Baseball Movie Classics: A Pseudo Marathon, The End!

(Part One) (Part Two) (Part Three) (Part Four)

For Love of the Game rounds out the Kevin Costner trilogy of baseball movies, and was another one I had very high hopes for (even after not totally loving Field of Dreams). The movie came out much more recently than I realized (1999) and is actually based on a novel by Michael Shaara (who also wrote The Killer Angels, which is a Pulitzer Prize winning Civil War novel). Costner plays Billy Chapel, 40 year old veteran pitcher (who’s been pitching for the Tigers for 19 years), who learns before the last game of the season that the team has been sold, and he can either be traded or retire. The same morning, his girlfriend informs him that she’s leaving for London. Forever. So it’s not a good day. The movie chronicles Chapel’s journey through this single game, and flashbacks to his relationship and love of baseball are mixed in between the innings. I love stories that are told backwards in this way, and although some would probably argue that the story is too much about his love of Jane, rather than his love of baseball, but I thought it was just right. It was a great story, and Costner is really compelling, and I am definitely adding this one to my list. If you love baseball, you really should see this.

So! That finishes the movies that I’m going to watch for this project, largely because baseball season is in full swing and I want to watch BASEBALL, not movies about baseball. The two movies I had tentatively put on the list that we didn’t get to were A League of Their Own (which I’ve seen a bunch of times, and can acknowledge as probably worthy of being included in the better of the baseball movies, but which I can’t seem to get the motivation to watch) and Bad News Bears (which I included just because I’ve never seen it). So I’m considering this project a resounding success because it was a lot of fun, and I finally did watch a bunch of those movies everyone thinks I should have seen, but I haven’t (if you recall, that’s #11 on my 28 To Do List).

All told, we watched 9 movies. Two I really didn’t care for (Field of Dreams and Mr. Baseball). The rest were really good movies. Here’s my final ranking:

  1. Bull Durham
  2. The Natural
  3. Major League
  4. For Love of the Game
  5. Mr. 3000
  6. Little Big League
  7. Major League 2
  8. Field of Dreams
  9. Mr. Baseball

And I’d happily add Bull Durham, The Natural, Major League, For Love of the Game, and maybe Mr. 3000 to my annual Baseball Season Is Almost Here Let’s Watch Some Baseball Movies To Get Even More Psyched About It movie viewing list. The first four are solid, amazing movies with great stories about likable characters, and more importantly, about loving the game of baseball.

One thought on “Baseball Movie Classics: A Pseudo Marathon, The End!

  1. Pingback: Twenty Eight Things To Do While I’m 28 « throwing waffles

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