made sure that all the opposing teams’ uniforms and numbers were correct. Bob Cerv, a roommate of the M&M boys, was one of the technical advisors. Christopher Bauer plays Cerv in the movie. Barry Pepper plays Maris. Paul Borghese plays Yogi Berra (who was on the set as well). Reggie Smith worked with Pepper and Jane for eight weeks getting them slugger-worthy. Jennifer Crystal, who plays Maris’ wife, is Billy’s daughter. Tom Candiotti has a cameo as Hall-of-Fame knuckleballer Hoyt Wilhelm.

3. Bull Durham (1988)... Kevin Costner, Tim Robbins, Susan Sarandon, Trey Wilson, Robert Wuhl, Jenny Robertson. Costner stars as Crash Davis, a minor league journeyman catcher tutoring phenom pitcher Nuke LaLoosh (Robbins) while attempting to court groupie Annie Savoy (Sarandon). Writer-director Ron Shelton knows how to blend life and baseball with great dialog having played in the minor leagues for five years. Max Patkin appears as himself. [Shelton's inspiration for the hard-living, hard-throwing LaLoosh, was minor league legend Steve Dalkowski. The left-hander threw 100-mph but was so wild he never made it to the majors, partly because of his heavy drinking. His career record was 46-80 with a 5.57 ERA. In 995 innings – all in the minors from 1957-65 – he struck out 1,396 and walked 1,354. Dalkowski had made the Orioles' in 1963, when he was one of the best pitchers in training camp, but suffered an elbow injury on March 22 and never came close to reaching the majors again. Dave McNally replaced him on the roster and the rest is history.]

4. Field Of Dreams (1989)... Kevin Costner, James Earl Jones, Amy Magidan, Bert Lancaster, Timothy Busfield, Gaby Hoffman, Ray Liotta, Frank Whaley, Dwier Brown. An Iowan farmer hears a voice telling him to build a baseball diamond in the middle of his cornfield. Costner plays the lead but the cornfield stars in this excellent adaptation of W.P. Kinsella's fantasy novel, Shoeless Joe. Featuring fine performances by Jones, Magidan and the legendary Lancaster and a good soundtrack, the film actually gets better with each viewing. Filmed on location in Dyersville, Iowa.

5. Eight Men Out (1988)... John Cusack, Clifton James, Michael Lerner, Charlie Sheen, John Mahoney, D.B. Sweeny, David Strathairn, Christopher Lloyd, Michael Rooker, Perry Lang, James Read, Bill Irwin, Kevin Tighe, Studs Terkel, John Anderson. Faithful, though slightly tedious, retelling of the 1919 Black Sox World Series betting scandal. Baseball scenes and period recreation are superb. Based on Eliot Asinof's revealing book of the same name. Asinof has a cameo, as does ex-big league outfielder Ken Berry who was the technical advisor. Filmed at Bush Stadium, home of the Triple-A Indianapolis Indians.

6. Major League (1989)... Tom Berenger, Charlie Sheen Corbin Bernsen, Margaret Whitton, James Gammon, Rene Russo, Wesley Snipes, Dennis Haysbert, Charles Cyphers. The Cleveland Indians finally win the pennant throwing the entire city into the throes of Indian Fever. Charlie "Wild Thing" Sheen and Willie Mays Hayes (Wesley Snipes) are loads of fun spewing forth several quotable lines along the way. Followed by sequel. Bob Uecker (as announcer Harry Doyle) and ex-players Steve Yeager (who served as the actor's trainer and doubled as a rival pitcher) and Pete Vukovich also appear. Filmed in Milwaukee's County Stadium and Tucson's Hi Corbett Field with overhead shots of Cleveland's Municipal Stadium.

