Blog Entry

An All-Star team from baseball movies

Posted on: December 28, 2011 7:25 pm
Edited on: December 29, 2011 10:46 am

By C. Trent Rosecrans

You may have noticed, but it's been slow 'round these parts. Much of the baseball world is either sleeping or so extended rom Christmas spending that there's not a whole lot to do other than wait for spring training to start.

While many people like to watch Christmas movies this time of year, I'm a Grinch and prefer to spend the cold winter months watching baseball movies -- anything to avoid the scourge that is basketball. Every so often, I start thinking about what would be the best team of players from baseball movies. And since there's not much going on in real baseball, this time I'm going to actually write it down.

But there has to be ground rules:

1. Fictional characters only. No Babe Ruth, no Jackie Robinson, no Ty Cobb -- we know they were great, or there wouldn't be a movie about them.

2. Good guys only. Because, really, we want to root for our team, so no Clu Heywood, even though he leads the league in most offensive categories, including nose hair. But really, we spend more time with the heroes, so they're the ones on this team.

3. There were no sequels to Major League. Just like there was no Rocky V, Major League never had a sequel -- much less two. I refuse to believe it. A silly, arbitrary rule? Yep. But hey, it's my list. (I should note, Matt Snyder loves Major League II and believes it to be superior to the original. I say CBS obviously doesn't do enough drug testing and also point to the fact that he prefers Van Hagar to Van Halen, so that pretty much kills his credibility.)

4. Two entries per movie. This is just to make the list a little tougher, because otherwise you could just say, "everyone from The Sandlot" or the Cleveland Indians from Major League. I limited it to two because doing just one makes it too difficult.

5. Position changes are OK, but have to make sense. I mean, sure, someone can move from center to left, but I'm not exactly about to put a catcher at second base just to fill a spot. It has to be realistic. Also, for players who don't have a set position, they can be placed somewhere and it still has to make sense. This is a necessity because most of the baseball movies center around the pitchers and catchers.

6. Live-action players only. No cartoon characters, or superpowers. So that means no Snoopy or Bugs Bunny, but also no kid who can throw 100 miles per hour.  

So, with that in mind, here's the All-Movie squad:

C Crash Davis -- Catcher may have been the toughest position to pick, or at least the one with the most competition. The catcher seems to always be not just the sage of any movie baseball team, but they always seem to come through in the clutch and have the best lines. Catchers seem to make the best managers and the best movie characters.

1B Jack Elliott -- He's no 1992 Frank Thomas -- and if Mr. Baseball had been about the rookie, he'd be on here -- but Tom Selleck's former MVP still had enough left in the tank to lead the Chunichi Dragons to the playoffs.

2B Brad Johnson -- A first-round pick by Kansas City out of Stanford, Johnson didn't stay too long in Class A Quad Cities, but instead was on a fast track to the big leagues. Not too many people saw Sugar when it came out in 2008, but it's definitely worth a rental. Johnson is just a side character in the story of a Dominican pitcher's struggles in the United States. It's one of the best and most realistic baseball movies ever made.

3B Doris Murphy -- If it weren't for the limit on characters from one movie, this would be an easy pick for Major League's Roger Dorn, but Dorn isn't as essential as either of our other two picks from that movie, so Rosie O'Donnell's character from A League of Their Own is the default choice. As rare as third baseman are in the Hall of Fame, they're even more rare on screen.

SS Benny "the Jet" Rodriguez -- Rodriguez, the best player on The Sandlot, made it to the big leagues with the Dodgers. The movie shows Rodriguez, late in his career, as a pinch-runner, but doesn't mention what position he played. The guess is either shortstop or center field -- Benny had the ability for either, so we'll put him at shortstop. (As a side note, the worst part in this game is that the main character in that movie apparently grows up and displaces Vin Scully in the Dodgers' radio booth, which is just a shame.)

LF Bobby Rayburn -- OK, the movie stinks and Wesley Snipes' Barry Bonds-like character is far from likable, but there are enough character guys on this squad that it'll work. A three-time former MVP, Rayburn had played center, but we'll move him to left, just like another guy who won several MVPs and then went to San Francisco.

CF Willie "Mays" Hayes -- Surprisingly it's Wesley Snipes, not Kevin Costner, who gets two characters on the list. While Rayburn was in on a technicality, Hayes earns it with his play on the field and his desire -- not to mention his snappy dress. Talk about an amazing story, the guy wasn't even invited to camp and ends up on the team and scores the winning run from second base to send the Indians to the playoffs. 

RF Roy Hobbs -- Yeah, he may be a little old, but he still knocks the cover off the ball -- literally. He does hang around some shady women, though.

