Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Put These In, Coach!

Major League Baseball season is underway. As sports fans close the book on college basketball and turn towards America's Pastime, I thought I would pass along some of my favorite baseball movies. Baseball can be a very up and down time for many fans across the country. As I watched the Cubs get smoked yesterday, I could at least take comfort knowing that these movies would never leave me with a sour taste in my mouth. Here's the lineup:

"The Natural" - This is probably my favorite sports movie of all-time. Robert Redford gives one of the best performances of his career in my opinion. Glenn Close, Kim Basinger, Wilford Brimley, and Richard Farnsworth also are at the top of their game. The movie is actually being released on Blu-ray today. There's a ton of special features on the director's cut.

"Field of Dreams" - Everyone knows the line, "If you build it, they will will come." Well, this movie keeps me coming back for more every time. This film will tug at your heart and could even bring a tear or two to your eyes. Kevin Costner, Ray Liotta, Amy Madigan, James Earl Jones, and Burt Lancaster have the ability to take something simple and turn it into something that's truly spectacular.

"61*" - Fans can make great movies. There's no exception when it comes to baseball. Billy Crystal's made for TV movie gives us a look at the 1961 New York Yankees and how their stars would change the game forever. Crystal grew up going to Yankee games and he uses his childhood experience to give us a majestic movie about two heroes and their rise/fall from grace. Barry Pepper is Roger Maris, Thomas Jane plays Mickey Mantle, and look out for Anthony Michael Hall as the great pitcher, Whitey Ford.

"The Pride of The Yankees" - Speaking of the Yankees, you can't mention baseball movies and not throw in this one. Most people have heard the name Lou Gehrig, but don't really know much about him. Gary Cooper plays Gehrig in this 1943 Oscar winner. It still holds up.

"The Sandlot" - Baseball movies can be loads of fun. This movie is the story of a group of kids who spend an entire Summer living/breathing/sleeping/eating baseball. There's sure to be someone in the ensemble cast that you can relate with. Look out for a surprise performance by Denis Leary. James Earl Jones also has a great cameo appearance.

"Major League" - Another fun look at the daily lives of professional baseball players. Plus, who doesn't like a movie that has Bob Uecker as the narrator?

"A League of Their Own" - Who says females can't have their own fun? Also, "There's no crying in baseball." A very good movie with an outstanding cast -- including an appearance by a member of PopSnap! and a cameo of my favorite stadium, Wrigley Field.

These are just a few of my favorite baseball movies. There are so many to name that I'm positive I left a few of the good ones on the bench. Baseball is one of the great things that makes us Americans. Whether you like sports or not, these movies are guaranteed to entertain you in some shape or form and give you a little knowledge in the process.

I hope everyone can take some time this season to enjoy a great tradition. Just put these movies in your DVD or Blu-ray devices.....they're ready to play!

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