Monday, September 02, 2013
Movie Monday: The Baseball Movie Edition
Well, maybe there's no crying in baseball, but I have to confess that the movie this is from, "A League of Their Own" (1992), makes me cry every single time I watch it. Of course, I laugh a lot, too, when I watch it, because it is a funny movie. But, for me, there are scenes that just make me feel all the feels.
If you aren't familiar with "A League of Their Own", which was directed by Penny Marshall, it is a fictionalized account of the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League, which was in operation from 1943 through 1954, giving hundreds of women the chance to play professional baseball. It was started as a way to keep professional baseball going while many of it's male stars were off fighting in World War II. The film follows the fictional sisters Dottie and Kit (portrayed by Geena Davis and Lori Petty), who are invited to tryouts when the league is starting out, along with the rest of the members of the Rockford Peaches. Things don't run smoothly at first:
Well, things don't always run smoothly later on, either, but that would be telling. Go see the movie.
"A League of Their Own" is one of my favorite baseball movies - and that's saying quite a bit, for as much as I love baseball, I'm really not fond of most baseball movies. Then again, there's "Bull Durham"(1988), which is my other favorite baseball movie. It follows a season in the life of a minor league team, the Durham Bulls (which, like the Rockford Peaches was, is a real Triple A team, an affiliate of the Tampa Bay Rays, that has it's home in Durham, North Carolina), during which veteran minor-leaguer Crash Davis (Kevin Costner) is assigned the task of grooming a young, erratic pitching phenom, Ebby Calvin LaLoosh (Tim Robbins) for the majors. It is a sometimes daunting job for Crash, seeing that Ebby seems more interested in the peripheral advantages of being a baseball player than in actually playing baseball:
And then, there's Annie Savoy, who teaches both Ebby and Crash a thing or two, about baseball and about a few other things:
It's getting near the end of the baseball season. The teams in the National League and the American League are getting serious about getting into the playoffs and then the World Series. Depending on which team you follow, this could be a tense time for you. For example, as I write this, the St. Louis Cardinals and the Pittsburgh Pirates are tied for the lead in the Central Division of the National League. Meanwhile, over in the American League's Western Division, the Texas Rangers only lead the Oakland A's by a game. On the other hand, you could be me, and be a Los Angeles Dodgers fan. The Dodgers lead National League West by 11 games over the Arizona Diamondbacks, and are ahead of the San Francisco Giants and the San Diego Padres by 20 and 21 games, respectively. But, as much as I love the Dodgers, I know that the reality is that this is a team that has traditionally proven more than to snatch defeat out of the jaws of victory, and so nothing is sure regarding a playoff berth until the rest of the division has been mathematically eliminated from contention for the playoffs.
So, whether your team is way out in front, somewhere in contention, or deep in the cellar of their division, a good way to relax and quit worrying about your team's prospects for the post-season is to go see a good baseball movie. "A League of Their Own" and "Bull Durham" both qualify.