Take me out to the movies

Published 12:43 pm Saturday, April 10, 2010

The Twins are off to a nice start to the 2010 season. As I’m writing this they’re 3-1, not bad considering they played the Anaheim Angels in all four games, a team that is expected to do well this year.

This coming week, the Twins break in their new stadium and in celebration of that, I thought I’d stick with the topic of baseball for this week’s column.

In December, I listed my top 10 all-time Christmas movies. This week, I present my favorite baseball movies, complete with comedies, dramas and a few gems you wouldn’t expect on this list.

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They are:

1) The Natural (1984)

Maybe it’s the smell of a hot dog, the sound of a freshly hit home run, the pristine field or the energy of a packed crowd. Whatever it is, there’s always a sense of magic in baseball and The Natural takes that to another level. Robert Redford plays Roy Hobbs, an over the hill player who finds greatness on the baseball field. Every time I watch a game live, a part of me hopes someone — just once — will hit the lights out with the ball.

2) City Slickers (1991)

On the surface, City Slickers is about a man (Billy Crystal) facing a midlife crisis who tries to find his smile by going on a cattle drive with his two best friends. But it’s also about baseball as the trio play a pickup game from time to time during the adventure. In addition, some of the film’s best one-liners are about the sport. “If (the stuff women talked about) was as interesting as baseball, they’d make cards for it and sell it with gum.”

3) Field of Dreams (1989)

Kevin Costner owns an Iowa cornfield and builds a baseball diamond in the middle of it believing that when he does, long deceased professional baseball players will gather there to play. Field of Dreams provides great entertainment from beginning to end.

4) The Sand Lot (1993)

Anyone who spent their childhood playing baseball should watch this movie, which captures all of the right moments as a bunch of neighborhood kids form their own baseball team.

5) The Rookie (2002)

Inspired by the true story of a high school baseball coach who later became a major league pitcher, The Rookie is packed with great scenes and outstanding performances. Dennis Quaid plays the lead role who finds all the right notes as a man who gets one last shot at chasing his dream.

6) Max Dugan Returns (1983)

This is one of my favorite movies of all-time. Jason Robards plays a thief who makes a surprise visit to his daughter and grandson’s house and showers them with love and money. Matthew Broderick plays the grandson who struggles on his high school baseball team. Robards helps him out by hiring the hitting coach from the Chicago White Sox.

7) League of Their Own (1992)

Here is a nice picture about the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League during World War II. It’s also pretty darn funny. When an aspiring ball player takes too long to say good-bye to her father at a train station, baseball scout Jon Lovitz says, “You see, the way it works is the train moves not the station.”

8) Eight Men Out (1988)

The true story of the infamous Black Sox scandal of 1919 will stick in your memory for a long time.

9) Major League (1989)

“Just a bit outside.” One of the best comedies every made, I can watch Major League 100 times and not get tired of it.

10) Bad News Bears (1976)

A group of foul-mouth, untalented youngsters form a baseball team that somehow finds a way to win games. One of the best parts of the film is how raw it is.

So there they are. My top 10 baseball movies of all time. Enjoy the season and go Twins!