Hall of fame films

By Michaela Ard

With the Major League Baseball World Series fast approaching, it is time to ditch popcorn for peanuts and cracker jacks, and to unlock the stats on my baseball movie all-stars.

5. “Major League” This 1989 comedy is “The Replacements” of baseball flicks, in which the underdog players of the Cleveland Indians have been selected for their lack of skills by their greedy owner to lose as many games as possible.

If the team’s record is bad enough and admission is low enough, the crumbling stadium can be rebuilt in sunny Miami.

This movie “makes my heart sing” because it stars a likeable Charlie Sheen as Rickie Vaughn, or Wild Thing, who is a crazy pitcher with lousy aim but a killer fastball.

This was when Sheen was in his prime, and his bad-boy charm lit up the baseball diamond.

The other actors that make up the film’s ensemble, such as Wesley Snipes and Tom Berenger, are so energetic and diverse that every viewing will ensure nine innings worth of laughs and cheers.

4. “Angels in the Outfield” Before Mike Trout and Mark Trumbo, there was Tony Danza and Matthew McConaughey. Well, sort of.

1994’s “Angels in the Outfield” depicts a team of biblical proportions.

Foster kid Roger Bomman, played by Joseph Gordon-Levitt, prays for the Anaheim Angels to win the pennant, in hopes that this will reunite him with his father.

Throw in some helpful and heavenly angels and Christopher Lloyd, and the unskilled Angels become one of the most miraculous teams on the silver screen.

Silly but heartwarming, “Angels in the Outfield” is a baseball film fans of all ages can enjoy.

3. “A League of Their Own” They may have traded pants for skirts and etiquette class for some fielding practice, but the ladies of 1992’s “A League of Their Own” knew how to play ball.

In the movie, women came from cities near and far to play in the All-American Girl’s Professional Baseball League in 1943, in order to replace the male players who were fighting in World War II.

In addition to the unequivocal performance by Tom Hanks as drunken head coach Jimmy Dugan, “A League of Their Own” tackles issues of war, death and sexism all around the plot of baseball and teaches simple life lessons along the way, such as hitting the cutoff man and not crying in baseball.

2. “The Sandlot” Smalls, Squints, The Beast, Benny the Jet Rodriguez and Wendy Peffercorn are just a few of the iconic young characters America met in 1993’s coming of age tale.

“The Sandlot” chronicles a series of events during summer in a suburban town, in which the young boys of the street meet to play baseball on the sandlot. It is the summer the boys get themselves into the biggest pickle of their lives.

The youthful actors in the film are charismatic and infectious, with their one-liners and urban legends.

Ultimately, the childish humor and gripping chase scenes within the film will make me love “The Sandlot” for-ev-er.

1. “Field of Dreams” As much as I love Kevin Costner in “Bull Durham” (Sorry, “For Love of the Game,” you are not even in my top 10), I had to choose Costner’s 1989 baseball movie “Field of Dreams” as my first draft pick.

The movie seamlessly combines down-to-earth characters with supernatural occurrences, as the viewer watches Costner’s character, Ray Kinsella, mow down his Iowa cornfield to build a baseball diamond, all because a voice told him to do so.

From Terence Mann’s (James Earl Jones) monologue on the beauty of baseball, to Kinsella’s closing game of catch, this movie proves that romance and beauty are ever-present in America’s favorite pastime.

Mick

Mick’s Movie Mix

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