7. Babe Ruth (1991)... Stephen Lang, Brian Doyle-Murray, Donald Moffat, Yvonne Suhor, Bruce Weitz, Lisa Zane, William Lucking, Neal McDonough, John Anderson, Pete Rose, Cy Buynak, William Flatley, Stephen Prutting. Lang is wonderfully convincing in this underrated gem, which accurately depicts the life and times of the great Bambino. TV-movie based on two separate biographies by Kal Wagenheim and Robert Creamer, it also features Pete Rose in a cameo as Ty Cobb. The best movie on the Babe by far. Partly filmed at Cleveland Stadium and Chicago's Wrigley Field. Rod Carew served as a consultant. John Anderson reprises his Eight Men Out role as Commissioner Kenesaw Mountain Landis.

8. Long Gone (1987)... William L. Peterson, Virginia Madsen, Dermot Mulroney, Larry Riley, Katy Boyer, Henry Gibson, Teller. Based on a novel by Paul Hemphill, the film stars Peterson as Stud Cantrell, a player-manager of the Tampico Stogies, a mythical 1950's minor league team. Brazen and sassy and well worth seeing, it also features a fine soundtrack of period country and R&B music including the title track by Hank Williams. Filmed in and around Tampa's William Field, the film's producers expertly capture a realistic feel for the old Bible belt with special attention to detail. A true sleeper made for cable. Check out Stud's Cardinals tattoo.

9. Pastime (1991)... William Russ, Glenn Plummer, Scott Plank, Noble Willingham, Jeffrey Tambor, Dierdre O'Connell, Ricky Paull Goldin. Roy Dean Bream (Russ who co-starred on Boy Meets World) plays a veteran minor league hurler in 1957 tutoring young Negro phenom fireballer Tyrone Debray (Plummer). This is Bull Durham taken seriously with cameos by Bob Feller, Duke Snider, Ernie Banks, Don Newcombe, Bill Mazeroski and Harmon Killebrew. A solid performance by Russ and Plummer but script wears down at the end. Well worth seeing though.

10. Bang the Drum Slowly (1974)... Michael Moriarty, Robert DeNiro, Vincent Gardenia, Phil Foster, Ann Wedgeworth, Patrick McVey, Heather MacRae, Selma Diamond, Danny Aiello. A tearjerker in the Pride Of The Yankees vein, with Moriarty and DeNiro (his first starring role) giving excellent performances as the star pitcher Henry Wiggen and doomed catcher Bruce Pearson respectively. Based on the Mark Harris novel, it was the first time Hollywood ever treated baseball as an art form. Filmed at Shea and Yankee Stadiums.

11. League of Their Own (1992)... Tom Hanks, Geena Davis, Madonna Lori Petty, Jon Lovitz, David Strathairn, Garry Marshall, Megan Cavanaugh, Rosie O'Donnell, Renee Coleman, Ann Cusack, Tracy Reiner, Janet Jones, Tea Leoni, Bill Pullman. Entertaining film loosely based on the Woman's Professional Baseball League in the 1940s. Well done with fine performances by Davis as star catcher Dottie Henson and Hanks as drunken manager Jimmy Dugan. Best quote: The young boy reading the baseball autographed by Dugan: "Avoid the clap, Jimmy Dugan" - to which Jimmy responded, "Hey, that's good advice!"

12. A Winner Never Quits (1986)... Keith Carradine, Mare Winningham, G.W. Bailey, Dennis Weaver, Huckleberry Fox, Jack Kehoe, Fionnula Flanagan, Ed O'Neill, Dana Delany.  TV-movie starring Carradine as Pete Gray, the one-armed outfielder for the St. Louis Browns during WWII. Good homey script and Carradine, as usual, plays it wonderfully and athletically. Baseball sequences filmed at old Joe Engel Stadium in Chattanooga. [Gray was the Class A Southern Association MVP in his rookie year with the Memphis Chicks by batting .333 with 63 steals and led all outfielders in fielding percentage. He was promoted to the Browns in 1945 and hit .218 in 234 at bats at the age of 30 that year.]

13. Angels in the Outfield (1994)... Danny Glover, Brenda Fricker, Tony Danza, Christopher Lloyd, Ben Johnson. Excellent remake of 1951 movie of the same name. Ex-players Mitchell Page and Carney Lansford (the last batter in the movie) appear. Filmed in Anaheim Stadium (exterior shots) and Oakland Coliseum (interior, made to look like Anaheim).

