Baseball Movies
by Decade

Baseball Movies
by Type

Title Year Comments
The Ball Game 1898 First official baseball movie. Produced by Thomas Alva Edison. Shows an amateur Newark, NJ team playing against an unnamed rival.
Casey at the Bat 1899 Based on the Thayer poem.
How the Office Boy Saw the Ball Game 1906  
How Jones Saw the Baseball Game 1907  
His Last Game 1909 Drama about gamblers attempting to bribe a baseball player.
Hal Chase’s Home Fun 1911 Early film in which real baseball players appear.
The Baseball Bug 1911 Real-life baseball players Chief Bender, Jack Coombs and Rube Oldring appear in this comedy.
Baseball’s Peerless Leader 1913 Frank Chance (of Tinkers to Evers to Chance fame) appears in this comedy.
Home Run Baker’s Double 1914 Another example of a baseball film with real-life players appearing.
The Giants-White Sox World Tour 1914 Early example of a baseball documentary about the NY Giants and Chicago White Sox on a world tour during the winter of 1913-1914.
Right Off the Bat 1915 Considered the first feature-length baseball movie. Starring former baseball player Mike Donlin it is also an early example of the baseball biography genre.
Somewhere in Georgia 1916 Another fictionalized biopic starring Ty Cobb.
One Touch of Nature 1917 A college student becomes the NY Giants rookie secondbaseman.
The Pinch Hitter 1917 Farm boy goes to college, becomes a baseball hero.
The Busher 1919 Small-town pitcher makes it to the big leagues.
Babe Ruth, How He Makes His Home Runs 1920 Early example of an instructional film with Babe Ruth demonstrating his ability with the bat.
Headin’ Home 1920 A contrived biopic starring Babe Ruth. Presuimably autobiographical.
Babe Comes Home 1927 Another Babe Ruth hagiograph.
Casey at the Bat 1927 Second example of a cinematic rendition of the Ernest Thayer poem.
College 1927  
Speedy 1928 Babe Ruth has a cameo appearance.
Fast Company 1929 Real-life ballplayers appear.
Hot Curves 1930 A baseball themed romantic comedy.
They Learned About Women 1930 An early baseball musical.
Slide, Speedy, Slide 1931 About a girls baseball team starring Daphne Pollard (1894-1978)
Babe Ruth Baseball Series 1932 quasi-instructional film series with Babe Ruth
Fireman, Save My Child 1932 Joe E. Brown stars as Smokey Joe Grant in this baseball comedy which includes major league players Ernie Orsatti and Jim Crandall.
Stealin' Home 1932 Comedy starring James Gleason with a script by sports humorist Bugs Baer.
The Loud Mouth 1932  
Too Many Women 1932 Teenagers in love with baseball as a backdrop.
Elmer the Great 1933 Another comedy starring Joe E. Brown. Based on a Ring Lardner story.
Death on the Diamond 1934 A murder mystery with a baseball theme. St. Louis Cardinal Ernie Oratti gets shot as he crosses home plate.
Alibi Ike 1935 Joe E. Brown in this filmic version of the Ring Lardner classic.
Dizzy & Daffy 1935 Dizzy and Daffy Dean star alongside of Shemp Howard of 3 Stooges fame.
One Run Elmer 1935 Buster Keaton stars in this baseball comedy.
Swell Head 1935 Mike Donlin's last film appearance. About a baseball beaning.
Girls Can Play 1937 Stars Jacqueline Wells, Charles Quigley, Rita Hayworth who play characters on a Women's League baseball team.
Gracie at the Bat 1937 About a women's softball team.
The Heckler 1940 Comedy about an obnoxious fan starring Charley Chase.
It Happened In Flatbush 1942 Drama Inspired by the 1941 Los Angeles Dodgers starring Lloyd Nolan, Carole Landis, and William Frawley.
Pride Of the Yankees 1942 Well-regarded biopic about Lou Gehrig starring Gary Cooper. This film was nominated for a Best Picture Oscar. Includes a cameo appearance by Babe Ruth.
Two Mugs From Brooklyn 1942 Comedy starring William ("Life of Riley") Bendix.
Ladies Day 1943 Romantic comedy starring Lupe Velez, Eddie Albert, Patsy Kelly, Max Baer, Sr.
Whistling In Brooklyn 1943 Comedy starring Red Skelton as radio sleuth "The Fox."
Mr. Noisy 1946 A remake of The Heckler starring Shemp Howard.
Play Ball, Son! 1946 An instructional film designed to show viewers how to play the game position by position.
