You Can’t Go Back, But You Can Rewatch

by Marina M.

I’m swinging for the nostalgia fences in my posts this year. I’ve already mentioned one iconic 1989 movie so I thought I’d go the distance and highlight a couple other favorite movies celebrating their 30th year. I was spurred to this current path by a podcast from The Rewatchables about a certain baseball movie that has been a longtime favorite of mine. OK, OK, I’ll ease your pain and halt the suspense about the title. The movie is Field of Dreams. And the podcast was a wonderful mix of nostalgia, humor, and respect for a well-deserved movie.

The Thrill of (No) Grass

Opening season at Safeco Field, primo seating and opportune shot of A-Rod.

When I was a kid (and even a bit past that), my dad and I would regularly attend baseball games at the gone and mostly forgotten Kingdome, and then at Safeco Field (including opening day!). That pretty much led to a decade-long (give or take) obsession with watching baseball, both movies and live games. Luckily, during that time there were plenty of baseball movies to choose from. And while I still enjoy a good movie featuring baseball now and again, I haven’t been to many live games in the past several years. It’s not the same as it was, plus it was special going there with my dad and these days it’s hard to pull him away from his retirement activities.

A Question of Quantum Physics, Molecular Attraction, and Timing

1989, specifically, gave us not one but two indelible baseball movies. The other one being Major League (which also got The Rewatchables podcast treatment). That got me thinking about other great (or maybe not so great but definitely entertaining) baseball movies I watched during my formative years. Usually multiple times. You can find my full list here (with a bonus contemporary option). But let me highlight a couple of my top picks.

Field of Dreams will always be my favorite Kevin Costner baseball movie (he’s got at least 3 of them, plus several other sports movies) but Bull Durham is a close second. Where Field of Dreams is fantasy based with ghostly baseball players and a magical cornfield, you get the reality of minor league ball and the players toughing it out to prove their stuff in Bull Durham.

Shoeless Joe Jackson and his teammates were the inspiration for the Iowa ballpark in Field of Dreams. Being the history nerd that I am, I wanted to know about that specific event. Lucky for me there is a great movie, Eight Men Out (and the book it was based on), where I learned plenty about the Black Sox scandal.

Do What You Gotta Do

As I mentioned above, I spent many a beautiful Pacific Northwest summer afternoon in the cold, gray Kingdome (fitting, considering the stereotype our weather gets) so it stands to reason that I would enjoy any movie that also features the Mariners (or takes place in a domed stadium, in this case the Metrodome). So, even though isn’t available to acquire this movie for the Sno-Isle collection, I can’t not include a mention of my second all-time favorite baseball movie, Little Big League. How can you fail to enjoy a movie where a 12-year-old not only is the owner of a baseball team, but also the manager? And includes cameos by Ken Griffey, Jr. and Randy Johnson? And a trip on the Thundering Frog? You can’t.

How about you? Any favorite baseball movies? I’m always looking for a new way to enjoy the boys of summer.


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10 responses to “You Can’t Go Back, But You Can Rewatch”

  1. asillyfish says:

    The Kingdome, ah, the memories that brings back! For other baseball movies, you should try out 61*, 42, The Sandlot, and The Perfect Game. They’re worth the time. 🙂

    • Marina M. says:

      I hope mostly good memories about the Kingdome? And, thanks for the suggestions. I have seen and enjoyed 61, 42, and The Sandlot but I haven’t seen The Perfect Game. I’ll have to check it out.

  2. Janet says:

    I love A League of Their Own.

  3. Abby R. says:

    Wow, I didn’t honestly realize how many baseball movies I watched in the 90s until this post! A few others that bring on the nostalgia that others haven’t mentioned are The Sandlot, Rookie of the Year, and Angels in the Outfield.
    So many great quotes come from baseball films, too! “There’s no crying in baseball!” and “If you build it (t)he(y) will come,” and “You’re killing me, Smalls!” and “For-EV-ER!”
    Great job, Marina. Now I’m going to be re-watching old baseball movies all the long weekend. 😀

    • Marina M. says:

      Thank you, Abby. I love baseball movie quotes, too. I was trying to figure out how to work in my favorite quote from Little Big League in there. But it’s hard to fit “Is that a spruce?” into pretty much anything that isn’t related to a spruce.

    • Isaac H. says:

      I was just about to mention the Sandlot and Angels in the Outfield before I read your post Abby!

      Great list, Marina! Two other Baseball movies that I always get the nostalia-feels for are the Bad News Bears with Walter Mathau and The Bingo Long Traveling All-Stars & Motor Kings with Richard Pryor and James Earl Jones. They’re very dated though!

  4. Stacey McKinley says:

    The Natural

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