14. Little Big League (1994)... Luke Edwards, Timothy Busfield, John Ashton, Jason Robards, Ashley Crow, Kevin Dunn, Jonathon Silverman, Dennis Farina, Duane Davis. Well-written, almost believable story of a youngster who inherits the Minnesota Twins. Realistic baseball scenes featuring many major leaguers of the day plus ex-player Leon Durham. Chris Berman has a cameo. Great soundtrack too.

15. The Babe (1993)... John Goodman, Kelly McGillis, Trini Alvarado, Bruce Boxleitner, Peter Donat, James Cromwell, J.C. Quinn, Joe Ragno, Bernard Kates, Michael McGrady, Stephen Caffrey. Hollywood's sentimental attempt at recreating an old-time baseball movie. Don't take it too serious and you'll enjoy it, especially Goodman's off-the-field effort as "Gidge." Filmed at Danville (Illinois) Stadium.

16. Soul of the Game (1996)… Delroy Lindo, Mykelti Williamson, Blair Underwood, Edward Herrmann. Follows the events surrounding Jackie Robinson, Satchell Paige and Josh Gibson leading up to Robinson's historic signing with Branch Rickey and the Brooklyn Dodgers. Lindo is excellent as the aging Paige. Shot at League Field and Rickwood Field in Birmingham Alabama.

17. For the Love of the Game (2000)… Kevin Costner, Kelly Preston, John C. Reilly, Jena Malone, Brian Cox. Costner plays Billy Chapel, an aging Tigers pitcher on the verge of being traded, who throws a perfect game to save his job. Game footage is well done but the film spends too much time on the relationship with his girlfriend, told mostly in flashbacks. Pro players Ricky Ledee, Dave Eiland, Donzell McDonald, Scott Pose, Mike Buddie and Juan Nieves also appear. Announcers Vin Scully and Steve Lyons have cameos. [Costner’s real parents appear as Chapel’s parents.]

18. The Rookie (2002)… Dennis Quaid, Rachel Griffiths, Brian Cox, Jay Hernandez. The true-life story of 37-year-old Jim Morris, who went from being a Texas schoolteacher to a Tampa Bay relief pitcher in 1999. Another Disney feel good story but plotline seems rehashed. Filmed in Texas. Based on Morris' book, The Oldest Rookie. [Morris missed most of the following season because of an elbow injury that required surgery and was designated for assignment.]

19. The Sandlot (1994)... Tom Guiry, Mike Vitar, Patrick Renna, Chauncey Leopardi, Marty York, Brandon Adams, Denis Leary, Karen Allen, James Earl Jones, Maury Wills, Art La Fleur. Tale of kids’ pickup team in the ‘60's starts off well but gets bogged down when they lose the ball in an old man's yard with a monstrous guard-dog. They spend the rest of the film trying to recover it. Fun for the whole family.

20. The Bingo Long Traveling All-Stars & Motor Kings (1976)... Billy Dee Williams, James Earl Jones, Richard Pryor, Ted Ross, DeWayne Jessie, Stan Shaw. The antics of a bunch of barnstorming Negro leaguers in the 1930s based on the book of the same name. The movie tries to be funnier than the book at the expense of the story but is still entertaining. Ex-big leaguer Leon Wagner also appears. Filmed at Grayson Stadium and Luther Williams Field in Savannah and Macon, Georgia.

21. Cobb (1994)… Tommy Lee Jones, Robert Wuhl, Lolita Davidovich, Lou Myers, Stephen Mendillo, William Utay, J. Kenneth Campbell. Strictly a character study, mostly depressing, of the latter days of one of baseball's all-time greats. Worth seeing for Jones' captivating portrayal of a drunken, drugged, dying old man. Wuhl plays real life Cobb biographer Al Stump who lived and traveled with Cobb listening to his recollections. Written and directed by Ron Shelton (Bull Durham, White Men Can't Jump). Louis Prima and Keely Smith impersonators are fun during Reno nightclub scene. Roger Clemens, Crash Davis and Ernie Harwell have cameos.