The Babe Ruth Story 1948 William Bendix plays the lead role in this sentimental and not exactly accurate portrait of one of baseball's greatest players.
It Happens Every Spring 1949 Comedy starring Ray Milland as a college scientist who invents a substance that makes a baseball impossible to hit.
Take Me out To the Ballgame 1949 Musical about turn-of-the-century baseball starring Gene Kelly, Frank Sinatra, Esther Williams and Edward Arnold.
The Kid from Cleveland 1949 Baseball and juvenile deliquency, stars George Brent, Lynn Bari, Ann Doran and Rusty Tamblyn.
The Stratton Story 1949 Biography of Monty Stratton, a White Sox pitcher whose leg was amputated at age 26. Won an Oscar for Best Story. Stars Jimmy Stewart and June Allyson.
Kill the Umpire 1950 Comedy about the men in blue starring William Bendix and William Frawley (who was part owner of the Hollywood Stars, a team in the Pacific Coast League.)
The Jackie Robinson Story 1950 Biopic depicting Jackie Robinson (who plays himself) and the racial problems he endured. Ruby Dee stars as Robinson's wife.
Angels in the Outfield 1951 Angels from above come to the aid of the struggling Pittsburgh Pirates. Paul Douglas stars with Janet Leigh and Keenan Wynn. Ty Cobb and Joe DiMaggio appear in cameo roles.
Rhubarb 1951 A cat inherits a baseball team; with Ray Milland, William Frawley and Jan Sterling.
Pride of St. Louis 1952 Biopic about Dizzy Dean as played by Dan Dailey.
The Winning Team 1952 Biopic about Hall of Fame pitcher Grover Cleveland Alexander. Ronald Reagan plays Alexander and Doris Day is cast as the wife.
The Big Leaguer 1953 Story of a major league scout played by Edward G. robinson. Includes an appearance by Hall of Fame pitcher Cark Hubbell.
The Kid from Left Field 1953 Dan Dailey stars as an ex-ballplayer turned ballpark vendor whose temper has kept him from a managing job.
Roogie's Bump 1954 The spirit of a dead ballplayer helps little Roogie Rigsby become a star. Cast includes Robert Marriot, Ruth Warrick and William Harrigan
Bang the Drum Slowly 1956 Paul Newman and Albert Salmi star in this study of a friendship between two big league baseball players.
The Great American Pastime 1956 Considered the first feature length film about Little League baseball starring Tom Ewell, Anne Francis, Ann Miller and Dean Jones.
Fear Strikes Out 1957 Biopic about Boston Red Sox Jimmy Piersall who suffered a nervous breakdown during his early years playing baseball.
Damn Yankees 1958 Musical about a man who sells his soul to beat the New York Yankees, starring Gwen Verdon, Tab Hunter, Ray Walston.
Safe At Home! 1962 This is the only baseball movie made during the 1960s it tells the tale about a boy caught in a lie about being friends with Mickey Mantle and Roger Maris who star as themselves. Cast also includes William Frawley; cameos by Whitey Ford and Ralph Houk.
Bang the Drum Slowly 1973 Remake of the 1956 film starring Michael Moriarty and Robert De Niro.
It’s Good to Be Alive 1974  
The Bad News Bears 1976 Comedy starring Walter Matthau who coaches a Little League team to success behind the pitching of a girl (Tatum O'Neal.)
The Bingo Long Traveling All-Stars & Motor Kings 1976 An idealistic depiction of life in the Negro Leagues starring Billy Dee Williams and James Earl Jones.
Glory of Their Times 1977 Documentary based on Lawrence Ritter's book about baseball during the 1898-1916 era.
A Love Affair: The Eleanor and Lou Gehrig Story 1978 Biopic about the lives of Eleanor and Lou Gehrig.
Bad News Bears, Go To Japan 1978 Sequel to the 1976 comedy, Bad News Bears.
One in a Million: The Ron LeFlore Story 1978 Biopic about Ron LeFlore who became a star for the Detroit Tigers after serving time in prison. Stars LeVar Burton.
Aunt Mary 1979 Jean Stapleton plays Mary Dobkin who coached a sandlot team in the skid rows of Baltimore during the 1950s.
Don’t Look Back: The Story of Leroy “Satchel” Paige 1981 Biopic of the Negro League pitcher starring Louis Gossett, Jr.
The Boys of Summer 1983 Story of the stars of the Brooklyn Dodgers of the 1950s based on the Roger Kahn book.
