It’s only natural that America’s national pastime has been the subject of countless films. People love baseball and they love movies, so the two go together better than Kevin Costner and well, baseball films. Hollywood has become as iconic for the game as peanuts and cracker jacks.
This weekend we get to see the story of one of the most notable figures in the history of the game. Now that 42 has hit theaters, we’ll be able to definitively say just where Jackie Robinson’s story ranks among the numerous baseball movies we’ve seen, but in the meantime, I’ve compiled this list of the top 10 baseball movies of all time.
The actual list begins on the next page, but before we begin, I had to include one honorable mention, which kicks things off below.
Honorable Mention: Rookie Of The Year
When making a list such as this, I realize there’s a vast difference between the movies that are simply my favorites and those that are actually “the greatest of all time.” Rookie Of The Year is a film that sadly gets lost in that differentiation. While it’s certainly not top 10, nor would it be the 11th, it feels almost sacrilegious to write about baseball movies without at least mentioning it.
Rookie Of The Year tells the tale of Chicago youth Henry Rowengartner, a hopelessly un-athletic boy, who realizes after recovering from a broken arm that his tendons have fused too tightly and he can now throw a baseball over 100 miles-per-hour. Funky Buttlovin is right. He gets his shot with the Cubs, but the big leagues isn’t a place made for a 12-year-old and he’s forced to balance friendships, romance, winning over Gary Busey, and the terrors of facing big league sluggers.
This film is hilarious and heartwarming (the latter phrase is one you’ll see many times throughout this article). Baseball, while played at the highest level by men, is a game for boys, so what better way to show that than to plant one in the big leagues. If you’re a Cubs fan or simply looking for a light-hearted baseball film, you can’t go wrong with Rookie Of The Year.