22. Major League II (1994)... Charlie Sheen, Tom Berenger, Corbin Bernsen, Dennis Haysbert, James Gammon, Omar Epps, Eric Bruskotter, Bob Uecker, David Keith, Alison Doody, Margaret Whitton, Michelle Burke, Randy Quaid. Mostly for Tribe fans with the same cast but still a lot of fun.

23. The Comrades of Summer (1992)... Joe Mantegna, Natalya Negoda, Mark Rolston, John Fleck, Eric Allan Kramer, Ian Tracey, Michael Lerner. Mantegna stars as Sparky Smith, a recently unemployed Seattle Mariners manager recruited by the Russian Sports Ministry to train their pathetic Olympic baseball team. Unusual premise but Mantegna and co-star Negoda make it work. A sleeper made-for-cable. Worth seeing.

24. Don't Look Back (1981)... Louis Gossett Jr., Beverly Todd, Cleavon Little, Ernie Barnes, Clifton Davis, Hal Williams, Taylor Lacher, John Beradino, Jim Davis, Ossie Davis. TV-movie starring Gossett as the great Negro league pitcher and American Leaguer Satchel Paige. Based on his biography Maybe I'll Pitch Forever, the film is a bit sluggish at times because of the pedestrian script but survives due to the interesting subject matter. Paige appears briefly as himself and ex-big leaguer Bubba Phillips plays Coach Hardy.

25. The Court-Martial of Jackie Robinson (1990)… Andre Braugher, Daniel Stern, Ruby Dee, Stan Shaw, Bruce Dern, Kasi Lemmons, Paul Dooley. Well-acted TV-movie recreates Robinson's army days as a lieutenant and bigotry crusader for the armed forces. Not much baseball action but worth seeing for Braugher's dynamic performance. Dee plays his mother here after playing his wife in 1950s The Jackie Robinson Story.

26. Mr. Baseball (1993)... Tom Selleck, Ken Takakura, Aya Takanashi, Toshi Shioya, Dennis Haysbert. Washed up ex-Yankee ends up in Japan and falls in love. Japanese ballgame scenes are great fun. Selleck, a pretty good athlete himself, pulls it off.

27. The Scout (1994)... Albert Brooks, Brendan Fraser, Dianne Wiest, Ann Twomey, Lane Smith, Michael Rapaport, Tony Bennett, Marcia Rodd. Washed up Yankees scout Al Pecolo is banished to Mexico on a futile scouting mission and stumbles onto phenom Steve Nebraska. Film has some very funny moments and is better much better than Talent For the Game. Several ballplayers and media personalities appear including Yankees owner George Steinbrenner.

28. The Slugger's Wife (1985)... Michael O'Keefe, Rebecca DeMornay, Martin Ritt, Randy Quaid, Loudon Wainwright III. Marital problems are effecting Darryl Palmer's production at the plate. What could've been an entertaining movie suffers from Neil Simon's below average script, uninspired acting and poor editing techniques. The baseball scenes aren't bad though, as is the surprise ending. Al Hrabosky and Mark Fidrych appear as opposing pitchers. Owner Ted Turner and Atlanta Braves announcers Pete Van Wieren, Ernie Johnson, Nick Charles and Skip Carey appear as themselves. Filmed at Fulton County Stadium in Atlanta. Look fast for the Yogi Berra Hartland statue in the bathtub. Wainwright’s duet with DeMornay on “Hey Hey, My My” is interesting.

29. Major League: Back to the Minors (1998)… Scott Bakula, Corbin Bernson, Dennis Haysbert, Takaaki Ishibashi, Jensen Daggett, Eric Bruskotter, Walt Goggins, Ted McGinley, Judson Mills, Thom Barry, Peter MacKenzie, Bob Uecker. New manager Gus Cantrell (Bakula) of the minor league Buzz turns his ragtag team into winners. Typical fare with a few gags. Cool uniforms though. Bernsen (now the GM), Haysbert, Ishibashi and Uecker were in previous efforts. Jobu also reappears, as does Steve Yeager playing coach Duke Temple. Cantrell's relationship with "Downtown" Anderson (Goggins), his top hitter, is the best and most realistic part of the movie. Filmed on location at the Metrodome and in Charleston, South Carolina. Worth seeing once.