SP Bingo Long -- In an upset over so many other popular characters (Ebby Calvin "Nuke" LaLoosh, Montgomery Brewster, Amanda Wurlitzer, Billy Chapel, Henry "Author" Wiggen and Eddie Harris), my starter is the titular character from The Bingo Long Traveling All-Stars & Motor Kings, none other than Billy Dee Williams. The character is based on Satchel Paige and is played by the guy who played Lando Calrissian. That's a combo that's just too tough to beat.

CL Rick Vaughn -- Sure, it's cliched, but Charlie Sheen's performance is one of the best in movie history. It also popularized the intro music for closers. As good as Mariano Rivera's Enter Sandman entrance is, it's no Wild Thing.

Player/Manager Cecil "Stud" Cantrell -- The player/manager for the Tampico Stogies in Long Gone, Cantrell not only brings a young Virginia Madsen to the ballpark every day, he can pitch and slug. He wasn't quite Stan Musial in his younger days, but he did hit them harder than "The Man" -- or so he claims.

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Since: Dec 4, 2011
Posted on: January 1, 2012 11:30 pm

An All-Star team from baseball movies

Jake Taylor gets my vote for catcher....what about Willie Mays Hayes in CF?  I still laugh out loud every time I think about Lou Brown after Willie comes in from making the "catch".  "Great catch Hayes.  Don't ever ****** do it again."  Classic!!!

Since: May 27, 2008
Posted on: January 1, 2012 10:58 pm

An All-Star team from baseball movies

In the case of Stinson, what about the dude from "The Sluggger Wife"', he was MVP canidate, and he played before wild-card teams.

Since: Sep 6, 2006
Posted on: January 1, 2012 4:11 pm

An All-Star team from baseball movies

The catcher has to be Dottie Hinson.
Strong arm, hits for average, hits for power, long legs and a nice rack.  That's a true 5 tool player!

Coach has to be Buttermaker from Bad News Bears.

Kelly Leak also from the Bad News Bears in LF.     

Since: Jan 9, 2007
Posted on: December 31, 2011 10:39 pm

An All-Star team from baseball movies

Good choices, but refer to rule #6: 

6. Live-action players only. No cartoon characters, or superpowers. So that means no Snoopy or Bugs Bunny, but also no kid who can throw 100 miles per hour. "

Since: Jan 9, 2007
Posted on: December 31, 2011 10:38 pm

An All-Star team from baseball movies

What about "Can't Get Right" from the movie "Life"? That guy could hit! Not sure what position he played, though!

Since: Jul 20, 2011
Posted on: December 31, 2011 10:22 pm

An All-Star team from baseball movies

My catcher is definitely Gus Sinski. John C Reilly was great in 'For The Love Of The Game' and Kelly Preston was hot! Then Scientology killed her off...

Since: Jul 29, 2009
Posted on: December 31, 2011 7:28 pm

An All-Star team from baseball movies

Wow... You could have had Pitcher Billy Chapel (Kevin Costner) and Catcher Crash Davis (Kevin Costner) meeting at the mound to talk to Manager Ray Kinsella (Kevin Costner)...  so is Costner THE baseball movie guy?  All three great characters, hard to argue!  Great topic, I'm going to enjoy reading all of the comments!

Since: Jun 30, 2011
Posted on: December 31, 2011 2:48 pm

An All-Star team from baseball movies

You're kidding about Bingo Long instead of Billy Chapel, right?  To end your career with a perfect game against the Yankees, and then go get the girl - and not come in first???

Since: Aug 25, 2006
Posted on: December 31, 2011 12:50 am

An All-Star team from baseball movies


Play-by-play: Bob Uecker from "Major League" - JUST a bit outside
Pitching Coach: Robert Wuhl from "Bull Durham" - candlesticks always make a nice gift
Umpire: Leslie Nielsen (aka: Enrico Pallazzo) from "Naked Gun"
Bat Boy: kid from "Bull Durham"; Bat boy: "Get a hit, Crash"/Crash: "Shut up"
Team Owner: Bill Dee Williams from "Bingo Long Traveling All-Stars & Motor Kings"

Since: Aug 25, 2006
Posted on: December 31, 2011 12:29 am

An All-Star team from baseball movies

Wow, you took all the good ones. I am going to try and not repeat your choices:

C -- Joe Louis Brown (aka José Brown) from "Long Gone" no doubt based on Josh Gibson.

1B  -- Mr. 3000, Bernie Mac

2B -- Linus Van Pelt

SS -- Snoopy; with Linus, the best double play combo in the comics

3B  -- Ed, the chimp who acts better than Joey from "Friends"

LF  -- Cerrano from "Major League" but he can't hit a curveball

CF  -- Kelly from "The Bad News Bears" (the original)

RF  -- Richard Pryor from "Bingo Long Traveling All-Stars & Motor Kings"

SP -- Brendan Fraser/Steve Nebraska from "The Scout"

CL -- 12-year old from "Rookie of the Year". Every kid's dream.

Manager -- Durham Bulls manager from "Bull Durham". He is not a fan of lollygagging.

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