It’s baseball season! You can’t practically smell the dogs and sausages smoking up the grills on Landsdowne St. And, although it may not be the wildly popular sport it once was, there is something so beautifully romantic about baseball. This is exactly why there have been so many baseball movies made. Baseball is personal, it’s intimate and it’s in the heart of America’s history. By the late 19th century, baseball was “widely recognized as the national sport” of the U.S.A. From the opening of Fenway Park in 1912 to the 89 year wait for a World Series in 2004. Baseball was there for us in 2013, when the Red Sox “Boston Strong” World Series win gave us some light, following the darkness of the Marathon bombings.
James Earl Jones’ Field of Dreams character Terrance Mann expressed the romantism of the sport perfectly and so eloquently: “The one constant through all the years, Ray, has been baseball. America has rolled by like an army of steamrollers. It’s been erased like a blackboard, rebuilt, and erased again. But baseball has marked the time. This field, this game, is a part of our past, Ray. It reminds us of all that once was good, and that could be again.”
Baseball has our heart, which is why so many movies have been made on the subject. What are the best baseball movies? There are so many from popular kids flicks like The Sandlot, to darker takes on the realism of the sport, as delivered in Eight Men Out. There’s the fantasy movies as portrayed in Field of Dreams, to the ridiculously humorous take, as in Major League.
MLB ranked the 25 best baseball movies last year, I’m sharing some of my favorites here, in no particular order.