Baseball is one of the most beloved American sports and is followed by millions of fans all around the world. Whether it is watching televised games, being at the stadium, trading baseball cards, or getting down to the diamond yourself, there are plenty of ways to engage with the sport. With a huge following comes a great selection of baseball movies that capture the magic of the game.
Here we will outline some of the best baseball movies that you can stream and where they are currently available (as of January 2023).
1. A League of Their Own
In this movie, it is World War II and most of the young male population has been drafted. This prompts a fully female, professional baseball league to be founded in the midwest. Funded by a notorious candy kingpin, Walter Harvey, two sisters go head to head in a wildly entertaining contest.
The star-studded cast features Geena Davis, Garry Marshall, and Tom Hanks with cameo appearances from Madonna and Rosie O’Donnell. Tom Hanks also shouts his famous line, “there’s no crying in baseball!” if you want to see the hilarious, quotable scene.
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Moneyball is a fascinating film that is about mathematics and statistics as much as it’s about baseball. Based on a true story, this movie follows the manager of the Oakland Athletics who is struggling with reinventing the team on a very tight budget. This manager, Billy Beane, is portrayed by Brad Pitt who teams up with an Ivy League graduate Peter Brand (Jonah Hill) to take a different approach to the game. Together, they recruit players that have huge potential and who have otherwise been written off by bigger teams, based on statistical analysis.
3. The Sandlot
For something perhaps geared more toward a younger audience (while still enjoyable for adults) is The Sandlot. This throwback buddy movie sees Scottie Smalls moving into a new neighborhood and attempting to make friends. He stumbles upon a group of kids who regularly play baseball in a small sandlot.
The group have all kinds of adventures over the summer and fear an enormous dog over the fence that they refer to as “the beast.” This dog eats any ball that goes over the fence and the kids eventually have to face their fear when they hit a valuable signed ball into his yard. Heartwarming, funny, and entertaining, The Sandlot is certainly worth your time.
4. Major League
In this hilarious spin on the classic baseball movie formula, the objective is not to win, but to lose. The owner of the Cleveland Indians has a deal lined up to move the team to the glitzy city of Miami, but the team is locked in to a lease with the less glamorous city of Cleveland.
In order to break the conditions of the lease, the owner devises a plan to tank the ticket sales of the team by recruiting some of the worst players she can find. This includes an injury-prone catcher and a visually impaired pitcher (played by Charlie Sheen). Much to her dismay, she actually incites an underdog team spirit, which sparks the unlikely team of misfits to go above and beyond their ability.
5. Bull Durham
Set in the humble city of Durham, North Carolina, this film centers around a minor league baseball team called the Bulls. A groupie called Annie Savoy (Susan Sarandon) latches on to a new player each season and is in the process of choosing her man. Historically and humorously, the player she chooses goes on to have a stellar season.
A veteran of the game nicknamed “Crash” (portrayed by Kevin Costner) is sent to the Bulls to coach a struggling pitcher (Tim Robbins) who he assigns the derogatory nickname “Meat.” Between Annie and Crash, they use their unique methods to shape Meat into a star player in this fun and memorable baseball movie.
6. The Rookie
While The Rookie adopts a formulaic approach to the sports movie on its surface, it is actually based on a true story. A chemistry teacher and baseball coach who never made it out of the minor league due to a career ending shoulder injury is trying to lead his team to victory in Texas. The team strikes a deal with the coach (portrayed by Dennis Quaid), which is that if they win the district championship, he has to try out with a major league team. The Rookie is a heartwarming story which shows that it is never too late for dreams to come true.
You can stream The Rookie today via Disney+ or History Vault.
7. The Bad News Bears
For a bit more of a throwback, The Bad News Bears is a fantastic baseball movie released in 1976. It follows the classic formula of a disgruntled former player coaching a little league team composed of a bunch of outcasts. The grizzled coach enlists the help of a talented pitcher to help inspire the team to victory. While the coach is a hard-drinking, lazy slob on the verge of bankruptcy, his love of the game still shines through in the end to save both the team and himself.
The Bad News Bears is available to stream on HBO Max.
Whether you cannot get enough of baseball, or you’re a newbie to the sport, you’ll find something to love in each of these films. They all have a true feel-good spirit in which sports are both inspiring tales of hard work and a way to connect with others, making them some of the best baseball movies of all time.