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The Rookie (2002)

G  |   |  Drama, Family, Sport  |  29 March 2002 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.0/10 from 25,131 users   Metascore: 72/100
Reviews: 172 user | 90 critic | 31 from Metacritic.com

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


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

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Sometimes dreams come back to life. See more »


Drama | Family | Sport


G | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:



Release Date:

29 March 2002 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

El novato  »

Box Office


$20,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

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


$1,173,179 (Japan) (31 January 2003)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

| |



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The film's original movie poster, which features the character of Jim Morris silhouetted by a sunset, is actually a picture of pitching double Jeff Dowdy, not Dennis Quaid. See more »


The story takes place in Big Lake, Texas, which is in west Texas. However, the area is too green to be west Texas. This is because it was shot in Thorndale, which is northeast of Austin. See more »


TV Reporter: [interviewing Jimmy after his first major league game] What pitches did you throw to get that strikeout?
Jimmy: Fastball, fastball, and
Jimmy: fastball!
TV Reporter: How did it feel, pitching in the major leagues?
Jimmy: Just like I hoped it would.
Jimmy: [to the reporters, seeing his father through the TV lights] Can you excuse me?
See more »


Spoofs Bull Durham (1988) See more »


Tumbling Down
Written by Allison Moorer and Doyle Primm
Performed by Allison Moorer
Courtesy of Universal South
Under license from Universal Music Enterprises
See more »

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User Reviews

They Did This Sports Movie Right
17 March 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I love it when they actually do a sports story well. So many in the past have been so hokey it was embarrassing to watch. Not this one. It's just a genuinely nice movie, an old-fashioned type of story - and based on a real-life guy to did exactly what Dennis Quaid did in this film. He plays a high school coach who is talked into trying out, late in life athletically-speaking, to become a pitcher in professional baseball. Eventually, he reaches his goal of making it to the Major Leagues, even if it was a very brief stint.

All the characters in here are nice people, the kind you root for, from Quaid to the players on his high school team, to his little boy (Angus T. Jones, now somewhat of a star on television.)

Quaid is believable in playing Jim Morris because, unlike actors in the past in sports films, he knows how to throw a baseball. He looks like a pitcher, a guy who could fire it 90-plus miles per hour. And, most of this film is true, as testified by the real-life pitcher in one the documentaries on the DVD.

So, if you're looking for a nice, inspirational true life sports film, you can't wrong with this one.

34 of 39 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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