Baseball movies, damn it, BASEBALL MOVIES!

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Let's begin with this really fascinating piece in this week's Progressive Boink:

Click, if you dare, to read about...The Sandlot.

Haikunym (Haikunym), Wednesday, 15 June 2005 12:59 (seventeen years ago) link

It's kind of long, that piece, but a) Progressive Boink has the most interesting (if bizarre and off-center) baseball coverage on any website anywhere, and b) I have never seen "The Sandlot" and now I really kind of want to.

My feeling is that it's pretty hard to beat all the same movies that everyone always talks about, but that the only one that conveys what baseball is really all about for pro players is "Bang the Drum Slowly." Forget DeNiro's risible baseball skills and the main plot: all the card games, all the boredom and anxiety!

Haikunym (Haikunym), Wednesday, 15 June 2005 13:16 (seventeen years ago) link

i have a soft spot for bang the drum slowly. my fave is still the bad news bears. i ain't even lyin'.

jonathan quayle higgins (j.q. higgins), Wednesday, 15 June 2005 13:25 (seventeen years ago) link

There is Bull Durham.

And then there is the real world.

And I will take Bull Durham.

David R. (popshots75`), Wednesday, 15 June 2005 13:29 (seventeen years ago) link

My wife and I were surprised to see how poorly Bull Durham had aged when we saw it the other night. Costner's performance as a baseball player is really good, but he has a problem with the whole "portraying an intelligent human" thing. But it's more of a funny rom/com now, rather than being A BASEBALL MOVIE, for me.

Jonathan Quayle Higgins is probably right, though, in re: BNB.

Haikunym (Haikunym), Wednesday, 15 June 2005 13:42 (seventeen years ago) link

Somehow I also forgot about Eight Men Out, which I like for (among other reasons) John Sayles' hamminess, and THE SHINEBALL.

David R. (popshots75`), Wednesday, 15 June 2005 13:54 (seventeen years ago) link

Cusack was pretty credible as a ballplayer in that, I remember, no?

Haikunym (Haikunym), Wednesday, 15 June 2005 13:57 (seventeen years ago) link

Oh yeah yeah yeah! I was just picking non-obvious reasons for my luv. SHINEBALL!

David R. (popshots75`), Wednesday, 15 June 2005 13:58 (seventeen years ago) link

Also, John Mahoney, who was MONEY in any role he took pre-Frasier (AFAIK).

David R. (popshots75`), Wednesday, 15 June 2005 13:59 (seventeen years ago) link

i think that WE should write a baseball movie. of course there are only two kinds of sports movies: group of miscreants makes good (major league, bad news bears) and underdogs with heart take moral victory (hoosiers). ours should be about a group of old-timers who are fed up with the way the game is played today and BUY THE TAMPA BAY DEVIL RAYS AND DECIDE TO TAKE THE FIELD THEMSELVES.

Jams Murphy (ystrickler), Wednesday, 15 June 2005 14:02 (seventeen years ago) link


Jams Murphy (ystrickler), Wednesday, 15 June 2005 14:03 (seventeen years ago) link


David R. (popshots75`), Wednesday, 15 June 2005 14:18 (seventeen years ago) link

Somehow I also forgot about Eight Men Out,

Ugh. The book was so much better. The complexity of the various plots/subplots as well as the large number of characters involved are far better suited for a book. I didn't feel as though I learned anything from the movie.

MindInRewind (Barry Bruner), Wednesday, 15 June 2005 14:23 (seventeen years ago) link

Barry the only thing I ever learned from a movie is to wear a condom. AT ALL TIMES. I wouldn't put an educational onus on a fictional film, at least not a sports film.

Oh, wait: I guess I learned a lot about Kathleen Turner's nipples from Body Heat!

Haikunym (Haikunym), Wednesday, 15 June 2005 14:29 (seventeen years ago) link

The things I learned from movies would make Sean Hannity proud to be a stupid moron.

David R. (popshots75`), Wednesday, 15 June 2005 14:30 (seventeen years ago) link

BTW, I'm typing this wearing a full-body prophylactic.

