Mount Rushmore Baseball Movies Fiction
Baseball movies that are Hollywood created are the best. They are so unbelievable and made up for our entertainment. However some of them are believable. For the Love Of The Game is totally believable but it did not make my list. Also another Kevin Costner movie Field Of Dreams also did not make my list. This is more of a dramatic movie that is a real tear jerker. The first baseball movie on my Mount Rushmore of Baseball movies fiction is another Kevin Costner film that I could totally believe is true. I am not going to review each movie but instead give a brief plot summary.
Who didn’t love this movie. It is funny and I believe it is realistic. Costner was brillians as the aging catcher brought back down to A Ball to tutor Ebby Calvin Laloosh the hot shot rookie pitcher who needs to grow up mentally. Tim Robbins also was brilliant as Nuke. Annie Savoy is the lifetime groupie who picks one player a season to teach them life lessons and maturity. She gave him the nickname of Nuke. Susan Sarandon nailed this part too. The movie centers around the maturation of Nuke as Crash gives him wisdom about the game of baseball and the game of life. Annie also does it too but in a much different way. The cast isn’t known outside of Robert Wuhl as one of the coaches who also played against Crash but they are very much side effects to the three main characters who dominate the movie. There is plenty of laughs and memorable scenes in this movie. As you know Crash and Annie help Nuke get promoted to the show and as the Bulls release Crash he finally gets Annie then leaves to hit his last homerun before retiring. It would seem that Annie’s days as the Summer fling are over as Crash is destined to become her only man. However Crash will be in high demand as a minor league manager.
Classic movie that launched the careers of Costner, Robbins and Sarandon. Robbins and Sarandon became a real life couple for many years after this movie.
If you want star power The Natural had that. Also it was a great story. Robert Redford plays Roy Hobbs a baseball player who was taught everything about the game from his father. His father dies of a heart attack by a tree that was split open by lightning. Young Hobbs makes a bat he named Wonderboy. A copy of that bat is hung in my man cave at home. Robert Duvall plays MaX Mercy the sportswriter who spends the whole movie trying to find out the real story behind Hobbs. Pop FIsher brilliantly played by Wilford Brimley is the manager and co owner of the New York Knights and Red Blow played by Richard Farnsworth is his assistant coach. Then we have Michael Madsen who plays Right Fielder Bump Bailey who is on the take from the Judge and partial owner of the team played by Robert Prosky and lastly Joe Don Baker who plays Babe Ruth or “The Whammer” as he is known in the movie. Glenn Close plays Iris the childhood sweetheart of Hobbs, Barbare Hershey plays Harriet Bird the woman who changes Hobbs’ life forever and Kim Basinger who plays Memo Paris and is the niece of Pop and the woman who seduces Hobbs to try to make him lose games.
To quickly sum it up Hobbs leaves his small town country home for a tryout with the Cubs. But before he goes he gets Iris pregnant. On the way to Chicago he meets the Whammer and at a Carnival he strikes him out on 3 pitches. Harriet Bird who has shot 2 prominent athletes latches on to Hobbs cause he said he is going to be the best ever. Harriet shoots Hobbs. 16 years later Hobbs returns to baseball and makes the Knights who are in last place. Pop has to win the pennant to keep the team but Bump their best player is on the take. After a couple of weeks Pop finally lets Hobbs at least take batting practice and he hits every pitch out of the park. Later that day Bump drops a fly ball and Hobbs pinch hits for him and knocks the cover off the ball. Now Hobbs in in the news and Iris living in Chicago with her son who we find out later on that is Hobbs’ kid hears his tale. Bump is given one last chance to play better otherwise he will be on the bench plays great but kills himself running through the wall in pursuit of a fly ball. Now Hobbs is the starting right fielder and the team turns it around immediately. During batting practice with Max watching(Max knows Hobbs from somewhere but he can’t remember where) Hobbs fires a fast ball which breaks the rope and Max now realizing where he knows Hobbs from is gone. Memo starts dating Hobbs and he slumps badly until he goes to Chicago and sees Iris and turns It around again. You can see the love they still have for each other. The Knights go back on a roll and tie for the pennant with three games left. Memo poisons Hobbs and he misses three games which leads to a one game playoff. Hobbs’ gets his stomach pumped and they find the silver bullet from 16 years earlier. He is told to retire immediately or risk his stomach blowing up. The judge bribes him for the final game. Hobbs plays the game and gives the money back. He finds out Iris’ son is his and he hits the game winning home run and Pop keeps the team and Hobbs, Iris and their son return to the farm where they grew up.
