After Moneyball drew widespread acclaim and pretty good box office, baseball movies seem to be having a renaissance.A movie on Jackie Robinson is in the works (with Harrison Ford as Branch Rickey and Chadwick Boseman starring as Jackie). Disney is working on a movie about the two Indian pitchers that the Pirates signed after they came over to the states after winning a reality TV show. Ben Affleck is trying to make a movie on the infamous Mike Kekich/Fritz Peterson “wife swap” (Kekich isn’t happy). And now his brother, Casey, is apparently trying to make a movie about Josh Hamilton.
Hamilton’s tale, of course, is perfect for a movie, as it could draw so many different types of people in. Every baseball fan would go to it just because it’s a baseball movie, everybody loves an underdog story, the struggles with substance abuse would play well with critics if done right and Hamilton’s faith would bring in church groups. Of course, there’s the slight problem that the story isn’t done yet: how do you end it? With him winning America’s hearts (but not the trophy) in that Yankee Stadium home run derby? With the 4-home run game? Had that home run of his in Game 6 last season won it for the Rangers, that would have been perfect, but then the Cardinals made their comeback.
But anyway, I’m getting off-topic. The thing with baseball is that there are so many stories that would make great movies. Here are some that should be considered (after the jump):
The Catcher Was a Spy: It’d be part baseball film and part espionage drama, the tale of the mediocre catcher and supergenius who then worked with the OSS (the proto-CIA) during WWII. How has this not been made into a movie already? You are slacking, Hollywood!
Veeck – As In Wreck: A comedy about the man who brought crazy promotions to baseball, much to the chagrin of every other owner in baseball.
Scabs: Like The Replacements, only with the caveat that most replacement players during the 1994-95 strike didn’t get to play games that counted, and those that did (most notably Kevin Millar) were cut out of all merchandising deals.
162: A movie about September 28, 2011. The day of 162. It would be The Longest Day of baseball films. Taking place in semi-real time over three hours, the film would be an ensemble piece about the joy and heartbreak of baseball, as seen through the eyes and actions of players and fans.
The Big Lie: The tale of how Albert Spalding was so determined to prove that baseball was All-American that he bought in to the ramblings of an old senile man that he saw Abner Doubleday invent the game in Cooperstown, despite all evidence to the contrary.
The Universal Baseball Association, Inc., J. Henry Waugh, Prop.: A adaptation of Robert Coover’s novel about a man in the 1960s who becomes so absorbed in his dice-and-chart league (sort of like Strat-O-Matic) that he begins to have trouble separating fiction from reality, which becomes a problem when tragedy strikes in the game-world. Could be updated to be about a Fantasy League or a video game, but would be better if it stayed as it is.
The Hammer: Hank Aaron biopic. Enough said.
Untitled Baseball Road Trip Project: A road-trip comedy based around a quest to go to all 30 MLB stadiums over one summer. Hilarity ensues.