Rejoice, friends, for this week the colors are a little brighter, the food tastes a little better, and the children are laughing a little louder; the awful five-month gray wasteland known as the baseball off-season has come to a merciful end. But why should you limit your enjoyment of the national pastime to every day (and most nights) between now and November? There are tons of baseball movies just a click away on Blockbuster On Demand to help fill in the gaps — here are some of the best:
A baseball prodigy so devoted to the game he carves his own bat out of a felled tree, and so good-looking he’s played by Robert Redford, misses out on his prime when he gets shot by Barbara Hershey, but eventually gets a second shot as a 35-year-old rookie. Not the most realistic movie, but still very entertaining, with Robert Duvall, Glenn Close, and Kim Basinger co-starring.
“If you build it, they will come.” Never has a more patently untrue piece of advice made it into the lexicon, as many a failed restaurant owner can attest. But one ghostly whisper into the ear of Iowa corn farmer Kevin Costner leads him to build a full-on baseball diamond in his cornfield, and next thing he knows, ghosts are playing on it. It sounds weird when you write it out like that, but it’s a good flick.
The massaging of a major-league team’s payroll through the use of innovative statistical analysis may seem like pretty thin gruel for a movie, but screenwriters Aaron Sorkin and Steven Zaillian wisely keep the focus on Oakland A’s GM Billy Beane (Brad Pitt) and his struggle to get the organization to go along with his plan, and his relationship with his daughter. Far more compelling than it has any right to be.