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The Rookie (2002)

G  |   |  Drama, Family, Sport  |  29 March 2002 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.0/10 from 24,948 users   Metascore: 72/100
Reviews: 172 user | 90 critic | 31 from

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 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?


Trevor Morgan, who plays Young Jimmy, had to learn how to pitch left-handed. See more »


The bat that all of the high school players were using was a 2000 Connexion, however, the movie takes place in 1999. See more »


Jimmy: Look, guys, most of you, you're gonna finish up school here, you're gonna work the rigs, you're gonna work at Bo's Tire Barn, you're gonna raise a family, you're gonna retire, and you're gonna do all that right here in Big Lake. And there's nothing wrong with that. A lot of real good people have done that. I'm doing it. But, if you're looking for something more after you're done here, you better give some serious thought as to how you're gonna play out the rest of this season!
See more »


Referenced in Will & Grace: Homojo (2003) See more »


Baby I Ain't Gotta Do That No More
Written by Paul Burch
Performed by Paul Burch & The WPA BallClub
See more »

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User Reviews

Very good, and true, too...
8 January 2003 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

A fine story about following your dreams and actually taking a stab at Doing something about them when the chance strikes. Nothing was easy for Morris either-he had a family, job, job opps elsewheres, a mortgage, etc-it wasn't like he could just drop what he was doing and blithely hop on the greyhound to play AAA ball for 4 months. It took guts. I am glad that they showed his indecision, almost up 'til he got the callup to the majors.

I can remember seeing him pitch against the Red Sox(I think...), it was a great story. Though Morris actually looks more like John Kruk or a Mills Watson than Quaid-that's okay.

Quaid does a very good job playing the man, the teacher, coach and 'oldest rookie'.... As someone who is in the the same age group, I certainly can ID with his plight. You're not Quite too old to do what you had dreamed of as a kid, but it's getting there. You have to do it sooner than lator.

Believably told, nicely edited, paced, acted, good to see the familiar faces of the late Royce Applegate, Brian Cox and Rachel Griffiths here.

Good job all around, glad to see it hit.

*** outta ****...who woulda thought that the Tampa Devil Rays woulda been the subject of such a good movie early on?

10 of 12 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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