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.
Up-and-coming sports reporter rescues a homeless man ("Champ") only to discover that he is, in fact, a boxing legend believed to have passed away. What begins as an opportunity to resurrect Champ's story and escape the shadow of his father's success becomes a personal journey as the ambitious reporter reexamines his own life and his relationship with his family.
Samuel L. Jackson,
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
All of the league's team names are taken from tribes in Africa. See more »
In the overhead shot before the championship game, both base lines are painted on the field. The next view shows a man painting the third base line. See more »
[Conor calls his players together, looking at the opposing coach and the league president]
Guys, this is the league president. Now, he made me kick Jamal off the team today, because he was born 2 weeks early!
[the players all mutter to each other in amazement]
And now, he is making Miles remove his headphones,
[Turns and glares at the opposing coach]
Because he is PITCHING TOO GOOD!
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When I first saw this movie, I watched it with my daughter who was 10 years old at the time. The language was kind of edgy but not too serious. I'm sure she hears worst from her friends at school (even though we try to ignore those facts). This flick had it all. From the coach struggling with his own morality, vices and (of course) romance, to the kids plagued by the daily atrocities of their neighborhood. Through these tribulations, however, we learn that "showing up" (coined from the movie) was the best way to face and overcome our problems. This applies to all of us across the board.
I read a few reviews that discouraged kids from seeing this movie and I wholeheartedly disagree. Why can we let our kids watch The Bad News Bears and The Mighty Ducks but discard a movie that gives us a taste of the reality of our inner city youth whom want to play "Hardball"? Yes they spoke more freely with there swearing than a kid from the burbs. But isn't that the point? They're not from the burbs. Yes there was a shooting scene but you didn't actually see the shot hit. But it's ok for our kids to see the Matrix where people are getting shot left and right. sheez. I hope that one day America can stop hiding the inner city from their kids and let them know how their less fortunate counterparts living (and dying). Maybe they will take less for granted and appreciate their situation more after seeing this flick. Maybe they will want to help solve some of the problems when they get older except ignoring them like their parents are doing because their parents sheltered them from the same things in the 70's & 80's. I'm not trying to sell this movie by saying it's going to change any social order or make your kid a better person. What I'm saying is... Let them watch it, talk about it and "YOU" will make your kid a better person through your dialogue and time. This movie is just to supplement your efforts.
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