The Best Baseball Movies of All Time

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Baseball has long been used as the backdrop of movies. Here are some of the best.

“Moneyball” is an intriguing sports movie classic, recounting Oakland A’s Billy Beane’s use of statistics to build an undefeatable team with incredible stats. Tom Hanks gives an extraordinary performance.

1. Field of Dreams

Field of Dreams is one of the most heartwarming sports movies ever made, chronicling one man’s journey to build a baseball diamond in his cornfield after hearing someone whisper, “Build it, and they will come.” A timeless classic transcending generations, Field of Dreams is the ideal movie viewing before baseball season starts again.

This film captures all the magic and drama surrounding one of baseball’s most memorable rivalries: Roger Maris and Mickey Mantle’s rivalry during the 1961 baseball season. Both set records while competing to hit 60 home runs during an individual year. It was an enormous box office hit and remains highly praised today by critics for accurately representing sports competition and rivalries.

Before becoming an all-pro in the NFL, Kevin Costner made waves as an actor with two baseball movies from the late ’80s. Bull Durham followed talent scout Gus Lobel on one last search trip for Atlanta Braves player “the next big thing.” It featured one of the most realistic depictions of life in professional baseball and how dreams could be crushed or realized even as people aged.

Rosie O’Donnell, Amy Madigan, and Lori Petty star in this raunchy comedy directed by Walter Matthau as Morris Buttermaker (Walter Matthau). While some suspension of disbelief may be necessary, Walter Matthau stands out in this performance-oriented film with one of his signature roles as an antagonistic baseball coach.

2. Bull Durham

There’s no more inspiring and sentimental baseball movie than this one. Based on a true story, Dennis Quaid stars as Jim Morris to lead his high school baseball team back from disaster after suffering an injury. Although some cliche scenes are throughout, you cannot help but be touched by its underdog story.

Bull Durham is a classic tribute to minor league baseball, shedding light on the lesser-known world of bus rides and dumpy stadiums where one slump can end an entire season. Kevin Costner shines as veteran catcher Crash Davis, who befriends rookie pitcher Nuke LaLoosh (Kevin Costner). Through the film, audiences are reminded of all its eccentricities that make the game exciting, furthering what so many baseball fans already know: that it’s never too late to learn something new!

Though its premise may seem outdated, this classic sports comedy deserves to make any list of best films. Starring an entertaining cast of misfits led by Walter Matthau’s coach (a perfect performance by both), this fun film will satisfy any baseball fan – especially anyone with a romantic interest in any player featured here or who relishes the feel-good atmosphere classic films create. Plus, it is for those interested in bad-taste humor and a wild cast of characters (this cult classic!). Don’t miss it!

3. Fever Pitch

“Major League” had long dominated the baseball movie genre, yet this hidden gem provided something different. Pitt and Hill did not rely on cinematic techniques or emotionally stirring music to convey how we should feel; instead, they relied on raw charisma alone to draw us in. Furthermore, this film explored something rarely covered in sports movies: long-suffering fans. Instead of creating scenes that felt like some ironic diss to Cleveland or its residents, this movie voiced their frustration with biased money-driven sports.

Sugar, an independent drama about a Dominican immigrant’s attempts to thrive in the minor leagues, is one of the recent most moving and underrated baseball movies. While not shying away from its dangers, this film offers an insightful portrayal of professional baseball’s fragility when players encounter racism within their home countries.

Though its plot may initially sound dull, this movie stands out. Robert De Niro shines as an alcoholic ex-minor leaguer, Morris Buttermaker; all his supporting characters are impressive, and his story captures baseball beautifully enough that it stands out among other films about its sport. A must-see for any true baseball fan!

4. The Natural

Breaking the perception that baseball is an innocent pastime, this raucous 1980s comedy with Walter Matthau and Robert De Niro is an iconoclastic classic of sports films. Capturing both its beauty and romance as few films can do, this cast is one of Hollywood’s all-time greats!

This period chronicles Branch Rickey’s struggle to bring Jackie Robinson into major league baseball. Chadwick Boseman makes an impressionary performance as the legendary infielder who changed its complexion forever. While this film may contain flaws – such as its overreliance on baseball as an allegory for black life – it is nonetheless an enjoyable watch.

Kevin Costner first rose to fame through a string of baseball movies. Field of Dreams is widely considered one of the best films ever made about this sport, featuring impressive acting from its cast and its lighthearted spirit that doesn’t try too hard to be taken too seriously.

The Natural, on the other hand, is more of an emotional journey about baseball player Roy Hobbs and his pursuit of redemption. Few movies offer such sentimentality to such an extent, and it’s hard not to love his fable-hero-esque persona – not only is The Natural not perfect film-wise, but its beautiful game footage stands up well alongside its stellar cast of Glenn Close, Robert Duvall, Kim Basinger Wilford Brimley and Richard Farnsworth!

5. The Bad News Bears

This hilarious, often offensive, and sometimes heart-rending comedy about an unlikely Little League team from Los Angeles’ San Fernando Valley captures baseball beautifully: not with one-dimensional characters or motivations like most sports movies do; rather it shows real children with coaches, parents, and families all who love baseball together and the sport they all share. Walter Matthau and Tatum O’Neal give fantastic performances as coaches, while Tatum O’Neal gives an amazing one as his player; both give memorable performances! (Keep in mind this classic from 1970 contains some rough language.) Walter Matthau and Tatum O’Neal give great performances while this classic 70’s film still holds up today despite being over a century old!

Since “Everybody Wants Some” debuted, few movies about college baseball have come to the screen, making this underrated gem a must-visit for anyone who enjoys college sports or baseball and dreams of joining Major League Baseball one day. Director Richard Linklater captures the essence and spirit of college ball in an entertaining movie that makes its audience root for underdogs while giving an unparalleled look into minor league baseball’s unique world.

Aaron Sorkin may not be one of the more celebrated screenwriters, but he is unrivaled in writing about baseball. His script is fast-paced yet intelligent. As the disgruntled General Manager for Oakland Athletics’ cash shortage, Brad Pitt and Jonah Hill, as their numbers man recruited by Sorkin, bring a fresh new approach to classic underdog tales of baseball.

While other films on this list take more fantastical and mythological approaches to tell their baseball stories, “The Natural” takes an honest and realistic approach with Robert Redford as an iconic pitcher whose life and career take an unexpected turn when he becomes father to an extraordinary young prodigy. Few other movies capture baseball’s romance and madness quite like “The Natural.”