Sure, you might get tired of the ballot box, with our Veterans’ Committee vote, Hall of Fame vote, upcoming White Sox Hall of Fame, Top Prospect Polls, and whatever other joke poll I can fit into a story . But pull it on and strap it on film for a fun end-of-week baseball foray into film!
There are no more Cinderellas in the tournament as all Final Four films have been bolstered by big names, if not critical acclaim. We’re in the Elite Eight! On this lap we had a nail biter, a blowout and a couple of close collisions.
Elite Eight Results
Moneyball 52%, Sandlot 48% (63-59)
With a second win in a row against tough opponents, both by just four percentage points, Moneyball proves to be the most battle-hardened film of the series.
Major League 64%, Eight Man Outside 36%, (78-43)
Ridiculousness triumphs over grit.
Looking ahead: Moneyball has held up strong against two hard attacks while the major leagues have been idle. However, the major league has already defeated a serious opponent.
Field of Dreams 55%, Bull Durham 45% (68-56)
This Costner-on-Coster violence led to sap being successful against snark. Field of Dreams turns out to be a very impressive film.
In a League of Their Own 78%, The Bad News Bears ’76 23%, (93-27)
It has only smashed a league of its own against fairly impressive opponents so far.
Looking ahead: whoops A league of its own has not yet blinked. Looks like the favorite to win it all at the moment.
The Last Four
Money Ball (2011)
If you haven’t seen the Moneyball masterpiece, I just have one question… HOW DON’T YOU?! Also, Brad Pitt is in the film, which frankly is a win for everyone. am i biased Yes… but we’re not talking about me now!
The film focuses on General Manager Billy Beane and the 2002 Oakland Athletics as they set out to rebuild a once-competitive, small baseball team on a VERY limited budget. Stats have often been overlooked by an industry focused on basic stats like AVG/HR/RBI that may not show the full picture of a player’s worth on a team. Assistant GM Peter Brand, a business graduate, proposes a seemingly radical idea to focus on unique player metrics like OBP and SLG% to better understand a player’s potential value to a team. Many feathers were ruffled within the organization and clubhouse for believing that an analytical approach would destroy the team (spoiler alert! Didn’t).
While the A’s got off to a slow start to the 2002 season, they quickly turned things around and ran a record-breaking 20-game tie to win the AL West. As baseball fans, it’s sad that we’re not getting the happy ending of a World Series title like Billy Beane intended, but this new “moneyball” approach would impact the game in ways no one expected. The 2004 Boston Red Sox were able to use this tactic to overcome their 86-year World Series drought, and since then teams have constantly worked to stay ahead of the curve and find the next advantage in baseball.
As White Sox fans we’ve argued all season about whether or not Yasmani Grandal is a valuable player for the team, many noting his low BA in the .100s… but he had something you DON’T SEE in the stats could. Let’s not forget his insane slash line with an OBP of nearly .400, which showed his hidden value by still coming to base at a high rate, and eventually made him one of the most influential players for the White Sox. If you love baseball as much as I do, my homework for you is to watch Moneyball as soon as possible, and if you’ve already seen it, well… you love baseball, right? watch it again
I leave one last question for you White Sox fans: why do we like Yasmani Grandal?
Major League (1989)
Look, Major League has many problems. Like many films from, well, even today, it melds stalking with romance, is full of uncouth, inappropriate humor, and employs a fair amount of racist tropes that certainly don’t stand the test of time.
Unfortunately, this is true of most baseball movies. As for actual baseball, no movie has ever managed to capture the thrill, the suspense, the suspense beings of everyday life in baseball as in the major leagues. There’s no manufactured drama, nor is it necessary: with characters like Ricky Vaughn, Willie Mays Hayes, Pedro Cerrano and Roger Dorn, you don’t have to try very hard. Say what you will about Charlie Sheen — and there is one a lot to say – but he certainly has more entertainment value than Kevin Costner.
Rachel Phelps may or may not have been a mishmash of real-life characters, but anyone who has seen Ted Lasso knows the stamina of such a character. Clu Haywood’s irony may have escaped some, but not those who recognize 1982’s Cy Young Winner Pete Vuckovich as the Yankees’ powerful hitter.
And of course Bob Uecker. Juuuust farther outside. What else needs to be said?
Which is the better baseball movie?
Field of Dreams (1989)
What people don’t seem to understand about Field of Dreams is that it’s a sport fantasy. There is ghosts. A reclusive author (JD Salinger, altered for the film because, well, JD was a bit of a curmudgeon, yeah) decides to join a strange farm boy on an affair quixotic search to “go the distance”. Yes, if you live in the middle of nowhere and your kid is choking on a hot dog, you might have to Summon a Ballplayer Ghost Doctor like the adorable Burt Lancaster to save her. Ray Liotta turns Joe Jackson into one right-handed. dead players come to life. Father and son “have a catch.”
But hey, it’s a fantasy. overcome it Sure, the movie stumbles on a bit of a Hallmark line, but if you’ve watched Ray Kinsella and his dad “catch” that catch near the end without a tear in their eye, you’re a robot.
A League of Their Own (1992)
A League of Their Own is the fictional account of two sisters who were charter members of the very non-fictional All American Girls Professional Baseball League. This film is a real classic. It has literally everything a baseball-loving moviegoer could want: a great cast, story, baseball content – and an added dose of historical charm.
It’s also highly quotable, from the legendary “There’s no crying in baseball!” to the less appreciated “Well, it would hurt me like hell.”
This film is so wonderful that we can even overlook the connections to the team set up north of the city. (Phillip Wrigley, fictionalized as “Walter Harvey” in the film, was the founder of the AAGPBL.)
I personally decided to cheer this movie because when I was a little girl I just wanted to be a ball player. It didn’t take long for me to realize that I wouldn’t always be immediately welcomed into sports culture at large. Women like me are often seen as novelties. A League of Their Own was released when I was 10 and I felt a little more normal because I loved the game so much – a little less like a novelty. As one character aptly put it, “I mean, look. We are many. I think we’re all fine.”
Which is the better baseball movie?
field of dreams
A league of its own
A total of 68 votes
Please continue to give us your feedback on these matchups and movies we missed.