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Rookie of the Year (1993)

PG  |   |  Comedy, Family, Fantasy  |  7 July 1993 (USA)
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Ratings: 5.9/10 from 16,605 users  
Reviews: 36 user | 16 critic

When an accident miraculously gives a boy an incredibly powerful pitching arm, he becomes a major league pitcher for the Chicago Cubs.



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Chet Steadman
Mary Rowengartner
Larry 'Fish' Fisher
Jack Bradfield
Clark (as Robert Gorman)
Patrick LaBrecque ...
Colombe Jacobsen-Derstine ...
Kristie Davis ...
Tyler Ann Carroll ...
Tom Milanovich ...
Ross Lehman ...
Dr. Kersten


12-year-old Henry Rowengartner, whose late father was a minor league baseball player, grew up dreaming of playing baseball, despite his physical shortcomings. Although he's close to his mother Mary, Henry hates Mary's latest boyfriend, Jack Bradfield. After Henry's arm is broken while trying to catch a baseball at school, the tendon in that arm heals too tightly, allowing Henry to throw pitches that are as fast as 103 mph. Henry is spotted at nearby Wrigley Field by Larry "Fish" Fisher, the general manager of the struggling Chicago Cubs, after Henry throws an opponent's home-run ball all the way from the outfield bleachers back to the catcher, and it seems that Henry may be the pitcher that team owner Bob Carson has been praying for. At first, Cubs manager Sal Martinella doesn't like Henry being on the team, but despite the rawness of his talent, Henry revives everyone's team spirit and reignites the enthusiasm of the fans. While money hungry Jack pulls strings behind the scenes to ... Written by Todd Baldridge

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


A kid with an impossible dream. All he needed was a lucky break! See more »

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for some mild language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

7 July 1993 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Az év újonca  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$53,579,269 (USA)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Filming for the Little League scenes took place at the Little League fields at the park district in Westmont, Illinois, which is a suburb of Chicago. Some locals were used as extras in the stands on the field. See more »


When Henry is doing commentary for his imaginary baseball game in the laundry room, he states (at around 4 mins) that it is a "full count" (by definition, three balls and two strikes) before he throws the pitch. However, when he pitches into the laundry machine he cries out, "Strike ONE!" (at around 11 mins). See more »


[first lines]
Cliff Murdoch - Announcer: Opening Day at Wrigley, and oh what a sight! The diamond, the decorations, and the dread of yet another losing season.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The actual major leaguers that strike out in the film (from 58:25 to 58:37) are listed under "Three Big Whiffers" See more »


Referenced in A Kid in King Arthur's Court (1995) See more »


Get Up
Written by Mike Rutherford (as Michael Rutherford) and Paul Carrack
Performed by Mike + The Mechanics (as Mike & The Mechanics)
Courtesy of Atlantic Recording Corp.
By Arrangement with Warner Special Products
See more »

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User Reviews

The Natural for 12 year olds
17 October 2013 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I don't know what sort of movie 12 year old boys watch today. Certainly not the sort I liked 50 years ago when I was 12. Maybe this sort of movie would appeal to them. I can't say.

It didn't do anything for me, but then, as I say, I'm not 12 years old.

Instead, it struck me as a boy's version of The Natural, which I didn't get a lot out of either. A guy - or, in this case, a boy - has a stroke of good luck and acquires a magic power that makes him a great baseball player. It's luck, and not the result of hard work. (For that, see The Stratton Story, which is one of my favorite baseball movies.) He has a glorious career until the magic wears out. That didn't do much for me in The Natural, and it doesn't do much for me here. Played as comedy it can work - see "It Happens Every Spring" - but not, for me, as drama, because there's no drama involved.

I don't know if boys still dream about baseball anymore. Maybe those who do, if they still exist, might enjoy this movie. If so, let them so do.

But I won't be watching it again myself, at 62.

0 of 0 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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