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Baseball Movies for Grownups

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Back to Play Ball! Main Page The Rookie (2002) It’s the fantasy that lurks in the soul of every grown man who ever dirtied his sneaks in a childhood sandlot: You’re sitting in the stands at Yankee Stadium, the manager strides out to the mound, takes the ball from his pitcher’s hands, and turns to you. “Hey you! Yeah, you! Think you can pitch us out of this jam?” That’s the nub of The Rookie, the marvelously told tale of a 39-year-old high school coach (Dennis Quaid) who tells his kids if they win a title, he’ll go try out for a Major League Baseball team. Of course they win, he goes and, what do you know, Coach makes the team. Quaid, he of the dimples so deep he could be hiding his fugitive brother Randy in there, is at his engaging best as coach Jimmy Morris. But what makes The Rookie the best motivational film ever for recovering couch potatoes is this: Jimmy Morris was a real guy, he really did make that team, and pitched in the Bigs with the Tampa Bay Devil Rays.

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