Top 3 Dramatic Baseball Films: Of the Last Decade

26 Oct

By Open Book

Moneyball is the latest film by director Bennett Miller starring Brad Pitt, written by Aaron Sorkin and opened in theaters September 23, 2011.  So far it’s earned 64 million and it’s still going strong.[1] So what is it about baseball that’s so endearing to watch on film but not on television these days? This particular film dealt with the innovation of computer generated analysis to draft players.  So without furtehr ado, here is our Top three dramatic baseball films released in the last decade worth checking out.  

Yes! We managed to find a baseball film not starring Kevin Costner……… seriously, all kidding aside!  A great Costner baseball subgenre begins with Bull Durham, Field of Dreams and For the Love of the Game, all of which we love and take off our invisible baseball cap in respect. However,  October is a special time for baseball fans regardless if your team made the playoffs or not.  The magic of playoff season has been depicted by filmmakers in a variety of ways, everywhere from the World Series between The Red Sox and the Pittsburgh Pirates in 1903, Tampa Bay Rays, to the Oakland A’s attempt to make it to the World Series in Moneyball currently out in theaters just in time for playoffs.   According to Holly Banner in an article Major League Baseball in the Fall: Fans Today, Gone tomorrow… [2]states

“In 2007 and 2008, ratings for both Fox and TBS dropped significantly during the playoffs from past years, including some of the lowest ratings ever for the playoffs on prime-time television.” 

She goes on to say……..

“It is clear that people do not wish to continually watch losing teams, so all too quickly they move on. They dismiss one of the most magical times in a baseball season. Yes, many will tune in to a game or two, but that is where the interest quickly ends.”

So in an effort to recapture that fervor in Americas favorite past time let’s look at three dramatic films released in the last decade that reminds audiences. Why we love this game?  

Top 3 Dramatic Baseball films: In the Last Decade

  • 2011 Moneyball: Rated PG-13- This is a unique story because it’s about the business of baseball and Oakland A’s GM Billy Beane’s attempt to select a winning team on a budget. It does not focus on one individual player like so many films out there. Instead it carefully shows audiences the inner workings of selecting a winning team yet, still manages to be very romantic about Americas favorite past time.  If you love a good underdog story this is the best to come out in a long time.
  • 2008 Sugar: Rated-R- In 2008 more than 25% of major league baseball players were born in Latin America.  At age 19 Miguel Santos “Sugar” from the Dominican Republic signs with Kansas City. This film follows his journey to survive in America and in the major leagues.  
  • 2002 The Rookie:  Rated-G- This film focuses on a thirty-nine year old high school baseball coach who agrees to try-out for the major league if his team wins the championship.  Fulfilling his promise he tries out gets signed and soon pitching for the major league in Tampa. This is based on a true story.         

What is your favorite baseball film over the last decade?

Please join us for a discussion Thursday 10/27/2011@7pE/12UTC 

39 Responses to “Top 3 Dramatic Baseball Films: Of the Last Decade”

  1. comic relief October 26, 2011 at 11:28 AM #


    With all of Moneyball and Billy Beane’s’ discussion about romance and baseball I thought for sure we would get a Kevin Costner baseball weeper. I guess it’s been longer than I thought for a sports film from him.

    • Littlebells October 26, 2011 at 12:00 PM #

      Ok, seriously, I love Field of Dreams. Sue me. 🙂 I could go on and on about that dang film.

      • Open Book October 26, 2011 at 9:11 PM #

        LOL!! Yes, I love that film also.

        Do u like baseball LB? If so what’s your favorite team?

        I can’t wait to discuss this topic tomorrow I finally saw Moneyball after Francesa’s review of the film on MovieBuzz.Such a great underdog story about valuing what u have now to succeed.

        It’s interesting most baseball films focus on one player and the game. Yet, Moneyball did not and it was still very compelling. Great recommendation Francesa.