30. Rookie of the Year (1993)... Thomas Ian Nicholas, Gary Busey, Albert Hall, Amy Morton, John Candy. Youngster finds superhuman life in pitching arm after injury and lands in the major leagues. Sort of a remake of Roogie's Bump. Barry Bonds, Bobby Bonilla, Pedro Guererro and Tim Stoddard have cameos.

Other movies include:

It's Good To Be Alive (1974)... Paul Winfield, Louis Gossett, Ruby Dee, Ramon Bieri, Joe DeSantis, Ty Henderson, Lloyd Gough. Well-acted TV-movie starring Winfield as Dodger catcher Roy Campanella starting with the period following his crippling automobile accident in 1958. Based on the book of the same name but gets a little too sentimental at times. The real Roy Campanella appears briefly in the prologue and the epilogue.

The Bad News Bears (1976)... Walter Matthau, Tatum O'Neal, Vic Morrow, Joyce Van Patten, Jackie Earl Haley. Followed by two forgettable sequels and a short-lived TV series. Watch the first one once - pass on the rest.

Murder At the World Series (1977)... Michael Parks, Bruce Boxleitner, Hugh O'Brien, Lynda Day George, Karen Valentine. TV-movie filmed in Houston's Astrodome. Pass.

One In A Million (1978)... LeVar Burton, Madge Sinclair, Paul Benjamin, James Luisi, Zakes Mokae. TV-movie starring Burton as Ron LeFlore, the Detroit Tiger outfielder who overcame a life of crime to star in the major leagues. Billy Martin appears as himself with cameos by Al Kaline, Norm Cash, Jim Northrup and Bill Freehan. Filmed in Tiger Stadium and County Stadium in Milwaukee.

A Love Affair: The Eleanor and Lou Gehrig Story (1978)... Blythe Danner, Edward Hermann, Patricia Neal. Based on Mrs. Gehrig's wonderful autobiography, this TV-movie misses the mark, mostly due to miscasting although the actors try hard. (Hermann's personality is actually closer to the real Iron Horse than Gary Cooper's.) Below average writing and a multitude of flashbacks also hurt the film's viewability. There is no on-the-field action but Gehrig's historical farewell speech is handled very well.

Goodbye, Franklin High (1978)... Lane Caudell, Ann Dusenberry, Darby Hinton, Julie Adams, William Windom. Ok script about High School senior faced with decisions about his future baseball career and love life.

Here Come the Tigers (1978)... Richard Lincoln, James Zvanut, Samantha Gray, William Caldwell. Poor excuse for the Bad News Bears.

The Kid from Left Field (1979)... Gary Coleman, Robert Guillaume, Gary Collins, Ed McMahon, Tab Hunter. Average remake filmed at San Diego's Jack Murphy Stadium. San Diego Padres announcer and ex-Yankee Jerry Coleman appears.

The Comeback Kid (1980)… John Ritter, Susan Dey, Doug McKeon. From imdb.com: A down and out former minor league ballplayer finds romance and a renewed zest for life when he takes a job coaching a group of underprivileged kids.

Squeeze Play (1980)… Jim Harris, Jennifer Hetrick. A male softball team is challenged by a female softball team (mostly their wives and girlfriends). Not for the kids.

Million Dollar Infield (1982)... Bonnie Bedelia, Robert Costanzo, Rob Reiner, Christopher Guest, Bruno Kirby. Average-at-best softball TV-movie comedy. Mel Allen has a cameo.

Chasing Dreams (1982)… David G. Brown, John Fife. A high school's baseball coach discovers the hitting talent of a teenage loner that turns his life around.

