Coop's an ex-ballplayer is now a peanut vendor, who takes too much of an interest in the game. But he's passed on his craze for baseball to his son, Christie. When his dad gets fired, Chris... See full summary »
Coop's an ex-ballplayer is now a peanut vendor, who takes too much of an interest in the game. But he's passed on his craze for baseball to his son, Christie. When his dad gets fired, Chris makes friends with the former team owner's niece (and her boyfriend Pete), and not only gets his dad's job back, but a batboy position for himself. With his dad's help, Christie begins to make a few suggestions here and there. And as a publicity stunt, the team makes him their youngest manager on record. But when Chris gets sick, Coop has to come to the rescue. Written by
Jack Sher wrote this undemanding feel-good baseball comedy which drips with sentiment but isn't insufferable about it. Former major league ballplayer, now a single dad living on a slim salary hawking fresh roasted peanuts at the ballpark, gives his son invaluable player-tips once the kid becomes a bat-boy for the Bisons. The youngster passes his father's advice on to the teammates (along with some of his own baseball savvy) and soon the team is winning every game. Original sports entry for families is nearly an anomaly for the genre; the screenplay doesn't resort to heavenly assistance or wild gimmickry to get the team to the winners' circle, although little Billy Chapin is briefly appointed the team's manager. The pacing only drops off in the romantic subplot between 'over-the-hill' 36-year-old ballplayer Lloyd Bridges and secretary Anne Bancroft. Otherwise a very likable film, not sharply directed or incisively written, but entirely pleasant. Remade for TV in 1979. **1/2 from ****
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