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Hard Ball (2001)

PG-13  |   |  Drama, Sport  |  14 September 2001 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.3/10 from 21,551 users   Metascore: 48/100
Reviews: 129 user | 84 critic | 25 from Metacritic.com

An aimless young man who is scalping tickets, gambling and drinking, agrees to coach a Little League team from the Cabrini Green housing project in Chicago as a condition of getting a loan from a friend.



(book), (screenplay)
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2 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Bryan Hearne ...
Andre Ray Peetes (as Bryan C. Hearne)
Julian Griffith ...
Jamal (as Michael Jordan)
A. Delon Ellis Jr. ...
Kristopher Lofton ...
Michael Perkins ...
Brian M. Reed ...
Carol Hall ...
Pearla Evans (as Carol E. Hall)
Jacqueline Williams ...
Lenora Tibbs
Freeman Coffey ...
Darryl Mackey
Matt Hyland


Bright, well-educated, handsome Conor O'Neill's promising future was wrecked by his gambling addiction, which dragged him into heavy drinking and petty crime, but worst of all, the stifling grip of loan-shark bookies. Desperate for a loan, he accepts to stand in for lawyer friend Jimmy Fleming as coach of a Chicago black 'projects' ghetto Little League baseball team. His sense of pride, becoming the boys' sole idol, and competition, plus their attractive teacher, motivate Conor. But the crushing loan problem rather requires leaving town. Written by KGF Vissers

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


The story of ten kids and a coach who never had a chance... until they took a chance on each other. See more »


Drama | Sport

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for thematic elements, language and some violence | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:





Release Date:

14 September 2001 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Hardball  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$21,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$9,386,342 (USA) (14 September 2001)


£79,864 (UK) (21 June 2002)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


There are at least three players on the Kekambas team whose names we never learn, nor do we ever hear them speak. The only ones who speak and have their names mentioned are: Andre Ray Peetes, Miles Pennfield II, Jefferson Albert Tibbs, Kofi and Jarius "G-Baby" Evans, Raymont "Ray-Ray". Bennet, Clarence, and Jamal. See more »


In the "regotiation scene" with G-Baby, only G-Baby and Conor are in the dugout. It then cuts in showing the Kekambas batting. If this were the case, most of the team would be seated in the dugout. Since the dugout only had Conor and G-Baby in it, the rest of the team would be playing defense out in the field. See more »


Conor O' Neill: Hey! Can we cool it with the bitches?
See more »


References The Matrix (1999) See more »


Just Heard The News
Written by: Scott Nickoley and Jamie Dunlap
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User Reviews

A little miracle of a movie: moving, realistic anduplifting
9 September 2001 | by (Washington State) – See all my reviews

This film portrays the life of a group of boys who play one summer on a baseball league organized in the projects in Chicago. With out flinching an iota in portraying the material decay and the real fear of violence that permeates its setting, the film still shows the beauty of life--the importance of "just showing up" and trying. The young, unknown boys give outstanding performances which are matched by a moving performance by Keanu Reeves. Reeves, in his most emotive performance to-date, plays the team's coach who is redeemed by his contact with the kids, by simply learning to care about someone besides himself. Definitely NOT the "Bad News Bears," but a great movie experience for everyone--sports lovers or not.

26 of 34 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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