David R. (popshots75`), Wednesday, 15 June 2005 14:31 (seventeen years ago) link

Made of duct tape.

David R. (popshots75`), Wednesday, 15 June 2005 14:32 (seventeen years ago) link

Haha, fair enough 'Nym. More precisely, the movie didn't make me think differently about the Black Sox in any way. Not a single scene stuck with me -- if I think about the 1919 WS, I imagine what it looked like in the book, not in the movie. The movie felt like the super-abridged Cliff's Notes version.

MindInRewind (Barry Bruner), Wednesday, 15 June 2005 14:44 (seventeen years ago) link

I too just watched Bull Durham out of curiosity. The on-field scenes are indeed the best. Also there's that one batting cage scene where KC ropes one with one hand while talking to SS the whole time, doesn't even blink.

gygax! (gygax!), Wednesday, 15 June 2005 16:05 (seventeen years ago) link

Yeah, his skills are unquestionable in Bull Durham. I actually really love his little "come on, throw me the heater" internal monologues way more than I should. But come on, power-hitting catchers are pretty rare, even in the 1980s, he woulda been called up long before that.

Haikunym (Haikunym), Wednesday, 15 June 2005 16:11 (seventeen years ago) link

Hahaha - Creighton Gubanich & other neglected catchers / players to thread!

Also, I thought Crash's thing was that he GOT his cup of coffee, and spilled it all over himself.

David R. (popshots75`), Wednesday, 15 June 2005 16:15 (seventeen years ago) link

Yeah but he played baseball THE RIGHT WAY, unlike Croyton Gubaroff or whoever the eff you're blabbering on about, WTF, why not just make up a better name like P. Anvilbottom DuPree Junior or something

Haikunym (Haikunym), Wednesday, 15 June 2005 16:19 (seventeen years ago) link

i suppose that if i mention "field of dreams" i'll get laughed off the thread.

hstencil (hstencil), Wednesday, 15 June 2005 16:24 (seventeen years ago) link

Truth is funner than fiction, Mr. Nym! Hassan chop!

David R. (popshots75`), Wednesday, 15 June 2005 16:27 (seventeen years ago) link


Jimmy Mod Is Great At Getting Us Into Trouble (ModJ), Wednesday, 15 June 2005 17:46 (seventeen years ago) link

he had a pretty good year in 1998!

Haikunym (Haikunym), Wednesday, 15 June 2005 17:48 (seventeen years ago) link

the sandlot is as seminal a coming of age film as stand by me (which i've actually never seen) for anyone under the age of 12 when it was released.

i don't think i used the phrase 'coming of age' as it's intended and i'm really not sure about 'seminal' but oh well.

i will type for you the classic lines, when i recall them.

John (jdahlem), Wednesday, 15 June 2005 17:51 (seventeen years ago) link

The only bad thing about Bull Durham is the cheesy sexing at the end, which almost ruins the mood.

Field of Dreams is great, 'about baseball' or not.

milozauckerman (miloaukerman), Wednesday, 15 June 2005 18:11 (seventeen years ago) link

Tim Robbins delivery is a bad thing about Bull Durham.

mookieproof (mookieproof), Wednesday, 15 June 2005 18:12 (seventeen years ago) link


mookieproof (mookieproof), Wednesday, 15 June 2005 18:13 (seventeen years ago) link


weather1ngda1eson (Brian), Wednesday, 15 June 2005 18:21 (seventeen years ago) link

thank you, milo.

hstencil (hstencil), Wednesday, 15 June 2005 18:24 (seventeen years ago) link

Oh I have no hate
for "Field of Dreams" either though,
it's so MYSTICAL

Haikunym (Haikunym), Wednesday, 15 June 2005 19:22 (seventeen years ago) link

Everyone always decries Tim Robbins as a pitcher in that movie, and probably deservedly so, but it has never taken away from my enjoyment of the film, and actually probably adds a little.

The best scene in Bull Durham, without question, is the "DO YOU WANT ME TO CALL YOU A COCKSUCKER" scene.

