The Ten Greatest Baseball Movies of All Time

Yes, I know it's sacrilege to leave Major League off of a top ten baseball movie list. But I think that film dies in the infield. The following list includes triples and home-runs. Here's also our users' highest rated baseball films and our list of baseball movies with the most votes- by Keith Simanton
View:
Log in to copy items to your own lists.
1.
Field of Dreams (1989)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
An Iowa corn farmer, hearing voices, interprets them as a command to build a baseball diamond in his fields; he does, and the Chicago White Sox come. (107 mins.)
“ Phil Alden Robinson's film holds up remarkably well 20+ years later. The story is original with twists that aren't forced, all leading into a final, earned scene that summarizes so much of what baseball means to so many. Based upon W.P. Kinsella's book, "Shoeless Joe," "Field of Dreams" also serves as a historical bridge for both cinema and baseball. Of the former it is one of the last of Burt Lancaster's extraordinary twilight films and perhaps Kevin Costner's greatest, at the height of his stardom. Of the latter it recalls the history, the ghosts, one could say of the past misdeeds of our own making and of the game's, as the Chicago "Black Sox" get a chance at redemption, even as Kevin Costner's character, Ray, does. ” - keithsim
 
2.
The Bad News Bears (1976)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
An aging, down-on-his-luck ex-minor leaguer coaches a team of misfits in an ultra-competitive California little league. (102 mins.)
Director: Michael Ritchie
“ There's no way that a film as politically incorrect as the original Bad News Bears would ever be made today. It, however, is often painfully accurate in showing the truth about competitive sports, the dark, sometimes destructive need to win, the pride and joy of competition (who can forget the mousy Lupus catching the fly ball?) and the very human failings of both children (never pandered to) and parents. Walter Matthau had perhaps his greatest role as the alcoholic father forced to coach a ragtag little league team. In desperation he turns to an ace pitcher--a girl!! scandalous at the time--who also happens to be his estranged daughter (Tatum O'Neal). ” - keithsim
 
3.
Bull Durham (1988)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  
A fan who has an affair with one minor-league baseball player each season meets an up-and-coming pitcher and the experienced catcher assigned to him. (108 mins.)
Director: Ron Shelton
“ Writer/director Ron Shelton's Bull Durham is about baseball, certainly, but, as is the case with the easy, organic, all-encompassing nature often accorded to the game, it's also about life itself. Annie Savoy (Sarandon) is a muse to minor-league ball players, and she must choose between a hot, young pitcher, Ebby Calvin LaLoosh (Robbins) and Crash Davis (Costner), a catcher in the last innings of his career. The film embraces poetry, sex, success, failure, talent, experience, public relations, personal integrity, rivalry, music, religion (sort of) and love but ensures that it revolves around, "the only church that truly feeds the soul, day in, day out,... the Church of Baseball." ” - keithsim
 
4.
The Pride of the Yankees (1942)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
The story of the life and career of the famed baseball player, Lou Gehrig. (128 mins.)
Director: Sam Wood
“ Gary Cooper plays Lou Gehrig, the "Iron Horse" first baseman for the New York Yankees who became a record-setting legend in the game. Sure, Cooper's a little long in the tooth to play a collegian, and he tries to capture Gehrig's innocence with a kind of eye-batting dopiness. But the last moments of the film, before Gehrig's final, famous farewell, transform the picture. Gehrig happens across a young man whom he had encountered years before in a children's hospital, and with this sequence, Pride becomes something more than a movie about innate talent and athleticism, or a lost era of America, it crystallizes into a film about (gulp!) human will. An absolute must. ” - keithsim
 
5.
A League of Their Own (1992)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
Two sisters join the first female professional baseball league and struggle to help it succeed amidst their own growing rivalry. (128 mins.)
Director: Penny Marshall
“ Director Penny Marshall and what still seems like an unlikely casting assemblage, turned the screenplay by Babaloo Mandel and Lowell Ganz, about the first professional female baseball league during WWII, into one great film and, at the same time, proved the national pasttime is gender blind. Tom Hanks plays Jimmy Dugan, an alcoholic ex-ballplayer who ends up managing the Rockville Peaches, led by the strong, attractive Geena Davis as Dottie, the catcher for the team. Dottie realizes that the league has a novelty value that will likely fade unless a little showmanship (read: the allure of sex), something every ballpark, every team needs, isn't offered and quick. Hanks also gets to utter one of the most famous lines in all of sport cinema. There is, after all, "no crying in baseball." ” - keithsim
 
