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It’s Field of Dreams vs. Major League to Decide the Best Baseball Movie of All Time

Sorta sappy vs. sorta dumb!

Sure, you may be getting ballot box fatigue, with our Veterans’ Committee vote, Hall of Fame ballot, upcoming White Sox Hall of Fame, Top Prospect Polls, and whatever other joke poll I can insert into a story. But cinch it up and strap it down for a fun late-week foray into baseball on film!

This is the exact matchup I did not want. But, the voters have spoken.

Final Four Results

Major League 52%, Moneyball 48% (201-185)
A mere 16 votes prevented the smart choice from moving on. Oh, well. Moneyball did lead with about two hours left, but a big push came in for Major League.

Field of Dreams 58%, A League of Their Own 42% (219-160)
This one proves the further dumbening of the electorate, albeit far less egregiously than in the battle above. I admit, I doomed the far more pleasant A League of Their Own by calling it the favorite to win last post.

Looking ahead: Brett said it best, internally to us all, and I agree: Never thought I’d root for Field of Dreams to set things right, but here we are. It was an impressive drubbing of a former favorite to win, so the slight edge goes to the corn maze to take it all.


Championship

Major League (1989)
Zach Hayes

Look, Major League has a lot of problems. Like many films of, well, even today, it conflates stalking with romance, it’s filled with boorish, inappropriate humor, and employs a fair share of racial tropes that certainly don’t stand the test of time.

Unfortunately, this is true of most baseball movies. So as far as the actual baseball goes, no film has ever quite managed to capture the thrill, the suspense, the essence of the day-to-day grind of baseball like Major League. There’s no manufactured drama, nor is there any need: With characters like Ricky Vaughn, Willie Mays Hayes, Pedro Cerrano, and Roger Dorn, you don’t need to try very hard. Say what you want about Charlie Sheen — and there’s a lot to say — but he’s certainly got more entertainment value than Kevin Costner.

Rachel Phelps may or may not have been a mishmash of real-life figures, but anybody who’s watched Ted Lasso knows the endurance of such a character. The irony of Clu Haywood might be lost on some, but not those who recognize 1982 Cy Young winner Pete Vuckovich in the role of the Yankees’ beefy slugger.

And, of course, there’s Bob Uecker. Juuuuuust a bit outside. What more needs to be said?

Field of Dreams (1989)
Brett Ballantini

What folks don’t seem to get about Field of Dreams is that it is a sports fantasy. There are ghosts. A reclusive writer (J.D. Salinger, changed for the movie because, well, J.D. was a bit of a curmudgeon, yeah) decides to join a farmboy stranger on a quixotic quest to “go the distance.” Yes, if you live in the boonies and your kid is choking on a hot dog, you may well need to summon a ballplayer ghost doctor like the delectable Burt Lancaster to save her. Ray Liotta turns Joe Jackson into a righthander. Dead players come to life. Father and son “have a catch.”

But hey, it’s a fantasy. Get past it. Sure, the movie trips a bit over a Hallmark line, but if you watched Ray Kinsella and his father “have” that catch toward the end without a tear in your eye, you are a robot.

Poll

For all the marbles, which is the better baseball movie?

This poll is closed

  • 45%
    Major League
    (41 votes)
  • 54%
    Field of Dreams
    (49 votes)
90 votes total Vote Now

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