QUARANTINE, USA – As Short Matt promised earlier this morning, I’m back. I’m back but these are unprecedentedly depressing times. We are locked in our homes with no sports to watch. But there are other ways to get your fix. There are plenty of streaming services out there and there are plenty of sports movies to help you get through these tough times. Here are a few baseball choices that you may not have seen in a long time. I’m leaving off the obvious choices like Major League, Bull Durham, The Natural, andField of Dreams. I’m sure we’ve all seen these movies enough. I went for some deeper cuts that you probably haven’t seen in awhile. And while a lot of these can not be called “great movies” in any sense of the word, they will provide some entertainment in these days of toilet paper shortages and shelter in place orders.
Mr. Baseball – This Tom Selleck movie is about an aging Yankees superstar that gets traded to make room for a young phenom (played in the movie by Frank Thomas). But the only taker is the Chunichi Dragons in Japan. After a rocky road and some culture shock Selleck’s character learns to be a team player and do things the Japanese way. Dennis Haysbert, who played Pedro Serrano in the Major League movies, plays one of Selleck’s teammates in Japan.
The Fan – Robert DeNiro, Wesley Snipes, and Benicio Del Toro carry this movie about a deranged baseball fan who becomes obsessed with his favorite player on the San Francisco Giants. Think Falling Down meets Major League. And don’t miss the movie’s climax with the game being played in torrential rain. The movie is worth seeing again if it’s been awhile.
Rookie of the Year – You know, for kids. This movie was pretty much every kid’s dream. Henry breaks his arm and when it heals, he can throw over 100 mph. He’s signed by the Cubs and becomes their closer. Don’t miss Gary Busey in this one that is good for some laughs. Classic little league taunts, hidden ball tricks, the works. Watch this one with the kids to get them excited about playing baseball when life returns to normal.
Bang the Drum Slowly – Bobby D makes the list twice. DeNiro and Michael Moriarty play teammates on the New York Mammoths. DeNiro’s Bruce Pearson is a slow-witted catcher who is friends with Henry Wiggen (Moriarty) a brainy pitcher and author. The movie is centered on their friendship after learning that Pearson has a terminal illness. The movie is an adaptation of Mark Harris’ 1956 novel of the same name.
I’ll leave it there for now. Hopefully everyone is staying safe and healthy. And hopefully Sneezy Bruin will be back tomorrow.