What makes my list? An appreciation for baseball’s persuasive and pervasive metaphors for life under the sun, a certain sentimentality and wit that recalls innocence and honor, and, plain and simple, a good movie-movie that celebrates family life and dad-son relationships without being too melodramatic.
Dad and son, time travel, Mets 69 miracle World Series, Jim Caviezel, Dennis Quaid. How baseball permeates the soul and saves everyone.
Gary Cooper at his self-effacing best as the original “Iron Man”: Lou Gehrig.
Robert DeNiro as a heroic catcher who doesn’t know he is dying, a great movie about everything including baseball.
Has to be here, if only for the comeback moment
Ray Milland is a college professor who invents a tonic that when applied to wood deflects baseballs.
Captures an era while offhandedly dramatizing the power of baseball as metaphor for so many things
The subplots in the book and movie leave me cold, but getting to play catch with your dad one more time–that’s the most poignant moment.
The 1951 version only–supernatural help for the Pirates and the great Paul Douglas
Texas, dad and son, recovery of lost aspirations: Dennis Quaid (again)
Missed this first time around. Thanks Mary!
Runners-up (good movies but baseball tends to be the backdrop to tell another story rather than the central thematic core): Damn Yankees, A League of Their Own, Fear Strikes Out, The Stratton Story, American Pastime, Sugar.
Missing anything? No, if you’re looking in my list for Bull Durham–I dislike the movie, because it abuses baseball to give a star turn to Susan Sarandon’s lust; her “church of baseball speech” undermines the very thing it was ostensibly written to elevate: true love for baseball. And you won’t find these friviolities, entertaining though they may be: For the Love of the Game, Bad News Bears, Mr. Baseball, Mr. 3000, Major League, Fever Pitch.