6.9/10
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174 user 93 critic

The Rookie (2002)

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

Director:

John Lee Hancock

Writer:

Mike Rich
5 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »

Photos

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Dennis Quaid ... Jimmy Morris
Rachel Griffiths ... Lorri Morris
Jay Hernandez ... Joaquin 'Wack' Campos
Beth Grant ... Olline
Angus T. Jones ... Hunter Morris
Brian Cox ... Jim Morris Sr.
Rick Gonzalez ... Rudy Bonilla
Chad Lindberg ... Joe David West
Angelo Spizzirri ... Joel De La Garza
Royce D. Applegate ... Henry
Russell Richardson ... Brooks
Raynor Scheine ... Frank
David Blackwell ... Cal
Blue Deckert ... Baseball Scout Dave Patterson
Danny Kamin ... 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

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

It's never too late to believe in your dreams. See more »

Genres:

Drama | Family | Sport

Certificate:

G | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official site

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

29 March 2002 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Rookie See more »

Filming Locations:

Leander, Texas, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$22,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$16,021,684, 31 March 2002

Gross USA:

$75,600,072

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$80,693,537
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

DTS | Dolby Digital | SDDS

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Producers contacted Royce Clayton, the first batter Jim Morris faced in the Major Leagues, and got his permission to use his name, etc for the film. It actually took Morris four pitches to strike him out. Clayton managed to hit one foul. But it was too difficult to film a ball going foul, so they left it out. See more »

Goofs

When Jim is traveling to San Angelo for the try-out, the road sign says "San Angelo 97 Miles". San Angelo is only 70 miles from Big Lake. 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.
[...]
See more »

Crazy Credits

The 2 nuns are walking on Jimmy's (Dennis Quaid) field as the film ends See more »

Connections

References The Wizard of Oz (1939) See more »

Soundtracks

Run On
Written and Performed by Elvis Presley
Courtesy of The RCA Records Label, a unit of BMG Entertainment
Under license from BMG Special Products
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Believe!
18 May 2013 | by SpikeopathSee all my reviews

The Rookie is directed by John Lee Hancock and written by Mike Rich. It stars Dennis Quaid, Rachel Griffiths, Jay Hernandez, Brian Cox, Angus T. Jones, Rick Gonzalez and Angelo Spizzirri. Music is by Carter Burwell and cinematography by John Schwartzman.

Out of Walt Disney Productions, The Rookie is based on the true story of 35 year old teacher and school baseball coach Jim Morris (Quaid). Who having thought his chance of making it to the major leagues in Baseball had long since gone, his minor league career curtailed by a shoulder injury, got that second chance and became the oldest rookie around.

What an absolute treat! A sports movie that inspires and uplifts whilst never resorting to cloying tactics or Hollywood sprucing story additions. First off the bat is that the film is unhurried in pace, time is afforded Morris and his family as well as the key issues that lead to his moment of fulfilment. Secondly is the bare honesty of the story, and that of the portrayals by a wonderful Quaid (at 47 here playing a 35 year old) and a likewise Griffiths. We are not going to be arriving at some monumental cliff-hanger finale (as per most other sports movies), history tells us that Morris made a minimal impact in his two years in the majors, this takes us to an earthy and achievable goal being attained.

Just prior to Morris making his bow at Arlington Stadium, we have seen the love of a husband and father who is separated from his family. He's out on the road playing ball, the emotional tug pulling him everywhere. There's money worries back home as well, really Jim would be better served back there, surely? All of this sounds like a recipe for sappy crappy time, but it's not, it's all beautifully handled by director and actors alike. The baseball scenes are smooth, the score and photography pristine in their execution (it's a Blu-ray must have), there is just no waste here. There's a rich human story to be told and wasting time on incidentals would be wrong, and Hancock knows this and never puts a foot wrong.

Heart warming and impeccably mounted, The Rookie is one of the greatest baseball films out there. But, and here's the thing, it's as much about life and its challenges as it is about fast balls and hot-dogs. 9/10


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