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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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5 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »

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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 »

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Drama | Family | Sport

Certificate:

G | See all certifications »

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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)

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2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Jim Morris: In the district championship game, with the Owls down 2-1, "Wacko" Campos is up to bat, and sends an extra-base hit to right field that scores the tying run, even when third-base coach Jimmy Morris tries to hold the runner. There are two shots during that scene where you can see the real-life Jim Morris and his wife Lorri (both wearing sunglasses) rooting the team from behind the backstop. He's sporting his trademark mustache and is wearing a gray t-shirt. See more »

Goofs

The 1999 Texas Rangers are shown in uniforms with blue lettering, a style they did not adopt until the 2001 season. See more »

Quotes

Joel De La Garza: [while him and Jimmy play catch] Hey coach, back when you were really pitching, how fast were you throwing it?
Jimmy: I don't know. 85, 86?
Joel De La Garza: That's not too bad.
Jimmy: It is when the other guy's throwing 90.
Joel De La Garza: Coach, let's see you bring one.
Jimmy: Can't. Promised too many doctors.
Joel De La Garza: Come on, coach, one isn't going to kill you. Come on, feed me!
Hunter: Yeah, dad, bring the heat!
Joel De La Garza: [Jim gets himself ready while Joel waits in the catcher's position] Feed me, coach.
[...]
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Connections

Referenced in Sports Jeopardy!: Episode #1.11 (2014) See more »

Soundtracks

Stuff That Works
Written by Guy Clark and Rodney Crowell
Performed by Guy Clark
Courtesy of Elektra Entertainment Group
By Arrangement with Warner Special Products
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User Reviews

Actually two one-hour movies, great inspirational stories.
28 August 2002 | by (Houston, Tx, USA, Earth) – See all my reviews

My favorite films are those which are based on an interesting true story, and are well made. "The Rookie" fits that bill, and I rate it very highly. At first glance it appears to be about getting to play baseball. In fact, it is about making your dreams come true, and the power of friendship. Baseball just happens to be the subject matter. The first one-hour movie is about a 10-member high school team in West Texas that barely manages to win one game each year. It is about their coach inspiring them to become the district champs and go to the state tournament in 1999.

The second one-hour movie comes about from a "deal" the kids made with the coach. "If we win district, then you have to go to a tryout with a professional baseball team." They do, so he does. And to his and everyone else's surprise, his 85-mph fastball as a 20-year-old has become a 98-mph one as a 35-year-old. The films hints that it might have been divine intervention, a prayer to St Rita, the patron of the impossible. Might have been!!

Dennis Quaid is a bit older than 35, but he does a good job and is believable as science teacher, coach, and finally a surprised big-league pitcher in Arlington, Tx stadium, where he strikes out his very first big-league batter. The real Jim played two seasons, not particularly distinguished, but that point is way secondary. The journey, and the way he made it, with support from family and his baseball kids is what this film is all about.

The DVD is very nice, with a great picture and decent use of the 5.1 Dolby surround sound. Extras include footage of the real Jim, some original footage of his playing days, and his narration and re-enactment of his first trip to a big-league mound. Great stuff! Plus a few, moderately interesting deleted scenes explained by the director.


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