Narrowing this list down to 5 movies was tough. Baseball has always been my favorite sport and there were dozens of films that came to mind when I decided to make this list. I am not claiming that these are the 5 BEST movies about baseball, but they are 5 damn good films to pass the time with until the next season of America’s game begins.
5) The Sandlot, directed by David Mickey Evans (1993)
No list of baseball movies would be complete without this one. A movie that perfectly captures the love that children have for the game as well as the deep camraderie of childhood friendships. I was 11 years old when this came out, square in the middle of this film’s target audience and I ate this thing up. I remember seeing it in theaters and laughing hysterically. I wore this VHS out in the few years after it came out. It remains a delightful film and one of my all time favorites.
4) Moneyball, directed by Bennett Miller (2011)
No other movie captures the behind the scenes strategy of the greatest sport in the world so accurately. Anchored by brilliant performances from everyone involved, especially Brad Pitt and Jonah Hill. There are some liberties taken with tbe actual history of that A’s season, but I don’t care. This is a beautiful, brilliant, and thrilling film.
3) Field of Dreams, directed by Phil Alden Robinson (1989)
I remember watching this one with my dad countless times as a kid. I love every second of this film. It’s a fantasy film about baseball, but it is about more than the game. This is a film about the heart of the sport, the love of the game, about finding an escape in a game of catch. I still love watching Shoeless Joe Jackson emerge from that cornfield. It’s redemptive and sentimental and fantastic.
2) Major League, directed by David S Ward (1989)
While the other films on this list have a reverence for the game, this movie takes a decidedly more lighthearted approach. There are plenty of great baseball moments in it, but you come for the baseball and stay for the laughs. It is a bonafide comedy classic that is still funny as hell today. Also, no other movie so accurately captures the futility of being a Cleveland sports fan.
1) A League of Their Own, directed by Penny Marshall (1992)
An outstanding cast anchors this tale of women’s baseball during World War II. It is a great baseball movie, with appropriately stirring sports sequences, a ton of laughs, and a big dose of humanity. Tom Hanks gives my favorite performance of his career as the washed up coach of a women’s team that is better than he realized. The movie is about the power of baseball to inspire and lift our collective spirits. It also captures the competitive spirit and love of the game that is present in everyone to ever step on the diamond.