Fave 5 Baseball Movies for Moms & Kids
I don’t know about you, but lately, my life has revolved around baseball and softball. You see, my daughter pitches for her Intermediate Girls softball team and my son has been playing youth baseball for the past three years straight (and he’s only eight years old).
While I spend most of my time on the bleachers, chatting with the other moms and dads while pilfering through the kids’ snack bag, my husband is front and center on the pitcher's mound, in the outfield and at first and third base, coaching both my son and daughter's teams. My husband absolutely loves the sport and it shows in the way he encourages the kids throughout the year. This past week, our family ended the spring season on an unbelievable high note when both my daughter and son's teams managed to win the championships for their respective divisions.
As the thrill of those victories have begun to wear off, we continue to be a die-hard baseball family – attending Mets games (when they are playing really well), catching pop flies in the backyard or hitting the batting cage on weekends, playing baseball on the Wii (the kids personal favorite these days is Atari’s Backyard Sports Sandlot Sluggers game) and watching tons of baseball themed movies. Now if you’re like me and prefer to watch a sappy romantic comedy over some testosterone filled sports flick, then I have some good news to share. There are actually some terrific baseball films you can watch with your entire family and you may even shed some tears. Here are some of my personal favorites:
"A League of Their Own" (1992) – This fictionalized story, based on the All American Girls Professional Baseball league, stars Tom Hanks, Geena Davis, Lori Petty, Madonna, Rosie O’Donnell and is directed by Penny Marshall (love her!) The film centers on the lives of Dottie and Kit - two sisters who are plucked from their farm town during World War II to play baseball for the Rockford Peaches. Hanks plays Coach Jimmy Duggan, a former down on his luck ball player who has fallen off the wagon one too many times to count. With Dottie's help, Jimmy manages to pull himself together and lead the Peaches on a winning streak. As the teammates form a bond both on and off the field, emotions run high when Dottie and Kit get into a bitter argument and one of them gets traded to the Racine Belles. Bet you want to find out what happens next, but you better rent the movie and see for yourself! We have watched this film at least a dozen times and personally, I think it inspired my daughter to play harder this season than she ever has. There’s nothing like teamwork, Tom Hanks, laughter, tears and great Carole King music (Now & Forever) to make this one of my all-time favorite baseball movies!
"Bull Durham" (1988) – Kevin Costner stars in this romantic comedy along with Susan Sarandon and Tim Robbins. While the film is based upon writer/director Ron Shelton’s experiences with the minor league baseball team the Durham Bills, for me it’s all about the romance! Sarandon’s character Annie initially makes a play for the team’s rookie pitcher (played by her now ex-partner Tim Robbins), but finds herself increasingly attracted to veteran catcher “Crash” (Costner). Boy, Susan Sarandon really had it tough back then didn’t she?
"Field of Dreams" – (1989) “If you build it, they will come.” Another great Kevin Costner film that features one of the most memorable movie lines ever! Costner stars as Ray Kinsella, a novice farm owner, who, after hearing a voice from up above, decides to turn one of his crops into a baseball diamond. While everyone thinks he’s nuts, suddenly the ghosts of baseball’s past start showing up to play on his field including Shoeless Joe Jackson and many other legends of the game. This film is perfect for hopeless optimists and dreamers - maybe that's why I love it so much! Incidentally, if you’d like to take a road trip this summer with your family, you can visit the actual Iowa ball field where "Field of Dreams" was filmed.
"Bad News Bears" (1976) – If you’re a parent of a little leaguer just getting their sea legs on the ball field, then this is the film for you! Nothing like a dose of sassy Tatum O’Neil, gruff Walter Matthau and a cast full of misfits who manage to come together and kick everyone else’s butts! I still remember the first time I saw "Bad News Bears" with my brother and dad, and I pretty much idolized Tatum O’Neal. I even joined a ball team for one season. But as the only girl, things got a little uncomfortable when I informed my dad he had to buy me a cup. Shortly thereafter, my dad signed me up for tennis lessons. If your kids haven’t seen the original film (no use watching the sequels), then make a date to kick back and savor this one together!
"The Sandlot" (1993) – Following in the tradition of the underdog team of rag tag ball players who take on a group of bullies (and a menacing dog) and come out on top, this is another feel good family film that even your pets will love! We happen to own a DVD copy of "The Sandlot" since it's a classic we like to watch over and over and over again!
Do you agree with our fave five or do you have a few baseball flix of your own you’d like to share?