There are several classic sports movies centered around America’s pastime to enjoy before your favorite team takes the field this year.
Baseball and America represent a melting pot of players and fans coming together to celebrate their love of the game. And just as diverse as the people playing the game are the films portraying them. So with a new season coming, here are the essential baseball movies you can curl up on the sofa to enjoy this Spring, as you wait for the Boys of Summer to begin their season.
Let’s start the list with the movie that many believe to be the greatest sports film of all time: Field of Dreams. This story of redemption is impossible not to love. Kevin Costner’s portrayal of Ray Kinsella, the failing corn farmer who has to chase his life’s “what-ifs,” is one few other actors were capable of delivering.
A biographical retelling of Jackie Robinson‘s story, 42, starring Chadwick Boseman, offers a compelling glimpse into the hardships endured by one man in the name of equality. The film is still powerful today, given current social justice issues.
Another film set during a previous time in history, A League of Their Own takes several liberties with historical accuracy for the purpose of storytelling. The movie stars some of the biggest names in entertainment, including Tom Hanks and Madonna. The film depicts the forming of the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League.
4: Major League
Probably far closer to reality than many people realized at the time, Major League is a quintessential sports movie: it has humor, tension, and a romantic subplot that puts other movies to shame. Another film with huge name recognition, this is the film that introduced many to the concept of locker room politics and teammates hating each other.
Another biographical drama, Moneyball tells the story of Billy Beane’s attempt to field a competitive team on a shoestring budget. Beane, played by Brad Pitt, brought sabermetrics to the game, revolutionizing the way teams and fans evaluate players.
6: The Sandlot
The final entry on this list of essential baseball movies to get you ready for Opening Day is The Sandlot, the ultimate coming-of-age tale. Forced into making new friends after moving, Scott Smalls spends the summer learning how to play baseball to make friends with the local kids.