        • Littlebells October 26, 2011 at 9:46 PM #


          Gonna see Moneyball tonight! I like baseball, but I don’t have a favorite team and unless I’m with somebody watching it, chances are I won’t be watching it. I didn’t grow up with sports in the home, and hubs isn’t into sports. We’re the “shoot ’em up, blow ’em up” kinda folk. haha!

          Oh and The Natural is great too! Yeah I know, not this last decade. 🙂

          • Open Book October 27, 2011 at 8:35 PM #

            Here is a trailer from The Rookie

          • Open Book October 27, 2011 at 8:36 PM #

            Here’s a trailer from Sugar

    • Open Book October 26, 2011 at 9:23 PM #


      Here is a list of KC baseball films for u. Sorry, they did not make the last decade list….

      1982 Chasing Dreams
      1988 Bull Durham
      1989 Field of Dreams
      1999 For the Love of the Game

  2. Francesa October 27, 2011 at 5:17 PM #

    I will not be able to join the discussion tonight. I am back to a some what normal life and will be in the air. But I did see moneyball and really liked it. But if I see Bull Durham on the tube, I will never turn away from it. It still makes me giggle to think of Tim Robbins in girls panties Ha! Will check back once I land and get settled. Hope you are all well.

    • Open Book October 27, 2011 at 7:13 PM #

      LOL!! Yes! Bull Durham is classic.

      U changed your name? Ahhhh! I liked the other one toooo. Oh! Well.

      • Open Book October 27, 2011 at 7:17 PM #


        P.S. Have a safe trip.. & Do u have a favorite team?

  3. Open Book October 27, 2011 at 7:05 PM #

    Hi Everyone-

    Welcome new and returning visitors.

    • littlebells October 27, 2011 at 7:06 PM #

      Hi OB!

      • Open Book October 27, 2011 at 7:11 PM #

        Hi LB!

  4. Open Book October 27, 2011 at 7:11 PM #

    Let me begin by saying these three films really speak to today. The idea of valuing and maximizing what u have now and the most prevalent in Moneyball. This film will inspire many Americans who have experienced any hardship during the recession.

    • comic relief October 27, 2011 at 7:19 PM #

      Hi everyone.

      • Open Book October 27, 2011 at 8:06 PM #

        Hi CR-

        Sorry I missed u…. Have u seen any of the other films listed above?

        • comic relief October 28, 2011 at 2:08 PM #

          I saw Moneyball and the Rookie. Obviously both are about baseball but both are very different.

    • littlebells October 27, 2011 at 7:19 PM #

      I thoroughly understood and appreciate the.story line. I think we undervalued many people in our society.

      Forgive my ignorance, but is baseball still beloved by society or has it been lost to all the sub par “distractions” of technology?

      • Open Book October 27, 2011 at 7:58 PM #

        Hi LB-

        LOL!! Great, Great, Great, Q……I was hoping to get a Q like this. One thing u can say about baseball fans they are pretty loyal. The most loyal baseball fans in history are the Chicago Cub fans, they love the Cubs no matter what. Next I would say the Texas Rangers. then of course The Boston Red Sox. So in other words if u live in these cities baseball games it’s just a way of life. LOL!!

        • Open Book October 27, 2011 at 8:02 PM #

          I’m going to add also The Pittsburgh Pirates. I have experienced the energy that exudes from Cub and Pirate fans and it’s something else. If u are not into baseball u will be after being around them. LOL!!

          • comic relief October 28, 2011 at 3:58 PM #

            LB and OB,

            IMHO, I’m not sure “Loyalty” is adequate to describe the religious commitment that many regard “America’s Past Time” with. I’m not even sure if the word “fanaticism” is appropriate either given the fact that many follow the game based on traditions passed down from prior generations. Sometimes pub loyalties, playoff parties, season tickets, box seats, and stadium section seating are fairly constant due to past family traditions also.

            Though these “passions” are not exclusive to the US, (the game is very popular in some parts of Asia and Latin America), the American flavor is one the reason that state side we continue to claim it is as essential as Baseball, Hot Dogs, Apple Pie and Chevrolet. That’s my two cents anyway.

