A Ranking of the Best Baseball Movies

Baseball is America's pastime. What better way to embrace the sport than to watch a ton of movies based around it? Below are eight great baseball movies, ranked from less-than-great to great. 

8. Bull Durham (1988) 

I've heard Bull Durham be called “the greatest baseball movie ever made”. I disagree calling it the greatest, but it is here on my list. Susan Sarandon stars as a small-town English professor, who chooses a young player on the local farm team every year to sleep with (who then goes on to become the team's best player). Kevin Costner and Ted Robbins co-star as two athletes Sarandon is involved with. The movie is very 1980s and it's often said to be more about the passion of baseball than the actual game itself. 

7. Rookie of the Year (1993) 

Image courtesy of Amazon

This is included for nostalgia purposes! I watched this movie soooo often when I was little. It's about a twelve-year-old boy who suffers an arm injury. When his cast is removed, he suddenly has amazing pitching skills and becomes the new pitcher for the Chicago Cubs. It's great for both kids and adults. Plus, it features this (still) iconic scene

6. The Pride of the Yankess (1942) 

This is the oldest entry on my list, but it is an absolute classic. It follows baseball legend Lou Gehrig from childhood to his famous “Luckiest Man” speech he made in 1939. (Gehrig was diagnosed with ALS, a nervous system disorder where muscles become progressively weaker. Gehrig eventually died from ALS at age 37). The Pride of the Yankees was nominated for 11 Academy Awards in 1942 and still holds up today as a prime example of filmmaking. 

5. 42 (2013) 

Image courtesy of NPR

Before he was Black Panther, Chadwick Boseman starred as baseball legend Jackie Robinson. Robinson was the first African American baseball player to play in the MLB. 42 accurately shows the hardships and racial intolerance Robinson faced during his years as an athlete, but also gave an honest depiction of just how strong and talented a man he truly was. 

4. The Natural (1984) 

The Natural stars Robert Redford as Roy Hobbs, an athlete who lost his chance at baseball stardom during his teenage years but who found it in his thirties after a second chance. Roy Hobbs is a natural talent (wink, wink) and the film shows how athletes are sometimes made of legend. The film depicts Hobbs as a near-mythical being, something great athletes are often compared to. 

3. Field of Dreams (1989) 

Kevin Costner stars in Field of Dreams as a farmer who hears a voice tell him to build a full-scale baseball diamond in his cornfield. Add in time travel, family jokes, James Earl Jones, father-son dynamics, Iowa, and you've got a piece of classic Americana film. It's about baseball, yes, but a lot of people say they like this movie the best for the father-son relationship portrayed. 

2. A League of Their Own (1994) 

Tom Hanks, Geena Davis, Madonna, Gary Marshall, and tons of other recognizable faces star in A League of Their Own. It's about the All-American Girls' Professional Baseball League, which was active during World War II when the men of the country went away to war. It's all about female empowerment and sisterhood dynamics. It's a long film, but every second is interesting and fun. 

1. The Sandlot (1993) 

Image courtesy of The Today Show

If you have never seen The Sandlot, did you even have a childhood? It's the pinnacle movie of spring and summer nostalgia for my siblings and I. It's one of the first movies I remember seeing and sitting through entirely when I was really young. Scotty Smalls is the new kid in town seeking friends when he joins a ragtag group of baseball lovers. He learns more about the sport and himself as the summer goes on. By the end, he and his new friends find themselves in "the biggest pickle" of their young lives. (It's a line from the movie!)

So even though the days are nicer and the sun is staying out longer, make sure you spend some time watching these great baseball movies!