The Bad News Bears is the best. Apart from the Kelly / Amanda deus ex machinas, which never would have happened in MY little league, it was about as true to life as any baseball movie I've ever seen. And funny and awesome and memorable too.

I've never read the book, but Eight Men Out was awesome.

polyphonic (polyphonic), Wednesday, 15 June 2005 22:48 (seventeen years ago) link

"Field of Dreams" has one of the cutest kids ever!

Leeeeee (Leee), Wednesday, 15 June 2005 23:50 (seventeen years ago) link

worst baseball movie : three way tie for last :

"The Scout"
"The Fan"
"The Slugger's Wife"

"The Fan" deserves a very special place in cinema hell for this quadruple crown --- horrible performances by DeNiro, Snipes, Del Torro and SMASH YOU OVER THE SKULL direction from hackmeister Tony Scott.

"The Scout" almost gets a half star because Albert Brooks went on Letterman the day of release and claimed he promised a dying boy the film would be number 1 at the box office that weekend.

I guess the kid died.

Gerard Cosloy (Gerard Cosloy), Sunday, 19 June 2005 04:17 (seventeen years ago) link

"Field of Dreams" has one of the cutest kids ever!

you're right, i had a crush on her when i was 10, too.

jaymc (jaymc), Sunday, 19 June 2005 05:06 (seventeen years ago) link

Oh lord - was The Scout the flick w/ Brendan Fraser as Toejam Nash striking out guys in the Yankees' dugout?

David R. (popshots75`), Sunday, 19 June 2005 06:21 (seventeen years ago) link

yeah, ends with the perfect perfect game, 27 strikeouts, wtf

Haikunym (Haikunym), Sunday, 19 June 2005 15:13 (seventeen years ago) link

i still haven't seen mr. 3000.

hstencil (hstencil), Sunday, 19 June 2005 15:34 (seventeen years ago) link


Lupton Pitman (Chris V), Monday, 20 June 2005 13:31 (seventeen years ago) link

Mr. 3000 is good in some ways, especially the performances of Bernie Mac and Angela Bassett, but it is one of the biggest missed opportunities in cinema history, as far as I'm concerned.

Haikunym (Haikunym), Monday, 20 June 2005 13:47 (seventeen years ago) link

mr 3000 is a shit on the game of baseball. bernie macs swing is horrendous.

Lupton Pitman (Chris V), Monday, 20 June 2005 14:06 (seventeen years ago) link

re: the fan

was there REALLY a need to remake the king of comedy as a baseball movie?

you've got to hand it to jerry lewis, though...

jonathan quayle higgins (j.q. higgins), Monday, 20 June 2005 19:32 (seventeen years ago) link


Chickenshit Reagan-zeitgeist trashing of a good book.

There's a great sequence in Gregg Araki's new "Mysterious Skin" of teen hustler Joseph Gordon Levitt getting 'service' under the table while he does PA at the local smalltown Kansas beer league games. (And then there's the Little League pedophilia.)

Dr Morbius (Dr Morbius), Tuesday, 21 June 2005 13:07 (seventeen years ago) link

Oh dude Araki

David R. (popshots75`), Tuesday, 21 June 2005 13:14 (seventeen years ago) link

Oh dude

David R. (popshots75`), Tuesday, 21 June 2005 13:14 (seventeen years ago) link

Well, more Scott Heim (those scenes are in the novel, which I think also included a short George Brett rhapsody).

Dr Morbius (Dr Morbius), Tuesday, 21 June 2005 13:48 (seventeen years ago) link

eight months pass...
Don DeLillo has written this (yes, THAT Game 6), opens in NY Friday:

A critic wants to destroy his play
his marriage is ending
and tonight...
His Team is One Game Away.

-> GAME 6

Dr Morbius (Dr Morbius), Thursday, 9 March 2006 16:20 (sixteen years ago) link

Starring Michael Keaton, Griffin Dunne, Ari Graynor,
Shalom Harlow, Bebe Neuwirth, Catherine O'Hara,
and Robert Downey, Jr.

