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The Rookie (2002)

A Texas baseball coach makes the major league after agreeing to try out if his high school team made the playoffs.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Cal
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Durham Manager Mac (as Daniel Kamin)
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Storyline

Jim Morris is a Texas high school chemistry teacher and coach of the school's baseball team. He's always loved baseball and as a way of motivating his players, he agrees to go to a professional try-out if they win the championship. He once had aspirations to be a professional baseball player but an injury brought that to an end. Sure enough, the 39 year-old father of three finds himself at a camp for the Tampa Bay Devil Rays and he somehow seems to have regained his pitching arm, easily throwing a 98 mph fastball. Signed to a contract, he toils in the minor leagues while his supportive wife stays home raising their children. He soon finds himself called up to the big club and pitching for Tampa which is in Texas playing the Rangers. Based on a true story. Written by garykmcd

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Sometimes dreams come back to life. See more »

Genres:

Drama | Family | Sport

Certificate:

G | See all certifications »

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Details

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Release Date:

29 March 2002 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

El novato  »

Box Office

Budget:

$20,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$16,021,684 (USA) (29 March 2002)

Gross:

$75,597,042 (USA) (23 August 2002)
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(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

During the championship game, the final batter of the game hits a foul ball. When he hits it, he attempts to wave the ball fair in a matter identical to Carlton Fisk when he hit his famous homer in the 1975 world series. See more »

Goofs

When Jimmy is putting the first article up on the bulletin board, he places it towards the center of the board in the medium shot. However, when the camera shows a close-up of the article, it is up on the top near the frame of the board. See more »

Quotes

Hunter: But Dad...
Jimmy: No buts about it... I'm getting enough butts as it is.
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Connections

Spoofs Bull Durham (1988) See more »

Soundtracks

There Is A Light
Written and Performed by Duane Jarvis
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User Reviews

Respectable Movie Worth A Look
1 April 2003 | by (Colorado) – See all my reviews

Usually I review a movie just after I've seen it, but the last time I saw this one was a full 2 weeks ago. Yet it still sticks in my mind and heart.

Baseball movies are inspirational by nature and seem to have all kinds of application to life (for example, my review of Field of Dreams). Jimmy Morris challenges the losing baseball team he's coaching to not give up on their dreams and has the challenge thrown right back at him. This wouldn't make for such drama if the majority of the movie up to that point hadn't been to show how Jimmy's own dream had been systematically dismantled. Such movies anyone can write, but when I found out it was a true story, it put the movie in a higher bracket altogether.

The conflict between Jimmy and his father is played very well by both Quaid and Cox. At one point or another, you can just feel coldness of the walls built up between them. They're reaching out (Hunter's baseball glove, Jimmy's asking advice), but can they ever connect?

While some might balk (sorry) at the presence of Hunter, Jimmy's son, I think the kid adds a lot to the film. Baseball is all about kids, anyway. And it's good to see a son who looks up to and believes in his dad. That phase is over far too soon for most fathers to enjoy it enough. I think the dream is as much Hunter's as it is his father's.

The theme of the Rookie is "never give up on your dreams." That's laudable. But the affirmation of the importance of families, even through broken relationships, as well as a clean script, makes this one that families can buy to watch every now and then. Disney surprised me with this believable, down-to-earth tale. I'm definitely picking this one up on DVD.


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