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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 16,871 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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1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »



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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


The Chicago Cubs needed a miracle... they got Henry Rowengartner. 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 »


Crew member's hand shown throwing a ball supposedly hit foul by Heddo of the Mets [in full-screen version of film]. 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

Special thanks are given to "The people of Chicago who never give up" See more »


References The Wizard of Oz (1939) See more »


All of My Days
Written and Produced by Angie Rubin and Shelley Speck
Performed by N'Dea Davenport (as N'Dea)
See more »

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User Reviews

Bringing the fun back to baseball
20 November 2004 | by (Hilo, HI) – See all my reviews

This movie asks the question: "What if pro baseball was fun again, like in little league, and not so taken so seriously?" The device of Henry's miraculous arm allows the story to inject a kid's eye view into a somewhat cynical world. Juxtaposing the sleazy Dan Hedaya's attempted $25 million trade of Henry to the Yankees with the Henry and his buddies taking a day trip on a boat, as well as Henry's adolescent antics on the field, director Daniel Stern is trying to get us to look at baseball, and maybe sports, maybe life, like we did when we were ten.

I think Roger Ebert, although I agree with his review, took pretty poor notes while reviewing this film. From his article: "When the cast comes off, his dad takes him to Wrigley Field, and he catches a home run ball while he's out in the bleachers, and then he throws it back - all the way to the catcher behind the plate." Actually, he went with his friends, he doesn't even know his dad. And he didn't catch it, his friends pick it up from nearby, and hand it to him because they're scared to throw it on TV and embarrass themselves. Doesn't he have a fact-checker to proof his reviews?

Second, he writes: "Henry becomes an overnight celebrity, and is signed to the Cubs by the team's genial owner." This ignores the desperation of Dan Hedaya, the would-be owner of the team, who sees the publicity and marketing windfall in having a kid on the team. The sell-out crowd is an important story element, as it reinforces the idea that we are all hungry for baseball to be fun again.

There's are lots of laughs to be had in this film, although Stern seems to want to indulge in over-the-top hysterics from time to time, such as with the character he was playing. Also, the bilious "Jack" who gets Henry's mom to sign a contract without telling her it's a trade to NY, is downright spastic in his final scene. Stern shows a lot of promise as a comedy director if he could tone it down just a touch with the tangential characters. Understatement can be funny, as Busey shows with a few choice glares at the right moments. I loved Stern's allusion to the Wizard of Oz, likening the Emerald City gates to the Wrigley stadium gates, when Henry first arrives to play.

The Cubs haven't won a Series since 1909. "And a little child shall lead them..." Every kid should see this movie.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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