Take a swing at these baseball movies on Netflix

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Now that baseball has truly returned post-COVID, Netflix lets fly with several entertaining ballpark-related titles to choose from — a couple might even be as good as taking in one of the summer’s greatest pastimes live. At the very least, a good baseball movie should fill the void whenever a game gets rained out.

Take a swing or two at these flicks, and you won’t feel as though you’ve struck out. (And don’t worry, none of these picks are as long as a real baseball game.)

Moneyball

This baseball movie revolves around a real team, as the Oakland Athletics’ 2003 season forms the center of this sports drama. Following the unorthodox roster decisions made by A’s general manager Billy Beane (played by Brad Pitt), you get to see how he put together one of Major League Baseball’s most formidable — and cheapest — ball clubs of the modern era. Jonah Hill and Chris Pratt also star.

Late Life: The Chien-Ming Wang Story

This documentary follows Chinese pitcher Chien-Ming Wang from his time as an up-and-coming star player with the New York Yankees, all the way to his climb back into the big leagues. Unfortunately, Wang was hobbled by several injuries, causing the Yanks to part ways with him in 2008 after four disappointing seasons, but also leaving him to bounce around the majors on what became a remarkable, seven-year journey of redemption.

The Battered Bastards of Baseball

This Netflix documentary tells the story of the Portland Mavericks, an independent minor league ball club founded by Bing Russell, the late actor, and father of iconic Hollywood actor Kurt Russell. Kurt, who was the team’s vice president and designated hitter, and his mother, Lou, lead the movie’s simple, straightforward-yet-whimsical storytelling that would only fit a team like this. All 80 minutes of this piece deliver a real-life story so surreal, it gives the Indians from Major League a run for their money.

Screwball

Sticking with true stories from the baseball diamond, the 2018 documentary Screwball shines a light on the 2013 South Florida steroid scandal that rocked Major League Baseball. Billed as a “true-crime dramedy,” this project cleverly cast child actors — seriously, kids so young they’re nowhere near old enough for a learner’s permit to drive — as the major players in the scandal. This type of “avant-garde” filmmaking was nothing like what director Billy Corben, who was behind Cocaine Cowboys, had done before. But once you get past seeing someone a fraction of A-Rod’s age actually being A-Rod, pure entertainment will ensue.

The Lonely Island Presents: The Unauthorized Bash Brothers Experience

Having at least a few more laughs at the expense of baseball’s steroid era, Andy Samberg, the brainchild behind The Lonely Island’s comical contributions to society, tells the story of how juicing was stylish among the Oakland A’s of the late ’80s. With Samberg as Jose Canseco, and Akiva Schaffer as Mark McGuire, these two basically made a 30-minute rap music video, putting a spin on the real “Bash Brothers” as only they gloriously could.

Benchwarmers 2: Breaking Balls

This sports comedy stars Chris Klein (of American Pie fame) as a rookie lawyer who missed the boat to the big leagues and is desperate for another shot to make it to the show. His chance to get back on a diamond is given to him by his law firm boss, played by Jon Lovitz, who can often make an otherwise-mediocre comedy at least a decent one. Otherwise, the movie follows the usual trope; a former athlete seeks redemption by trying to lead a misfit group against the odds to victory.

Unlike scores and stats, movie preferences are subjective, of course, so our roster may not hit it out of the park for every baseball fan. But if you’re in the mood for a trip to the ballyard but can’t swing a full-length game, try batting these around.