Directed by Michael Hoffman

Written by Don DeLillo

Produced by Amy Robinson, Griffin Dunne,
Leslie Urdang, Christina Weiss Lurie.
Executive Producers: Michael Nozik,
David Skinner, Bryn Iler

Dr Morbius (Dr Morbius), Thursday, 9 March 2006 16:23 (sixteen years ago) link

I think Finley and the early-/70s A's would be a great subject...except the movie would invariably pale next to the real thing.

clemenza, Tuesday, 23 April 2013 13:48 (nine years ago) link

Looked over the other choices. Durocher, fantastic--that might be my first choice, even before the A's. I actually think Morgan Freeman as Buck O'Neill is a bad idea. Freeman was a great actor early on, but he's gradually been made into this saintly figure; you'd have him playing another saint, and that's just too much goodness in one movie.

clemenza, Tuesday, 23 April 2013 13:56 (nine years ago) link

I don't think a Durocher movie would work -- it's not "Hollywood" enough. Same is probably true for Cap Anson, but as a period piece from a bygone era, it might fly. A 70's A's or Bill Veeck movie would be funny as hell and you wouldn't have to like baseball to laugh with it.

NoTimeBeforeTime, Tuesday, 23 April 2013 14:11 (nine years ago) link

Durocher seems majorly Hollywood to me. You've got a readymade tagline in "Nice guys finish last," a great nickname, and Durocher himself had numerous Hollywood connections--movie-star friends, affair with Laraine Day, lots of gangster ambience. Where I think it'd really work is, as the guy points out in the article, how much baseball history Durocher's life encompassed (like Stengel's). You'd have three stories that are worth movies themselves: the Gashouse Gang, the '51 Giants, and the '69 Cubs. The one problem I could see is that there's too much ground to cover. You'd either need a three-hour film, or some way to organize the material sensibly.

clemenza, Tuesday, 23 April 2013 14:22 (nine years ago) link

I was thinking The Glenallen Hill Story too, but I think that one's been done.

clemenza, Tuesday, 23 April 2013 14:33 (nine years ago) link

Durocher would be great, assuming they followed the facts instead of Leo's highly fictionalized memoirs.

But that'll never happen. It'd have to be a hard R rating, and baseball movies now have to be kid-friendly, which is why you'll never see faithful adaptations of Ball Four or The Boys of Summer, and Durocher is too obscure to today's general public for a studio to greenlight a period picture that goes from the '20s to the '60s.

Pope Rusty I (Dr Morbius), Tuesday, 23 April 2013 19:00 (nine years ago) link

Studio meeting over proposed Ball Four script:

"This guy that says 'shitfuck' and 'fuckshit' all the time, can that be changed?"
"To what?"
"I don't know...How about we have him say 'LOL!' instead?"

clemenza, Tuesday, 23 April 2013 22:05 (nine years ago) link

Best choices: Bill James/Cap Anson, Allen Barra/Bill Veeck, everyone who brought up Clemente
Worst choices: Bob Costas/Barry Bonds (ugh)

― NoTimeBeforeTime, Tuesday, April 23, 2013 9:42 AM (9 hours ago) Bookmark

a barry movie could be amazing if they did it right and avoided the obvious pitfalls. costas is right about the nuances there!

turds (Hungry4Ass), Tuesday, 23 April 2013 23:10 (nine years ago) link

Bill Murray woulda been a great Bill Veeck, too old now. (Michael Shannon?)

Pope Rusty I (Dr Morbius), Tuesday, 23 April 2013 23:39 (nine years ago) link

Bonds is too contemporary a subject for a biopic -- there isn't enough perspective on his career yet, especially since nobody really knows what he's like in private. It would also be a hatchet job (there's no movie-worthy story in "guy becomes greatest player of his era, never talks to anyone) so I don't really see the point.