            • Open Book October 28, 2011 at 4:56 PM #

              Lol!! Fair enough CR…….Great two cents by the way….

              TBH I fell in love with baseball because of the uniforms, don’t get me started on the period uniforms of the Yankees, Cubs & Cardinals. So I’m a little bias when it comes to evaluating Americas favorite past time.In other words don’t trust me….LOL!!

  5. Open Book October 27, 2011 at 7:22 PM #

    Something I noticed about Moneyball and The Rookie is the idea of seeing success when preparation and opportunity meet. Both are based on true stories which is very uplifting during these times…

    Here’s a scene from Moneyball as an example of Preparation:

    • comic relief October 27, 2011 at 7:26 PM #

      I agree OB. That example sets everything in the rest of the movie. I’m having some computer problems so I will return later.

    • Littlebells October 27, 2011 at 7:37 PM #

      I love the idea of preparation and opportunity coming together!

      I’m on my phone and it’s being lame. Sometimes I can type and sometimes I can’t. There is so much I want to discuss here. I will just have to come back later.

      Sorry OB! 😦

      • Open Book October 27, 2011 at 7:45 PM #

        No problem.

        Come back when u can.

  6. ozzie20 October 27, 2011 at 7:27 PM #

    Hi all! Not sure I can partake in much of the discussion. Baseball isn’t big here so I have no clue about any of it!

    • Open Book October 27, 2011 at 7:43 PM #


      That’s o.k. Ozzie….U don’t need to be a baseball fan. I think these themes in all these films anyone can identify with.

    • comic relief October 28, 2011 at 3:59 PM #


      Are you sure? Isn’t Cricket kind of similar to Baseball. I could be wrong but I think it’s played with a Bat (that to us looks like a kind of paddle) and the player run bases also. Sorry for the old depiction in the video but I heard it is as old as the 16th century.

      Here’s a more recent video.

  7. Open Book October 27, 2011 at 7:44 PM #

    Sorry, I disapeared a bit I was trying to find video examples.

    So here’s a clip from Moneyball as an example of Opportunity.

  8. Open Book October 27, 2011 at 7:50 PM #

    Here’s something else we’ve discussed here on LIH in the last two weeks and that is when a person is given and opportunity and they are unprepared for it.

    Both Sugar and Moneyball highlights this problem when we see Billie in Moneyball going pro right after high school. He get’s to the major leagues and can’t handle the pressure and decides to become a GM.


  9. Open Book October 27, 2011 at 8:18 PM #

    So here’s my final pitch for why Moneyball is such a great film. For one this is Brad Pitts best performance ever. ITA with Francesa there were some Robert Redford acting resemblances. Also, I thought Jonah Hill was excellent actually the entire cast was great.

    The other thing I loved about this film was the soundtrack……Enjoy!!

  10. Open Book October 27, 2011 at 8:27 PM #

    Here’s a more extensive sampling of the soundtrack. Please let me know what u think of it.

    • ozzie20 October 27, 2011 at 8:44 PM #

      Ah ha! I can sort of comment on this! I just saw Mychael Danna is the composer. His music is amazing! I may not see the film but I can tell you that after listening to just six samples, I will be listening to it, in full on repeat! 🙂

  11. Open Book October 27, 2011 at 8:30 PM #

    So I don’t know what else to add… I hope this selection of films will get baseball fans remembering why they love this game.

    • ozzie20 October 27, 2011 at 8:37 PM #

      I wish I knew more to help the discussion!

      • Open Book October 27, 2011 at 8:52 PM #

        LOL! That’s O.k. Ozzie… I will give u an “A” for team effort.


        • ozzie20 October 27, 2011 at 8:58 PM #

          Thank you, lol! Hope you have a good night too! 🙂

  12. Open Book October 27, 2011 at 8:50 PM #

    Sorry I missed CR, Francesa, LB, Lurker, Paris & Ozzie…

    Hopefully all of u can chime in on a few things later. Hope all is well……..

    Again thanks Francesa for the film recommendation. As u can see, I had fun writing this article……..This one was for u…Can u tell? Take Care!!

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