True story of Kent Stock, who in the early 90's, gives up a job to take over as head coach as the Norway High School baseball team. Kent must win over his players and convince them and himself that he can fill their former coach's shoes and that they can go out winners. In the summer of 1991 Norway High's baseball tradition ended on a triumphant but sombre note.Written by
A helicopter used to film a parade scene crashed during production on 30 June 2006. Witnesses said the helicopter was carrying the pilot, a producer and a photographer when it hit power lines and crashed into a field about 10 miles southwest of Cedar Rapids. The cinematographer, Roland Schlotzhauer, was killed in the crash. See more »
Many of the logos in Veterans Memorial Stadium are for companies that did not exist in 1991 or had different logos then, such as U.S. Cellular. See more »
Okay, its one and done, forever. South Clay is 31-8. The eight games they lost were when Reed Ellis wasn't in the rotation, he's pitching today. We all know he's being scouted by pro teams, but one player doesn't make a team.
[Sammy raises his hand]
He can if he throws 92 miles per hour coach.
We win by playing Norway Baseball. 80% of this game is defense. We don't let anything out of the infield and we wait. Sooner or later, they'll make a mistake. Every person who's ever worn a Norway ...
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Performed by Alex Band
Written by Mitch Allan & Alex Band
Courtesy of Geffen Records
Published by Matzoh-Ball Music (ASCAP) and Alex Band Music (BMI)
By Arrangement with Arthouse Entertainment and BMG Music Publishing Inc. See more »
Inspiring, mostly good
In this fact-based story set in 1990, Kent Stock is the women's volleyball coach it Belle Plaine High School in Iowa. He is asked by his former baseball coach, the legendary Jim Van Scoyoc, to assist during part of the season. Norway School, with 101 students (we do see little kids in the building, so apparently it's all 12 grades), has won 19 1A state baseball championships, 12 under Van Scoyoc. Baseball is so popular in the town of 586 that fans come to practices.
Despite the long baseball tradition, in an effort to save money and give the kids a better education, the school board wants to merge tiny Norway School with a larger school 20 miles away. This will hurt the community badly and prevent many of the kids from playing baseball.
Polly graduated from law school, and it's never made quite clear what her job title is, but she is the expert who explains the school board's decision. She is attractive but doesn't really show it at first, and Kent seems to like her. Plus he hopes to persuade her to look at other communities where the same thing has happened.
The town of Norway will make every effort to save their school. It is agreed the change won't happen right away, but the baseball team will get one more season, and not under Van Scoyoc. Kent has left town for a new job in St. Louis (he appears to be working at a bank), but Van Scoyoc wants him to take the coaching job. This is fine with those in charge, who see Kent as a Clark Kent type (he corrected someone who got his name wrong by saying Kent, like Clark). However, he may turn out to be more of a Tom Welling than a Christopher Reeve. And he hasn't given up on Polly, either.
Burt played for Van Scoyoc years ago but runs a business in Chicago. Having lost his wife, he can't handle his rebellious son Mitch on his own, so he brings Mitch to live with his parents Jared and Anne. And, yes, he can play baseball.
Mitch hates being in this hick town but eventually learns to adjust, and Cindy, sister to the team's star Patrick, seems to like him. And Van Scoyoc, just a shop teacher, won't tolerate less than Mitch's best effort.
Some of the team members quit when Van Scoyoc leaves for a minor-league job. Others continue to play but seem ready to quit, and it appears Norway will be a bunch of losers in their last season playing baseball. But this loser of a coach won't quit, and he may turn out to be Superman after all.
Many obstacles stand in the team's way, but can they win another state title? And will the school be saved?
This is an inspiring movie, but it seems to leave out a few details. If there is a major weakness, it is jumping ahead in time too quickly and not really showing us what happened. We are just left to assume.
Sean Astin does an adequate job, and he improves toward the end, but his is not the standout performance.
Powers Boothe as the legendary coach could have gotten an Oscar nomination with the same performance in a more visible movie.
James Gammon does a great job as Mitch's grandfather, tough and conservative but loving with a sense of humor.
Josh Merino is a talented opposing pitcher on his way to pro ball. With his performance, the camera work, the editing, and the writing, he comes across as an outstanding villain in just a few scenes.
Tom Arnold starts out as little more than comic relief but, while he's not around much, he shows he is a capable father who's just in over his head.
Rachael Leigh Cook gets prettier and easier to like as time goes on. She's pretty good too.
When this movie is exciting, it's really exciting. Believe me when I say most of the final scenes live up to that.
It's a worthwhile effort.
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