6.
Fever Pitch (2005)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  
Lindsay is stuck in the middle of her relationship with Ben and his passion for the Boston Red Sox. (104 mins.)
“ Peter and Bobby Farrelly's romantic comedy about love and obsession is loosely based upon a Nick Hornby novel, which was actually about his fascination with football (soccer in the U.S.). Fever Pitch raises the question: Just how far should someone compromise for the sake of a relationship and how far should someone go to accept the faults and foibles of their mate? Ben (Jimmy Fallon)'s complete obsession with the Boston Red Socks, has come between past relationships and threatens to ruin his current, blossoming romance with Lindsey Meeks (Drew Barrymore). Are the Sox his first and only love? Is a new romance like the start of a new baseball season? A clean slate? Is a committed fan comparable to a faithful spouse, someone who, as the film says, "can love under the best and the worst conditions?"
The screenplay is also from Mandel and Ganz (who wrote the above's "A League of Their Own"). ” - keithsim
 
7.
The Natural (1984)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
An unknown comes out of seemingly nowhere to become a legendary player with almost divine talent. (138 mins.)
Director: Barry Levinson
“ Baseball is given even more mythological dimensions in director Barry Levinson's dream-like treatment of Bernard Malamud's novel. Anchored by Randy Newman's second big, orchestral score (after Ragtime in '81) The Natural was the natural vehicle for perpetually wooly-haired Robert Redford. The legendary actor somehow makes his character, Roy Hobbs, seems both all-American, sprung from midwest soil, and other-worldly, a man-boy brandishing a thunderbolt instead of a bat. ” - keithsim
 
8.
Moneyball (2011)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
Oakland A's general manager Billy Beane's successful attempt to assemble a baseball team on a lean budget by employing computer-generated analysis to acquire new players. (133 mins.)
Director: Bennett Miller
“ Its unconventional take on the sports genre made Moneyball one of 2011's best films. Brad Pitt plays Billy Beane, a jock with brains, who becomes a GM of the Oakland A's and, by the necessity of a smaller warchest than his rivals, changes the way he scouts and signs players. He's aided and abetted by Jonah Hill, a statistician who helps him make data, not intuition, the ordinal factor in managing a team. Director Bennett Miller has a great amount of fun playing chicken with many sports tropes but then veering away from them at the final moment. ” - keithsim
 
9.
Mr 3000 (2004)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.5/10 X  
Aging baseball star who goes by the nickname, Mr. 3000, finds out many years after retirement that he didn't quite reach 3,000 hits. Now at age 47 he's back to try and reach that goal. (104 mins.)
“ Mr. 3000, is a lot like the game of baseball itself. It claims its own pace, calling time when it wants to, ambling instead of running, and building its own idiosyncratic integrity. The late Bernie Mac proved he had the goods as Stan Ross, an unlikable, but irrepressible baseball great who has to come back out of retirement when he discovers he's three hits short of 3,000 a number that will assure him a place in the Baseball Hall of Fame. Ross has to suck up his pride and become a team player again to get back in with his team the Milwaukee Brewers. But there is no "Scrooge"-like epiphany with Ross. He's an egomaniac, a skirt-chaser, and Mac had the guts to play him as such from the first frame to the last in this film. ” - keithsim
 
10.
Baseball (1994 Mini-Series)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 9.2/10 X  
A documentary on the history of the sport with major topics including Afro-American players, player/team owner relations and the resilience of the game. (1140 mins.)
“ Filmmaker Ken Burns captures the highs, lows and meaning of the sport in eleven majestic episodes, including such titles as "Our Game," "A National Heirloom" and "The National Pastime." With "Jazz," "The Civil War" and his other films Burns has become the chronicler of the defining American experience with none so ingrained, so immutable as baseball. ” - keithsim