Diamond Diaries

Cardinal baseball, from the girls

Take me out to the movies . . . Diane’s favorite baseball movies

While I was watching Moneyball with my husband, it occurred to me that movies and baseball have something in common – there is a lot of drama involved, and sometimes there’s comedy as well.  There sure is a lot of drama in those 2011 World Series DVD’s we’ve all been watching.

There are very few St. Louis Cardinals movies that I’m aware of.  My husband, the movie and baseball fan, reminded me about The Pride of St. Louis (about Dizzy Dean) and The Winning Team (Ronald Reagan as Grover Cleveland Alexander).

Hey movie producers, Stan Musial’s life and career would make an excellent movie.  The book Stan Musial: An American Life by George Vecsey would make a great script. You could end the movie with Stan receiving the Presidential Medal of Honor.  Please make this movie while Stan is still alive to enjoy it, okay?    And when is the movie version of 3 Nights in August by Buzz Bissinger coming out anyway? Now that Tony has retired, it would be a great time to make a movie about his managerial prowess.  Some of the Cardinals players in that book are still on the team, so they could play themselves.

If you’re missing baseball, one of these movies might just be the ticket (pardon the pun) to cure your blues.  Here, in no particular order, are my favorite baseball movies.  If you click on the title of the movie, it will take you to its listing on Amazon.com so you can purchase it if you’d like.  These movies are probably available on Netflix as well.

Field of Dreams – “If you build it, he will come.”  Kevin Costner plays a farmer who hears the voice out of the blue and figures out that he is to build a baseball diamond on part of his corn field.  When you get disillusioned and start to think that baseball is a business and not a game, pull out this movie and get a taste of the magic that is baseball again.  James Earl Jones’ last monologue in the movie is enough to make a true baseball fan cry.  IMDb listing


Bull Durham – Kevin Costner plays an aging catcher signed to a minor league team called the Durham Bulls to break in a young pitcher named ‘Nuke’ LaLoosh who is a wild pitcher.  Susan Sarandon plays a team groupie who breaks in Mr. LaLoosh another way, if you catch my drift.  IMDb listing



For Love of the Game – Okay, what is it about Kevin Costner and baseball movies anyway? Talk about typecasting!  In this movie, Costner plays an aging pitcher who is pitching his final game.  Costner’s character is pitching what could be his final game.  During the game, he has flashbacks of his life and career. Will the girl stay or will she go? IMDb listing



A League of Their Own – Based on the All-American Girls’ Professional Baseball League that played during World War II, it is the story of two sisters with a bad case of sibling rivalry.  Tom Hanks is a riot as an aging, alcoholic ballplayer given one last chance to redeem himself as the manager of the Rockford Peaches.  “There’s no crying in baseball!”  Tell that to the team that’s just lost the World Series!  IMDb listing


Bang the Drum Slowly –  This movie stars Robert DiNiro as a not-so-bright catcher and Michael Moriarty as a worldly wise pitcher as they deal with DiNiro’s character’s terminal illness.  Be sure you have a box of Kleenex handy when you watch this movie.  You’ll need it. IMDb listing



Major League – Tom Berenger, Charlie Sheen and Corbin Bernsen star in this comedy about a woman who inherits the Cleveland Indians but wants to move them south to warmer climes.  The only exit clause is poor attendance, so she puts together a really bad team, but they turn the tables on her and start to win.  Dennis Haybert is a hoot as the player who practices voodoo. IMDb listing


The Natural – Robert Redford plays a middle-aged hitter named Roy Hobbs with a homemade bat and a mysterious past who leads the fictional New York Knights to the top of the league and fulfills the dream he had as a child.   IMDb listing



Eight Men Out – This movie is about the Black Sox scandal of 1919.  After watching it, you’ll know why the White Sox threw the World Series. This is a period movie with great attention to detail and great acting from an all-star cast which includes John Cusack. IMDb listing



Moneyball – Brad Pitt and Jonah Hill play against type in this movie about Billy Beane, the architect of the Oakland A’s.  This movie, set in 2002,  is a fascinating study on how Beane put together a team by getting players with great numbers on a low budget and how they won.  IMDb listing



If you have any other favorite baseball movies or any Cardinals movies that I’ve missed, please comment below.  See you next time!


3 responses to “Take me out to the movies . . . Diane’s favorite baseball movies

  1. Susan Clark January 7, 2012 at 12:28 PM

    While I agree with most of your suggestions, you’re missing many from the days of black & white movies. At the very least I’d include Gary Cooper as Lou Gerhig in “The Pride of the Yankees”.

  2. diane1611 January 7, 2012 at 12:39 PM

    Hi Susan! I based this list on movies I’ve actually seen. Unfortunately, I’ve never seen Pride of the Yankees. I’m going to have to add it to my list of movies to see. If you have any other suggestions, I’m open to them.

  3. Rachel January 7, 2012 at 5:03 PM

    Angels in the Outfield
    Rookie of the Year
    The Sandlot

    I always watch them when they’re on.

    I need to buy A League of Their Own. It’s one of my favorite movies. =) I always cry when Betty gets the telegram from the War Department. And I quote that movie all the time. “You’re going to lose” “Start using your head. That’s the lump that’s three feet above your ass.”

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