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.
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
Premiered in the same weekend as The Glass House (2001), also starring Diane Lane. Hardball was number one at the box-office, and The Glass House was number two that weekend. See more »
When Conor first practices with the kids', he's holding a ball in his hand, next shot you see the ball on the floor beside him. See more »
I want you guys to take a good look at yourselves and feel proud. We made it here. We're here. What I've learned from you is that really one of the most important things in life is showing up. I'm blown away by your ability to show up through everything that's gone on. The league never wanted you to play this game, but you showed up. But, uh, we only have eight players so, we can't play.
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A little miracle of a movie: moving, realistic anduplifting
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.
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