Thursday, May 6, 2010

That Wimpy Deer?

Sitting in the stands at the Rangers game last week, my mind couldn’t help but wander to scenes from a few of my favorite baseball movies. What a great blog entry that would make!, I thought. (I probably said it out loud too.)

My thinking is that there’s just something about baseball that lends itself particularly well to film. The movies capture something magical about America’s game, and even though I don’t pay attention to it but at all in real life, I know that Hollywood has romanticizing baseball down to an art form.

Here are a few of my favorites.

The Sandlot

I love watching Scottie not only make friends during that fateful summer, but also develop some genuine baseball skills. When he first met those guys he had no idea where to stand, how to catch a ball, or absolutely anything else. By the time they play the bullies who “play ball like a girl,” he’s able to contribute to the team and actually get a hit in the game. I love that.

Fever Pitch

Fever Pitch is a fun little movie, and a lot of my affections for it are largely (and unsurprisingly) due to Jimmy Fallon. But I do love the baseball scenes, and part of me really would love to have a team I loved as much as Ben loves the Red Sox, and to have a stadium “family” like he does with his fellow season ticket holders.

Rookie of the Year

One of my favorite “excited” moments in any movie ever is when Henry’s mom surprises her son and his friends with tickets to a Cubs game. Their screams as they ride the escalator makes my heart smile. All the way through this movie you can tell just how much the Cubs and the entire game of baseball mean to these three friends.

Field of Dreams

In his original review of the film, Roger Ebert said, “There is a speech in this movie about baseball that is so simple and true that it is heartbreaking.”

Part of that speech: “And they'll watch the game, and it'll be as if they'd dipped themselves in magic waters. The memories will be so thick they'll have to brush them away from their faces. The one constant through all the years, Ray, has been baseball. America has rolled by like an army of steamrollers. It's been erased like a blackboard, rebuilt, and erased again. But baseball has marked the time. This field, this game, is a part of our past, Ray. It reminds us of all that once was good, and it could be again."

A League of Their Own

(If you read my little write-up on A League of Their Own from a while back, you know I hate the original trailer, so here's a clip of the montage that comes about mid-way through the film.)

This movie really does make me excited about baseball. The players take their sport so seriously, and I enjoy all the little moments that show how good they are at what they do. Evelyn’s home run, Kit rounding the bases at top speed, Betty Spaghetti striking a batter out and landing the Peaches in the playoffs… all of it. I love it when Tom Hanks as Jimmy Dugan tells Dottie: "Baseball is what gets inside you. It's what lights you up... you can't deny that."

So... what did I miss?


hootenannie said...

What did you miss? Only "The Rookie," starring my best case scenario man, Dennis Quaid. Such a hunk.

Katie said...

I second Annie - I do love The Rookie. And The Sandlot is just the BEST. Ever.