Picks for a favorite pastime

Baseball playoffs are in full swing, and our family is just a BIT excited to still be watching the Chicago Cubs play in October. As our Cubbies continue their post-season run, our family has revisited some of our all-time beloved baseball movies.

While I’d like to believe our favorites were determined on their memorable characters and overall message, the kids’ votes seemed to be more determined by humorous scenes and quotable nature. Read on for our top five family-friendly baseball flicks that we will be re-watching in anticipation of cheering on the Cubs in the World Series!

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Field of Dreams (PG, 1989)

With a husband who is a baseball fanatic and also has his roots in Iowa, this movie has long been a favorite. Kevin Costner plays a farmer who plows a baseball field into his cornfield based on direction from a mysterious voice. The narrative explores how various players and fans are connected together by the game and how relationships are affected as a result.

The most famous line is probably, “If you build it, he will come.” But as Midwest natives, this couple’s favorite dialogue is: “Is this heaven?” followed by the response, “No, it’s Iowa.”

 

A League of Their Own (PG, 1992)

I will admit that my love for this flick comes from the memory associated – sneaking out of camp with my cousin one summer afternoon to catch a matinee. Tom Hanks plays Jimmy Dugan, a burned-out baseball player who reluctantly coaches a team in the women’s baseball league during World War 2. A host of recognizable actresses, including Geena Davis, Rosie O’Donnell and Madonna, display hilarious stunts and heartfelt spunk as they deal with the challenge of having people take them seriously while managing life at home as their loved ones are off to war.  

Memorable quotes: “There’s no crying in baseball.”
“It’s supposed to be hard. If it wasn’t hard, everyone would do it. The hard… is what makes it great.”

 

For Love of the Game (PG-13, 1999)

This powerful drama scopes the career of pitcher Billy Chapel, played also by Kevin Costner, in a series of flashbacks as he pitches his final game. You learn about his history with certain team members, as well as how he struggled to balance a romantic relationship with his love for the game.

Our family especially got a kick out of Billy’s friendship with his catcher, Gus, who gave my favorite quote about the team aspect of baseball: “You just throw whatever you got, whatever’s left. The boys are all here for you. We’re gonna’ be awesome for you right now.”

 

The Rookie (G, 2002)

Based on the life of Jimmy Morris, this movie tells the story of how a Texas teacher and coach is convinced by his players to follow his dream of becoming a Major League baseball player. With a teacher and coach residing in our house, these types of stories hit a soft spot. One of our favorite scenes is when the players go through the streets of their small town alerting everyone that Jimmy has finally made it into the majors.

Memorable quote: “It’s your turn, coach.”

 

The Sandlot (PG, 1993)

Our family watched this classic together for the first time this past summer, and our kids named it their favorite baseball flick. It delivers a great message that everyone deserves a chance to play, but it is also incredibly funny. Some of the most memorable scenes include kissing the lifeguard at the pool and playing against the “official” Little League team where the boys exchanged interesting insults.

Besides the infamous, “You’re killing me, Smalls,” our other favorite quote comes in the dream conversation with Babe Ruth: “Let me tell you something, kid; Everybody gets one chance to do something great. Most people never take the chance, either because they’re too scared or they don’t recognize it when it spits on their shoes.”
What baseball flicks would you recommend?

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