While Major League Baseball’s 2010 season getting underway last month, I thought it timely that baseball movies get some attention from Marz Daily Media. But since there are many baseball movies that should be mentioned, further specification was required to honor the theme of today. To parallel the early stage of this baseball season, the Thursday’s Top Three will recognize children’s baseball movies. It’s highly likely that readers will already be familiar with these movies, but I hope that the few who don’t remember these movies will have renewed interest in them or, at the very least, feel edified by today’s entry.
The Bad News Bears in Breaking Training (1977)
William Devane, Jackie Earle Haley; Michael Pressman, dir.
This sequel to “The Bad News Bears” follows the same ragtag bunch of Little Leaguers that fought and cussed their way into the hearts of millions (er…maybe thousands). Although Walter Matthau and Tatum O’Neal don’t return, Jackie Earle Haley rejoins the rest of the gang as they road trip from Los Angeles to Houston for an exhibition game. Between the classically cheesy theme song and the continued shenanigans by familiar young savages, “Breaking Training” is hard to forget. Oh wait, did I mention that there’s a scene involving a fat kid and a toilet? That’s probably all that I should have said. Sold, right?
The Sandlot (1993)
Tom Guiry, Mike Vitar; David M. Evans, dir.
This coming-of-age story about a boy, who spends his first summer in a new town trying to fit in with a tight-knit group of neighborhood kids, may be the most quoted baseball movie of my generation. Innocence triumphs in this movie and leaves you wondering if it may not have been fun to stay young “for-eh-vvvurr.”
Rookie of the Year (1993)
Thomas Ian Nicholas, Gary Busey; Daniel Stern, dir.
“American Pie” is proof that Thomas Ian Nicholas peaked as Henry Rowengartner, a kid who becomes a world-class pitcher after he suffers a broken arm. When the Chicago Cubs discover his ability, they sign him to join their bullpen, and hijinks ensue. The sports suspense in this movie had me so rapt, that I remember saying, “YES!” in the theater at a pivotal moment of the final game (I was only 11 years old, but I still knew that such a response was huge coming from me even then).