Best baseball movies? Here’s my starting nine

Baseball returns this week, so let’s wrap up the preseason with a look at my picks for the best baseball movies:

A League of Their Own
Gena Davis and Tom Hanks star in this terrific movie about the Women’s Professional Baseball League.

Bull Durham
Minor league catcher Crash Davis (Kevin Kostner) tries to keep his shot at the “show” alive, while also mentoring a young pitching prospect (Tim Robbins) and trying to win the heart of the team’s biggest fan, played by Susan Sarandon.

Damn Yankees
A middle-aged fan makes a deal with the devil (Roy Walston) and becomes a major league star in this popular 1958 musical. Who said there’s no singing in baseball?

Eight Men Out
Based on the infamous Black Sox scandal that ended the careers of Shoeless Joe Jackson and his teammates on the 1919 White Sox.

42
Before he was Black Panther, Chadwick Boseman played Jackie Robinson, the Dodger great who broke the color barrier. An important move, and at times, difficult to watch the abuse Robinson experienced.

Major League
Charlie Sheen and Tom Berenger lead the hapless Clevelend Indians from last place to first. Silly fun.

61
A brilliant retelling of the 1961 season, when Yankee teammates Mickey Mantle (Thomas Jane) and Roger Maris (Barry Pepper), chased Babe Ruth’s single season home run record (60) amid near-constant media pressure. Directed by die-hard fan Billy Crysal. The DVD’s extras are worth a watch, too.

The Natural
Robert Redford plays slugger Roy Hobbs, an aging ballplayer with a mysterious past.

The Rookie
High school coach Dennis Quaid promises his players that he’ll tryout  (again) for the majors if the team can turn things around. Based on the true story of Jim Morris.

That’s my list — what’s on yours? Field of Dreams? The Sandlot? Moneyball?

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