Tiger Town (1983)... Roy Scheider, Justin Henry, Ron McLarty. Billy Young breaks out of his slump thanks to a young boy's faith in him. The first movie made for the Disney Channel. Sparky Anderson and Ernie Harwell appear as themselves.

Workin’ For Peanuts (1985)… Carl Marotte, Jessica Steen, Shawn Thompson, August Schellimber, John Hempell, Elva Mae Hoover, Camilla Scott. The daughter of a stadium owner attracts the attention of a young vendor. Complications ensue because of the teenagers’ diverse social class and economic backgrounds. His dad is out of work, she spends winters in Aspen and summers in Switzerland. Her parents and friends are against the relationship. Based on a novel for young adults by Todd Strasser. An HBO production.

Blue Skies Again (1988)... Harry Hamlin, Robyn Barto, Mimi Rogers, Kenneth McMillan, Dana Elcar, Andy Garcia, Marcos Gonzales. Real life softball star Barto plays Paula Fradkin trying to break into the minors as the first female professional player. Captures the exciting feel and anticipation of spring training but drags at times and suffers from poor direction.  Worth seeing though.

Stealing Home (1988)... Mark Harmon, Blair Brown, Jonathan Silverman, Harold Ramis, Jodie Foster. Flashbacks tell the story of washed up ballplayer and his relationship with a female suicide victim. Ok story but not much baseball. However, the scenes that were shot are pretty good. Foster's presence generally saves the movie though. One scene filmed in Philadelphia's Veteran Stadium.

Talent for the Game (1991)... Edward James Olmos, Lorraine Bracco, Jefferey Corbett, Jamey Sheridan, Terry Kinney. Olmos plays California Angel's scout Virgil Sweet who is struggling to keep his job. He discovers pitching prospect Sammy Bodeen on an Idaho farm that the Angles exploit to the hilt, which goes against Sweet's principals. Far-fetched with too many clichés but features several ex-players. Remade better as The Scout.

Trading Hearts (1991)... Raul Julia, Beverly D'Angelo, Jenny Lewis, Parris Buckner. Washed-up pitcher Vinnie Icona, just cut by the Red Sox at the end of spring training 1957, meets a woman and her daughter whom he helps hide from her ex-husband. Worth watching once. Filmed on location in Florida. Former NYC Mayor Ed Koch has a cameo as a tourist.

Cooperstown (1993)… Alan Arkin, Graham Greene, Hope Lange, Ed Begley Jr., Paul Dooley, Charles Haid, Josh Charles, Maria Patillo, Ann Wedgeworth. Cable-movie about an ex-big league pitcher heading to the Baseball Hall of Fame with his nephew, reminiscing all the way. Adapted from the Lee Blessing play. Ernie Harwell has a cameo. Worth seeing once.

The Man From Left Field (1993)… Burt Reynolds, Reba McIntyre, Kauwela Acocella, Derek Baxter, Adam Cronan, Sean Dunne, Billy Gardner, Adam Ohren, Tino Taylor, Joe Theismann. Jack Robinson, a homeless man with amnesia, coaches a little league team and inspires the kids. Reynolds does a good job here so check it out of you can. TV-Movie.

Past the Bleachers (1995)… Richard Dean Anderson, Barnard Hughes, Glynnis O'Connor, Ken Jenkins, Grayson Fricke. A man decides to coach a little league team. A boy named Lucky not only helps the team win but also helps the coach forget the loss of his own child.

The Fan (1996)… Robert DiNiro, Wesley Snipes, Ellen Barkin. Star player Bobby Rayburn has an off-year and obsessive fan Gil Renard tries to help him but goes overboard. Di Niro makes the film work.

Ed (1996)… Matt LeBlanc, Jayne Brook, Bill Cobbs, Jack Warden, Charlie Schlatter, Carl Anthony Payne II, Zacharias Ward. Minor league pitcher Jack "Deuce" Cooper is inspired by his roommate, the team's mascot – and third baseman – a chimpanzee. Tommy Lasorda has a cameo. Strictly for the kids.