NoTimeBeforeTime, Wednesday, 24 April 2013 05:49 (nine years ago) link

too contemporary doesnt scan for me... was moneyball too contemporary? pride of the yankees came out a year after gehrig died. jackie robinson starred in a biopic about himself while he was an active player! and the timeframe makes it more interesting, we've seen a billion those were the days baseball movies already

it'd have to be done there will be blood style obv, with bonds as daniel plainview

turds (Hungry4Ass), Wednesday, 24 April 2013 07:43 (nine years ago) link

The Robinson and Gehrig movies were from a totally different era, when baseball was by far the #1 sport among other things. I don't see the demand right now for a biopic on a contemporary player (in any sport). Moneyball wasn't that old but there were already a million things written about it before the movie came out so I think there was enough perspective there, plus the whole underdog saga is ready made for a movie adaptation.

Not totally related, but even though Moneyball doesn't seem like it happened all that long ago, in terms of baseball economics, the big market vs small market and contraction debates are practically ancient history, so in some sense it does feel like a completely different era.

NoTimeBeforeTime, Wednesday, 24 April 2013 08:50 (nine years ago) link

Bonds as Daniel Plainview sounds promising though, although I think I'd do it more along the lines of Rosencrantz and Gildenstern. I'm thinking the backdrop to a Rich Aurilia/Jeff Kent buddy flick or a view from the perspective of Darren Baker.

NoTimeBeforeTime, Wednesday, 24 April 2013 08:55 (nine years ago) link

was moneyball too contemporary?

For the studio and filmmakers it was, cuz what was on the screen had pretty much nothing to do with reality.

Pride of the Yankees is also nearly total fiction. The movie Robinson starred in is interesting, but look at even 5 minutes of it (I posted it upthread) -- it was SUPER low-budget.

I can't see a studio doing a nonfic baseball movie without MLB's cooperation either.

Pope Rusty I (Dr Morbius), Wednesday, 24 April 2013 12:54 (nine years ago) link

Contemporary films are tricky, but I can think of at least two that work: All the President's Men was fantastic, The Social Network very good.

Bonds would be tricky too, but I think a great film could be made. I wouldn't want a hatchet job, no, nor an apologia--I guess I'd want a director/screewriter who's conflicted on the subject. I actually see some parallels between Bonds and Nixon. (Be forewarned: I see Nixon parallels everywhere.) No, I'm not saying Bonds bombed countries into oblivion or trashed the constitution. More that both of them seemed impossible to know, both had very public downfalls after having everything in their grasp (again, a major difference: when Nixon's big moment comes, reelection + China, he's already had a lifetime of unseemly stuff behind him), and both had bete noires that seemed to contribute to their destruction--JFK for Nixon, McGwire/Sosa for Bonds.

For what it's worth, I think Oliver Stone's Nixon film is excellent. Most people do not agree.

clemenza, Wednesday, 24 April 2013 13:45 (nine years ago) link

Bonds was hated before PEDs were even an issue. Remember him being left off the "All-Time Team"?

Pope Rusty I (Dr Morbius), Wednesday, 24 April 2013 15:46 (nine years ago) link

the movie should just be a ~90 min static shot of a bonds mid-afternoon nap in his special clubhouse recliner

johnny crunch, Wednesday, 24 April 2013 15:51 (nine years ago) link


turds (Hungry4Ass), Wednesday, 24 April 2013 17:17 (nine years ago) link

the big market vs small market and contraction debates are practically ancient history

are they? didnt the new cba stack the deck against small market teams even more?

turds (Hungry4Ass), Wednesday, 24 April 2013 17:24 (nine years ago) link

two months pass...
two weeks pass...

Posnanski wrote about The Bad News Bears yesterday:

I think the comments get at what the movie's really about (I've only seen it once a few years ago and really liked it): the awful behavior of some adults at kids' sporting events.

clemenza, Saturday, 27 July 2013 13:45 (nine years ago) link

which is brought to a head by the revenge of Vic Morrow's kid.

playwright Greg Marlowe, secretly in love with Mary (Dr Morbius), Saturday, 27 July 2013 14:03 (nine years ago) link

seven months pass...


mookieproof, Monday, 3 March 2014 00:32 (eight years ago) link

tsk, always the gay actors who can't throw (Perkins as Piersall)

from House of Cards?

images of war violence and historical smoking (Dr Morbius), Monday, 3 March 2014 06:41 (eight years ago) link

one month passes...

