Grantland put out a baseball movie edition of their YouTube Hall of Fame series yesterday. Somehow, obscure movies like Long Gone and How Do You Know made it into the Hall (we’re supposed to be the hipsters, Grantland) while real effort went into not including all-timers like Bull Durham and the Natural. And having zero vids of The Sandlot in the YouTube Hall of Fame is the equivalent of not having Barry Bonds in the Baseball Hall of Fame.
Allow me, on behalfof Getting Blanked, present the REAL Baseball Movie wing of the YouTube Hall of Fame. But first one rule: No trailers. Posting a trailer is a copout and a disgrace to the Hall. The Jim Rice, we’ll call it.
Rookie of the Year: “Gosh Henry, you could play for the cubs!”
I appreciate Grantland throwing in the best catchphrase from Rookie of the Year in their post (and shoutout to Workaholics for the reference) but above is THE special scene in RoY. When you’re a kid you yearn for special powers, but where are you suppose to find a radioactive something or other? It’s just not happening. But falling down and breaking your arm? That could happen any time you leave the house! So when George says, in all sincerity, “Gosh Henry, you could play for the Cubs!” every kid ages 8-13 wonders how bad it would really hurt if they broke their arm in order to see if they could gain that special power of throwing the heat.
The Natural: The Final Home Run
You KNEW it was going to be here. Roy Hobbs trots around the bases while the sky explodes and that great soundtrack is playing. Think it’s played out? Well, at least stay for the “Oh shit!” at 1:07.
The Sandlot: “Pee drinking crap face!”
No other movies captures what you wish you did as a kid better than The Sandlot. Playing baseball all day while trash talking your friends. Going to campouts in a treehouse and eating s’mores. Having the guts to kiss a the hottie lifeguard and chew tobacco while underage. Punking your cross-town rivals with your bat and glove as well as with your repertoire of insults. And most importantly, becoming a local legend.
Above is one of the greatest back and forths in cinema history that ends with a bomb that can only be used ironically today.
Major League: Music Montage!
The music montage is a must in any sports movies and in Major League this music montage does the job it was tasked to do – show the team is getting better over the next 100 games while maintaining a humorous tone.
When It Was a Game: Game Called
Ken Burns’ Baseball is the best baseball documentary out there, no doubt. But this clip from the first When It Was a Game doc is most definitely YouTube Hall of Fame worthy. While shots of baseball greats from the early to mid 1900s are shown, James Earl Jones reads Grantland Rice’s poem, Game Called. Swoon. This is Red Bull for national columnists who like to write flowery editorials. Watch this video and you’ll write 1000 words on the smell of infield dirt on a warm September day in Missouri without even noticing it.
The Bad News Bears (1976): Wait Till Next Year
After a heartbreaking end to an amazing playoff run there is nothing that can cheer these Bears up. Oh wait, Tanner just told the Yankees to shove their trophy up their ass and Lupus chucked the 2nd place trophy at someone’s head. Let’s celebrate!
Walter Matthau has a subtle but hilarious moment at the beginning of this scene where he, without looking at the woman who presented the team with the 2nd place trophy, quietly says to her “thank you, sir.” I laughed and laughed.
Field of Dreams: “Hey Dad….”
If any scene from Field of Dreams is going to be in the YouTube Hall of Fame it should be one that is, obviously, kind of cheesy, and one that puts in a lot of effort to make you emotional. Fathers, sons, baseball. *sniff* May you all get a chance to throw the ball around with your old man this summer. *sniff*
A League of Their Own: Swag.
We all know there’s no crying in baseball but Dottie Hinson deserves some shine. Catching a ball barehanded that someone whipped at you in order to scare you is BAD *pause* ASS. I’m not sure it gets any more badass than that. What a woman.
Bang the Drum Slowly: “I just feel a little dipsy.”
Quickly, Bang the Drum Slowly is about two best friends, pitcher Henry Wiggen and catcher Bruce Pearson (played as a dumb but good-hearted southern ballplayer by a young Robert De Niro). At the beginning of the film Pearson finds out that he is terminally ill. He wants to play one more year. In the scene before the one shown Pearson’s teammates start accepting him into their group, he starts hitting the ball and, of course, the team starts winning. He wakes up and is reminded of his reality. He calls his girlfriend for support, all she asks about is whether or not he has made her his life insurance benefactor.
Not the greatest scene, YouTube is definitely shallow when it comes to older baseball movies but I think this makes it into the Hall as a veterans committee choice. Plus, young De Niro!
Bull Durham: Clichés
This was a “oooooohh” moment for me as a kid. It’s when I first understood that athletes in interviews weren’t speaking grand truths by repeating these standard answers, they were trying to say as little as they could so they didn’t have to think. Oh.
Moneyball: Ricardo Rincón
This scene is still 3 years away from being eligible for induction but once it is, it will be a first ballot Hall of Famer.
There is plenty of room left in the Baseball Movie wing of the YouTube Hall of Fame so hit me with your nominees!