A Little Inside (1999)… Sean Michael, Arthur Hallie Kate Eisenberg, Benjamin King, Kathy Baker. A minor league ballplayer tries to raise his daughter.

Finding Buck McHenry (2000)… Ossie Davis, Ruby Dee, Michael Schiffman. When an 11-year-old boy gets cut from Little League, he starts his own team with the school custodian (an ex-Negro League legend) as the coach. Hall-of-Famer Ernie Banks appears as a Negro league star. An interesting introduction for younger kids to the Negro Leagues. It is done in a very fun, educational way and likable for all ages.

Summer Catch (2001)… Freddie Prinze Jr., Jessica Biel, Fred Ward, Bruce Davison, Jason Gedrick, Brittany Murphy, Marc Blucas, Matthew Lillard, Brian Dennehy, Corey Pearson, Christian Kane, Wilmer Valderrama. Prinz plays Ryan Dunne, an amateur pitcher in the Cape Cod league, who aspires to be a major leaguer. Pedestrian acting and a poor script. Pass. Ken Griffey Jr., Hank Aaron, Curt Gowdy and Beverly D’Angelo have cameos. Filmed in Cincinnati and Southport, North Carolina.

Hardball (2001)… Keanu Reeves, Diane Lane, John Hawkes, Trevor Morgan, D.B. Sweeney, Bryan Hearne, Mike McGlone, Michael Jordan, Graham Beckel, Greg Sandquist, Stephen Cinabro. Ok film about a young man in Chicago who is forced to coach a Little League team from the Cabrini Green housing projects to pay off a gambling debt. Sammy Sosa has a cameo. [Actors’ coach Mark Ellis helped the Chicago Little Leaguers for this movie. Ellis and some coaches from Swingtown, a Southwest suburban baseball academy, taught the kids to execute the right play in the script. Worth seeing once.

The Winning Season (2004)… Matthew Modine, Kristin Davis, Shawn Hatosy, William Lee Scott. An 11-year-old boy finds the rare t206 Honus Wagner tobacco card in an old woman’s garage and time trips back to the 1909 World Series. There he meets Wagner and Ty Cobb. Based on the book, Honus and Me. An original TNT TV-movie. Not bad.

Hustle (2004)… Tom Sizemore. Pete Rose is the subject of this ESPN movie focusing on events in his life and baseball career in the mid- to late 1980s, including the lifetime ban he agreed to following an investigation of gambling – a suspension that has kept the career hits leader off the Hall of Fame ballot.  Disappointing TV-movie.

Mr. 3000 (2004)… Bernie Mac, Angela Bassett, Michael Rispoli, Brian J. White, Ian Anthony Dale, Evan Jones, Amaury Nolasco, Dondre Whitfield, Paul Sorvino. At age 47, Stan Ross comes back to try and get his 3000th hit. Many celebrities, journalists and ex-ball players portray themselves in this movie.

Mickey (2004)… Harry Connick Jr., Shawn Salinas, Mike Starr, Michelle Johnson. Connick plays Tripp Spence, a widower on the run with a 12-year-old son, who happens to be a star player. They end up on a team in Las Vegas with a chance to go to the Little League World Series. Screenplay written by best-selling author John Grisham.

Game 6 (2005)… Michael Keaton, Robert Downey Jr., Griffin Dunne, Bebe Neuwirth, Catherine O'Hara, Tom Aldredge, Ari Graynor. The plot revolves around the 1986 World Series and a day in the life of a playwright who skips opening night to watch the famous game when Bill Buckner let Mookie Wilson’s roller slip through his legs to let in the winning runs thus sending the series to game 7.

Fever Pitch (2005)... Drew Barrymore, Jimmy Fallon, Jason Spevack, Jack Kehler, Scott Severance. Comedy about a high school teacher’s obsession with the Red Sox. Fun for the whole family. Many celebrities, journalists and ex-ball players portray themselves in this movie. [Notes: On 27 October 2004, Game 4 of the World Series, the finale of this film was shot. After the last play of the game in the bottom of the ninth during the Red Sox celebration, Drew Barrymore and Jimmy Fallon were filmed also celebrating on the field. Rewrites by the Farrelly brothers had to be done immediately following game 7 of the ALCS to include the historic Sox postseason.]