Saw 42 last night and thought it was surprisingly solid. Yes, full of those hollywood biopic moments but good in spite of them. Thought Chadwick Boseman really nailed it. And yeah, the baseball scenes were good as fuck, made me fall in love with baseball again. The base-stealing made my hair stand up.

ביטקוין‎ (Hurting 2), Friday, 4 April 2014 15:19 (eight years ago) link

Harrison Ford was decent overall but had a little to much of that "I'm An Old-Timey Businessman With A Heart Underneath" english on his performance.

ביטקוין‎ (Hurting 2), Friday, 4 April 2014 15:19 (eight years ago) link

tbf some of that was the writing.

ביטקוין‎ (Hurting 2), Friday, 4 April 2014 15:20 (eight years ago) link

Haven't seen it yet, but the "I want someone with guts NOT to fight back" scene is p much verbatim from The Jackie Robinson Story (1950)

images of war violence and historical smoking (Dr Morbius), Friday, 4 April 2014 15:44 (eight years ago) link

two weeks pass...
one month passes...

Three-hour Taiwanese historical epic:

images of war violence and historical smoking (Dr Morbius), Wednesday, 4 June 2014 17:28 (eight years ago) link

Heard at our staff meeting tonight that the grade 8s are showing Moneyball as part of their probability unit in math. That one stumps me a bit.

clemenza, Wednesday, 4 June 2014 23:01 (eight years ago) link

(Notwithstanding that I didn't mind Moneyball, I guess the obvious connection is the high probability that any narrative baseball movie's going to be mediocre or worse.)

clemenza, Wednesday, 4 June 2014 23:04 (eight years ago) link

two months pass...

Didn't realize there's a Dock Ellis documentary out there.

clemenza, Sunday, 10 August 2014 03:33 (eight years ago) link

seven months pass...

Anyone seen Kobayashi's I Will Buy You?

Van Horn Street, Tuesday, 24 March 2015 21:21 (seven years ago) link

Yeah, a few months ago. It's ok, not great.

WilliamC, Tuesday, 24 March 2015 21:28 (seven years ago) link

free video: Baseball's Been Very, Very Good to Me: Minnie Minoso Story

mookieproof, Friday, 27 March 2015 18:28 (seven years ago) link

one month passes...

NFB of Canada's Baseball Girls (I think it's free for anyone)

I think it's fantastic

Van Horn Street, Friday, 8 May 2015 23:20 (seven years ago) link

eleven months pass...
one month passes...

apparently The Phenom has hardly any baseball in it, which is generally fine with me. Much more wary about the presence of Ethan Hawke.

helpless before THRILLARY (Dr Morbius), Tuesday, 28 June 2016 15:53 (six years ago) link

one month passes...

I don't remember Fastball ever getting a screening here, but I was able to catch up with it on a cousin's Netflix account. Very much a companion piece to Knuckleball, with the Greek chorus here comprised of Kaline, Morgan, Bench, Brett, and Gwynn. Some good science: explanations of how Walter Johnson, Feller, and Ryan were measured for speed in their day, and a precise illustration of how much easier it is to hit a 92 m.p.h. fastball than one thrown 100 m.p.h. (If you're Andrew McCutcheon--I'd find both somewhat challenging.) It comes down to a difference of 50 milliseconds' worth of synapse reactions...The
Steve Dalkowski section is sad. Most everyone you'd want in here is there, although there should have been a bit more on Randy Johnson. One major omission--Clemens--and Kerry Wood isn't mentioned either.

clemenza, Monday, 15 August 2016 22:58 (six years ago) link

two years pass...

Not sure when (or if) I'll get to see this--or if I want to--but I hope it's better than The Bronx Is Burning.

clemenza, Sunday, 11 November 2018 19:57 (four years ago) link

Ah, it's a documentary--thank goodness.

clemenza, Sunday, 11 November 2018 20:01 (four years ago) link

eight months pass...

