Top five baseball movies without Kevin Costner


Baseball has been the subject of many movies in Hollywood.  Several, have starred Oscar Award winner Kevin Costner.  Sure, Bull Durham and Field of Dreams are equally two of the best baseball movies of all time, but what about the others?  Do they deserve a nod? Here are a few that are worthy of a popcorn sit down.

5. Bad News Bears (1976)

Take a group of mix matched little leaguers and a drunkard played by the impeccable Walter Matthau and you have a film that dances with the hopes of victory and the ever echoing baseball chant, “Wait till next year”!

4. Brewster’s Millions (1985)

I know this movie is not about baseball but about a minor league pitcher named Monty Brewster (Richard Pryor) who in order to inherit $300 million, must spend $30 million.  However, how can you dismiss Monty’s purchase of a three inning exhibition pitting his team, the Hackensack Bulls, against the formidable New York Yankees?  This film may not scream baseball but like co-star John Candy, it deserves an honorable mention.

3. Major League (1989)

Follow bad boy Charlie Sheen and Wesley Snipes in the down and out portrayal of the Cleveland Indians’ in their battle against a conniving vixen of an owner, the race for the Pennant and the monumental question of whether or not Jesus can hit a curve ball.

2. Eight Men Out (1988)

The only film on my list based on real-life events, Eight Men Out dramatizes the 1919 World Series and the Chicago White Sox. Eight players including Lefty Williams, Shoeless Joe Jackson and Buck Weaver are discovered to have deliberately schemed to throw the World Series.   A stain forever ingrained in baseball history, this film is an ardent reminder of the ever present and perpetual battle between baseball and gambling.

1. The Natural (1984)

Any movie where a guy makes a homemade bat from a lightning stricken tree gets my vote as a top-notch movie. This flick is by no means a Home Depot demo project but focuses on an unfulfilled promising baseball career.  Please be advised that a film of this caliber has been known to make grown men shed a tear or two. Kleenex aside, The Natural depicts Robert Redford as a naïve ballplayer seduced by money and women and in turn leaves the game for many years.  At 35 years of age and a looming life threatening injury, Redford’s Roy Hobbs perseveres against the corruption and says goodbye to the game he loves with a game winning home run.

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  1. Raul Julia – a pitcher! Got check that out. Reminds me of ‘Rocket Gibraltor’ and BIll Pullman working on his curve ball.

  2. I always liked ‘Trading Hearts’ with Raul Julia. A down on his luck, middling baseball pitcher trying to learn a new pitch in the minors should be more appealing to baseball fans, and the romance part was less disappointing than ‘The Natural’.

  3. Not sure I would put Brewster’s Millions in there, especially ahead of one of the greatest baseball films ever: Pride of the Yankees. Agree with Bang the Drum Slowly. Classic. And I would also put Bingo Long’s Traveling All-Stars and A League of Their Own up for consideration ahead of Brewster.

  4. AMEN!…I thought I was the only one who loves this movie, put out by HBO. The Tampico Stogies, w/ Stud Cantrel!

    Way to give the love to LONG GONE! Wish I could find it on DVD

  5. While my all time favorite is The Sandlot… if that doesn’t say “childhood summers”, then I don’t know what is. I liked The Natural… it’s a deep movie about how we succumb to the temptation to be great… * cough * Barry Bonds * cough * by cheating.
    I would say “The Natural” when I’m sober. “The Sandlot” when I want reminisce about times gone by and “Major League” when Im in the mood for a good laugh.

  6. Jim,

    Not going to lie, I have never seen those…..and I thought I have seen every baseball movie.

  7. As for The Sandlot, any kid that takes an autographed baseball of Babe Ruth and then plays with it deserves to be flogged. What I meant to say was, grounded for life. To me, that is not a family movie but a horror film.

    In regards, to *61. I agree, I love that film. However,that movie was an HBO film and not a major motion picture.

  8. C’mon Dorn!

    Nice list – I’ll second Major League II as a legit comedy sequel. I’ll also submit “Bang the Drum Slowly” and “61*” for your consideration (though I’m a Red Sox fan I appreciate good film-making).

  9. Jamie and I randomly leave Major League Baseball quotes on each others Facebook walls.

    “I’m hung over, my knees are killin’ me and if you’re going to pull this shit at least you could’ve said you were from the Yankees.”

  10. Yeah, come on, I know it’s more recent than any movie on your list but Sandlot will live on for-ev-er. FOR-EV-ER! Absolute classic.

  11. What… no Sandlot?!?! I am probably younger than most of the audience so Bad News Bears is before my time but its formula has been copied enough for me to feel its impact. The Natural is one if my favorite books and my 2nd favorite baseball movie after The Sandlot

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