Yes, the clichés are all there: "coulda been a star" fading veteran, his love interest, the doe-eyed rookie, the guy who can't get a break, the losing streak, and all that, but this film still works. The dialogue is crisp, the characters are very sharp, and the 1950s setting of the movie is great, shades of a simpler time when base ball was just a "boys game" like the main character Stud Cantrell (played by CSI's William Peterson) says, where "you hit the ball, you run like hell."
The movie touches on real issues from the time as well: premarital sex, racism, and the the like, but never gets preachy. And the ending to the "big game" is one of the more unique I've ever seen (and I've seen a lot of them). The soundtrack is great, featuring gospel, honky-tonk, and some classic Hank Williams.
It's not Shakespeare, just a fun romp with a great cast and a great story. Highly recommended!