What I’ve Learned from Baseball Movies

5 Apr

I hate schmaltz and corny life lessons with a deep, dark passion. 7th Heaven — you don’t know me! Chicken Soup for the Soul — pleeeeeeeeease suck it, thank you. Basically, I’m an ornery 75 year old man stuck in a 26 year old lady body. It makes for a lot of anger.

Anyway, one sappy movie genre I do have infinite patience for is the baseball movie. Yes, almost all these movies are drenched in nostalgia and urge us to never ever give up our dreams, two things that make my crotchety senior insides cringe. And yet…I can’t get enough. I will cry as fathers and sons come together. I will sob as underdogs win. AND I WILL LOVE IT.

So, as baseball season ramps up (GO DODGERS!), here are a few of my favorite baseball movies and what exactly I learned from each of  them.

3. Field of Dreams

Cornfields and shamed baseball players.

  • Iowa and heaven are interchangeable. I would’ve never, ever guessed. Gah, heaven is going to be boring.
  • If you start hearing voices urging you to complete expensive, ill-advised construction while your family is going through financial hardship…do it! It will never, ever go wrong. You just need to FOLLOW YOUR HEART!
  • Let James Earl Jones be your guide…at least if you’re stuck in a baseball movie.

Corny, tearjerker quote of the movie: The one constant through all the years, Ray, has been baseball. America has rolled by like an army of steamrollers. It has been erased like a blackboard, rebuilt and erased again. But baseball has marked the time. This field, this game: it’s a part of our past, Ray. It reminds of us of all that once was good and it could be again. Oh… people will come Ray. People will most definitely come.

2. A League of their Own

Rockford Peaches!

  • Men can pee for a really long time. And it’s really loud.
  • Poisoning your chaperone so you can sneak out to go dancing with GASP boys is perfectly acceptable.
  • THERE’S NO CRYING IN BASEBALL (This is actually great advice. I kind of want to say it to overdramatic people all the time).

Corny moment: The not so pretty Marla Hooch’s father begs the scout to let her try out, even though she isn’t as glamorous as the other girls. He’s just so proud of his girl, and she can really play. And then Marla gets on the train and she cries and her dad cries and I cry and…so many tears.

1. The Sandlot (aka the best baseball movie of all time. Hands down.)

You're killing me, Smalls!

  • Faking drowning is one foolproof way to get to kiss the hot lifeguard.
  • Making a s’more is easy. “First you take the graham…”
  • PF Flyers are the only shoes to wear when trying to outrun a giant, ridiculously scary dog.
  • Be friends with your neighbors, even the creepy ones, so you can just ask when you lose their baseball in their yard.
  • Never ever ever ever chewing tobacco before getting on spinny fair rides. It will end up so horribly.
  • Always root for the underdogs. No one wants the spoiled rich kid team to win. Spunky underdogs are the best.
  • As in Field of Dreams, always let James Earl Jones be your guide in baseball movies.
  • “Heroes get remembered, but legends never die.” Truth. Straight from the Babe’s mouth.

Corny quote: So, it’s not a tearjerker, but the run down at the end of the movie where Smalls lists what happened to all the kids as they grew up is pretty damn bittersweet. And then Benny “the Jet” and Smalls sharing a thumbs up in Dodger stadium (because yes, Benny “the Jet”, the coolest kid in The Sandlot, becomes a Dodger. Dodgers FTW!)…yeah. That’s the stuff baseball movies are made of.


I’m so inspired and ready to go to a game now!


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