The Yankees and White Sox will play in Iowa near the “Field of Dreams” on August 13, 2020.

Unlike the film, not all the players will be white.

a Mets fan who gave up on everything in the mid '80s (Dr Morbius), Friday, 9 August 2019 18:05 (three years ago) link

ten months pass...

Knuckleball! is on HBOMax, will try to watch it this weekend.

Jersey Al (Albert R. Broccoli), Friday, 19 June 2020 17:08 (two years ago) link

seven months pass...

^is this the Tim Wakefield story?

if Spaghetti-Os had whammy bars (Neanderthal), Tuesday, 26 January 2021 03:31 (two years ago) link

seven months pass...

It's My Turn--Claudia Weill's big mainstream film from 1981; not particularly good--has a 10-minute segment at a Yankees' Old-Timers game, where Jill Clayburgh goes to see recently retired Michael Douglas. Um, putting that aside, a few famous players get some screen time: Mantle, Maris, Elston Howard, Whitey Ford, and Bob Feller. (Do non-Yankees get Old-Timer invites?) Plus a few others the camera just glides by--felt like I should have recognized some of them, but I didn't.

clemenza, Tuesday, 7 September 2021 01:11 (one year ago) link

two months pass...

Christgau answering reader e-mail today:

Would you tell us about your opinion of baseball movies? Are they realistic? Writing as an outsider and not knowing but realising that any movie made about soccer is usually pretty s*** makes me wonder do you have the same feeling about your national sport — Hugh, West of Ireland

“Realistic”? Having spent approximately 15 minutes of my life in a major league dugout (profile of underrated Mets shortstop Rafael Santana, 1987 or ’88 I think), I have no way of judging. But I can call to mind many convincing, insightful , and/or entertaining baseball movies. I guess my favorite is the hilarious but also incisive and exciting Moneyball, about assembling a winning Oakland A’s team on a zero budget, based on a book by Michael Lewis, whose The Big Short inspired an even better movie about the 2008 mortgage scam crisis. And just recently Carola and I streamed and enjoyed an impertinent documentary called Battered Bastards of Baseball, about a nutty yet winning minor-league team constructed from scraps when I forget which major league team pulled its franchise from Portland, Oregon. But there are many others: A League of Their Own about a women’s baseball league; The Bingo Long Traveling All-Stars and Motor Kings, about a team of touring ex-Negro League players; Bang the Drum Slowly, starring my once-great Dartmouth downstairs neighbor Michael Moriarty and a young Robert de Niro and based on a Mark Harris novel; the only slightly watered-down Jackie Robinson biopic 42; the much older b&w Fear Strikes Out, about the great bipolar Red Sox centerfielder Jimmy Piersall; the kiddie comedy The Bad News Bears. For some reason I’ve never seen the renowned Field of Dreams, which I suspected and indeed still suspect of pretentious sentimentality, though I’d probably watch it were it to stream free somewhere. I’ve never seen the Lou Gehrig biopic The Pride of the Yankees either. Is there a Babe Ruth one I’m forgetting?

clemenza, Wednesday, 17 November 2021 16:22 (one year ago) link

ten months pass...

Didn't know about Facing Nolan until today, when something turned up on my FB wall--it's on Netflix. I thought it was far from great. The best thing was seeing actual game footage of a story I probably thought was apocryphal: Norm Cash coming to the plate with a sawed-off table leg. He was the last out of one of the early no-hitters (Ron Luciano was behind the plate). As a title card dramatically announces later in the film, "Robin Ventura declined to be interviewed for this film."

clemenza, Monday, 26 September 2022 05:15 (four months ago) link

Early in the film, Rod Carew says something about "I knew I'd go 0-4" whenever he faced Ryan. For his career (73 AB), Carew hit .301 vs. Ryan. (and slugged .562).

If your lifetime average is .328, maybe .301 feels like 0-4.

clemenza, Monday, 26 September 2022 16:31 (four months ago) link

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