The Benchwarmers (2006)… Rob Schneider, David Spade, Jon Heder, Jon Lovitz, Craig Kilborn, Molly Sims, Tim Meadows. Gus, Richie and Clark form a three-player baseball team to compete against little league teams. Sometimes funny, sometimes gross, sometimes stupid. Reggie Jackson appears as himself.

Beer League (2006)… Artie Lange, Ralph Macchio, Anthony DeSando. Imdb.com: An unemployed slacker inspires his softball teammates to improve their game so they won't get kicked out of the local league.

The Final Season (2007)… Sean Astin, Powers Boothe, Rachael Leigh Cook, Michael Angarano. From imdb.com: True story of Kent Stock (Sean Astin), who in the early 1990's, gives up a job and his wedding plans to take over as head coach of  the Norway High School baseball team. Kent must win over his players and convince them and himself that he can fill their former coach's shoes and that they can go out winners. In the summer of 1991 Norway High's baseball tradition ended on a triumphant but somber note.

American Pastime (2007)… Aaron Yoo, Olesya Rulin, Carlton Bluford, Sami Roe. Masatoshi Nakamura, Leonardo Nam. This film is about the Japanese internment camps of WWII of which baseball played a major role. Filmed in Utah, near where one of the internment camps had been. Worth seeing.

Sugar (2008)… Dominican baseball star Miguel "Sugar" Santos is recruited to play in the U.S. minor-leagues.

Chasing 3000 (2010)… Ray Liotta, Rory Culkin, Trevor Morgan. Cincinnati attorney Bill Mikita's story about his and his brother's pursuit to see Roberto Clemente get his 3,000th hit in 1972. The story was first featured in the Enquirer in April 2006. Mikita has muscular atrophy. When his illness was diagnosed when he was two, his parents were told he wouldn't live past 5. He is now 54. Clemente died that New Year's Eve in a plane crash on a mission to bring supplies to earthquake victims in Nicaragua.

Trouble With The Curve (2012)… Clint Eastwood, Amy Adams, Justin Timberlake, John Goodman. An aging scout takes his daughter along on his last recruiting trip. She helps him scout the hot shot slugger (who can’t hit a breaking ball) and discovers a flame-throwing lefty. Along the way she falls in love and reconnects with her dad. Could’ve been better.

Home Run Showdown (2012) … Kyle Kirk, Matthew Lillard, Wayne Duvall, Dean Cain. From imdb.com: Two little league teams take on their coaches sibling rivalry, and end up doing battle in a place the baseball world never expected it: in the outfield of the Home Run Derby.

* 42 (2013)… Chadwick Boseman, Harrison Ford, Nicole Beharie, Christopher Meloni. The story of Jackie Robinson: his battles with racism on and off the field and his relationship with Branch Rickey, the man who believed in him. Excellent performances all-around but too much screen time is spent on the man-wife relationship and not enough on-the-field action.

Ring The Bell (2013)… Ryan Scharoun, Craig C. Stewart, Ashley Anderson McCarthy, Casey Bond. A top sports agent Rob Decker is scouting for a big league prospect at the Cooke Boys Ranch. He finds Shawn Hart, the top high school baseball prospect in the country, but also has a change of heart from his previous values: he accepts God into his heart.  A wholesome movie for the whole family. Also features Ben Zobrist, John Kruk and Rick Sutcliffe.

Home Run (2013)… Scott Elrod, Dorian Brown, Charles Henry Wyson. From imdb.com: A pro ball player with a substance abuse problem is forced into rehab in his hometown, finding new hope when he gets honest about his checkered past, and takes on coaching duties for a misfit Little League team.

Million Dollar Arm (2014)… Lake Bell, Jon Hamm, Bill Paxton. From imdb.com: A sports agent stages an unconventional recruitment strategy to get talented Asian cricket players to play Major League Baseball.