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The Lookout | April 13, 2021

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For What It’s Worth: baseball movies

For What It’s Worth: baseball movies

By Larry Hook
The Lookout Adviser

During the COVID-19 pandemic, people have had to find new ways to entertain themselves as they spend much more time at home.

As a huge baseball fan, I have been missing the Major League Baseball season more than most. So in late April, I decided I would try to fill that void by watching some of the best baseball movies ever made.

I had about a dozen baseball movies in my DVD library at the time. My original goal was to purchase another dozen or so, and watch about 25 baseball movies over the course of a month.

As I did with other collections I have watched in the past (John Travolta movies, Adam Sandler movies, etc.), my plan was to rate each movie on a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being the best.

Fast forward to early July, and I have just completed watching 75 baseball movies in 70 days. To do so, I purchased about 35 more baseball movies, mostly on eBay, and found the others on either Netflix or YouTube. It is surprising just how many free baseball movies are available to watch on YouTube.

Most people I told about my binge watch were surprised that so many baseball movies even exist. I found there have been well over 100 baseball movies made over the years.

Admittedly, some are only loosely centered on baseball (such as “Brewster’s Millions”), but most lists still include them as “baseball movies.”

The movies I watched spanned nearly 100 years. The oldest movie I watched was from 1920. It was a silent flick called “Babe Ruth: Headin’ Home” and starred Babe Ruth himself.

The actors in the baseball movies I watched included many huge stars from all eras. They included, in no particular order, Abbott & Costello, Brad Pitt, Frank Sinatra, Madonna, Robert De Niro, Richard Pryor, Jimmy Fallon, Charlie Sheen, Susan Sarandon, James Earl Jones, Tom Hanks, Michael Douglas, Walter Matthau, Drew Barrymore, Gene Kelly, Kevin Costner, John Goodman and Wesley Snipes.

It proved to be a great hobby for me to pass the time during the pandemic. I learned a lot of baseball history, since many of the movies I watched were biographies and historical flicks.

Among the subjects of some of the biographies were Babe Ruth, Jackie Robinson, Lou Gehrig, Dizzy Dean, Roy Campanella, Ron LeFlore, Roger Maris and Jimmy Piersall.

In my next column, I will list my favorite baseball movies. I will also tell you a few that were awful, and should be avoided.