THE BAD NEWS BEARS
A movie about little league baseball players which is one of my personal favorites. Just ask my mom who would see me watch the movie then rewind it and watch it again and again. Walter Mathau plays former major league pitcher Morris Buttermaker. Buttermaker is an alcoholic who drinks during practice and the games is paid by Toby Whitewood’s father to manage the team. The Bears are bad early on in the season until Buttermaker brings in a female pitcher Amanda Whurlitzer played by Tatum O’Neal. Buttermaker dated Amanda’s mother and he taught her how to throw a curve when she was younger. Jackie Earle Haley plays Kelly Leek the bad ass guy from the neighborhood who just happens to be the best ball player around. Once Kelly and Amanda join the team everything turns around. They get all the way to the championship game against the hated Yankees and in a tie game Buttermaker empties his bench for the first time all season and blows the game but he remembers what is most important.
This movie is laughs all the way through as the Bears have all sorts of characters. From the little loud mouth and balls Tanner Boyle who is tiny but always willing fight. To the fat catcher Mike Engleberg who is always eating and always lazy. To the incumbent pitcher with the thick glasses Rudy Stein. To Ogilvie the nerdy guy who has no ability but is the ultimate stat man and team scout. To Ahmad who wants to be Hank Aaron to Loopus who is small and wimpy and gets taken advantage of by everyone. Vic Morrow plays Roy Turner who is the manager of the Yankees and becomes so consumed with winning he drives his son Joey away after hitting him during the game. Joey was also not nice to the Bears but by this point even the Bears felt sorry for him. This movie which is a cult classic spawned 2 sequels, one Television series and a remake of the original if which I will never watch.
Another movie that is not realistic but fun and entertaining to watch. Also with plenty of stars. A quick plot summary is Rachel Phelps played by Maragret Whitton inherits the Cleveland Indians from her husband who just passed away. Phelps hates Cleveland and her whole goal is to make the team bad enough so she can relocate the team to Miami. She gets rid of their best players and makes the Manager become the General Manager. The players invited to Spring Training are all re tread major league players past their prime and unknown players from various leagues around the country. Manager Lou Brown played brilliantly by James Gammon sees a lot of potential in the team and tells the GM Charlie Donovan played by Charles Cyphers he thinks the team at 60 and 61 is a contender. Upon hearing that Donovan tells Brown of the owners intentions. Brown uses that to motivation to drive the team to win the division. This movie spawned 2 sequels one with most of the original cast and the second one about a minor league team with only a couple of characters from the original. There has always been talk of another Major League movie but so far nothing is imminent.
Charlie Sheen plays Rick “Wild Thing” Vaughn a pitcher with a big league arm and balls to match. He was in jail at the beginning of the movie and Sheen plays this character so well. Wesley Snipes plays Willie Mays Hayes. Hayes basically invites himself to Spring Training. Upon trying to throw him out of camp Brown sees how fast he is and lets him stay. Tom Berenger plays Jake Taylor. Taylor is an aging ex all star catcher trying for one more season in the big leagues. He is the unquestioned heart of the team. However his heart belongs to Lynn. The woman he is in love with and wasn’t smart enough to hold onto played by the beautiful Rene Russo. Corbin Bernsen plays Roger Dorn. The high priced prima donna third basemen who wants to collect his checks and not do anything to mess up his career after baseball. Dennis Haysbert plays Pedro Cerrano the voodoo loving big stick right fielder who can’t hit the curve ball. Chelcie Ross plays Eddie Harris the crafty veteran pitcher who puts anything he can find on the ball to get batters out. And of course Bob Uecker is great as Harry Doyle the Indians play by play announcer.