Spring is here, which can only mean one thing for baseball fans. It is time to dust off the cap and glove; baseball is back! As America’s favourite national pastime, it will come as no surprise that Hollywood has depicted the competitive and mythological characteristics of the sport hundreds of times on the big screen.
Whilst the film industry has made many films capturing the magical moments of other popular sports, baseball seems to possess a unique cinematic quality that is only shared by the likes of boxing. Like boxing, baseball is a sport that is inherently a battle between two athletes, the pitcher and the batter. For baseball critics, the significant psychological aspect of the game is often overlooked due to the slow nature of the sport. However in film format, both fans and critics of the sport have been captivated by the many cinematic experiences of baseball fantasy and non-fiction.
Whether they make you laugh, cry, or both, the film industry has provided plenty of iconic movie moments that have made tales of baseball past and present an indispensable feature of the sports film genre. From the corn fields of Iowa to the executive offices of a small-budget baseball team in Oakland, this list will attempt to rank the best that the genre has to offer. (Warning: Spoilers ahead!)
10. Major League (1989)
A favourite amongst baseball and comedy fans alike, Major League depicts a fictionalised version of the Cleveland Indians. New Indians owner Rachel Phelps (Margaret Whitton) is attempting to sabotage the franchise so that she can move the team to Miami.
Assembling a team full of misfits and outlandish players, her hopes are inevitably threatened by the unlikely, yet resolute, cast of characters that make up the Cleveland Indians’ roster. Starring Tom Berenger, Charlie Sheen and a young Wesley Snipes, Major League provides viewers with several classic slapstick moments. The film's popularity would later result in two sequels, but neither could replicate the same level of success as the 1989 original.
Ricky ‘The Wild Thing’ Vaughan’s entrance is pure '80s nostalgia and most certainly influenced future real-life MLB pitchers to have similar entrance theme songs to get pumped up.