Tiger Town 1983 Story of a child who helps restore faith in a cynical baseballplayer. Stars Roy Scheider and Justin Henry.
The Natural 1984 Based on Bernard Malamud's classic novel about Roy Hobbs who might have been a great slugger had not circumstances intervened. Robert Redford stars.
Brewster’s Millions 1985 Comedy starring Richard Pryor and John Candy about a minor league baseball player who has to spend a lot of money to inherit more money.
The Slugger’s Wife 1985 Romantic comedy about a baseball player who falls in love with a singer. Michael O'Keefe and Rebecca DeMornay are the stars.
A Winner Never Quits 1986 Biopic about Pete Gray, a one-armed outfielder for the St. Louis Browns during world War II. Stars Keith Carradine.
Long Gone 1987 A made-for-TV movie about a baseball player-manager who won't sell his soul to greedy owners. William L. Petersen plays the lead.
Trading Hearts 1987 Romance about a lounge-singer and a middle-aged ballplayer starring Raul Julia and Beverly D'Angelo.
Bull Durham 1988 A story of failure, potential, and love, all wrapped inside the great game of baseball. Kevin Costner, Tim Robbins and the beautiful Susan Sarandon as the wonderful Annie Savoy are the stars.
Eight Men Out 1988 Tale of the 1919 Black Sox scandal.
Stealing Home 1988 Mark Harmon and Jodie Foster star in the tale of a baseball player who goes home to find himself.
Field of Dreams 1989 Based on W.P. Kinsella's novel SHOELESS JOE, this is a tale about baseball, dreams and the poetry of man. Kevin Costner and James Earl Jones star with an able assist by Burt Lancaster.
Major League 1989 Baseball comedy about how pride and love of a game overcomes greed and avarice. Charlie Sheen as the "Wild Thing" stars with Tom Berenger.
Night Game 1989 Baseball and serial killing. The killer only kills during Houston Astro night games. Roy Scheider and Karen Young are the stars.
Mr. Destiny 1990 Tale of a middle-aged man finding glory on the baseball field. James Belushi and Linda Hamilton are the stars.
The Court-Martial of Jackie Robinson 1990 Story of Jackie Robinson's refusal to sit in the back of a bus during his World War II military service in Texas.
Babe Ruth 1991  
Pastime 1991  
Taking Care of Business 1991 James Belushi and Charles Grodin star in this tale of two men who find each other at Wrigley Field.
Talent for the Game 1991 Small town pitcher meets big city greed. Edward James Olmos and Lorraine Bracco are the stars.
When It Was a Game I, II, III 1991 HBO-produced documentary series includes interviews with players and fans of the game through the ages.
A League of Their Own 1992 The story of the All American Girls Professional Baseball League which came into existence during World War II and folded in 1954. Stars inlcude Madonna, Geena Davis, Rosie O'Donnel and Tom Hanks.
Mr. Baseball 1992 Tom Selleck stars as a former major league baseball player who goes to Japan to play ball.
The Babe 1992 A less sentimental biopic of Babe Ruth as portrayed by John Goodman. Also stars Kelly McGillis.
Rookie of the Year 1993 Comedy about a young boy who becomes a star for the Chicago Cubs.
The Sandlot 1993 Tale of a neighborhood baseball team in the 1960s.
Baseball 1994 Ken Burns' mammoth PBS-produced documentary about the history of the great game of the quadrature.
Cobb 1994 Tommy Lee Jones plays Ty Cobb in this not very sentimental biopic of the so-called Georgia Peach. Cobb was perhaps one of the most disliked baseball players of all time. Also starring Robert Wuhl.
Little Big League 1994 Comedy about a 12-year-old boy who becomes the owner of the Minnesota Twins and decides to be the team's manager.
Major League II 1994 Sequel to the 1989 comedy. Stars Charlie Sheen and Tom Berenger.
The Scout 1994 Albert Brooks and Brendan Fraser in a tale about the relationship between a scout and a talented teenaged baseball player.
Ed 1996 Comedy about a chimpanzee playing baseball.
Soul of the Game 1996 Biopic about three Nego League stars: Satchel Paige (played by Delroy Lindo), Josh Gibson (Mykelti Williamson), and Jackie Robinson (Blair Underwood).
The Fan 1996 Tale of a baseball player and a wacko fan. Wesley Snipes and Robert De Niro are the stars.
BASEketball 1998 Trey Parker, Matt Stone, Jenny McCarthy and Jasmine Bleeth in, what else? A comedy.
Major League III-Back to the Minors 1998 Another sequel with stars Scott Bakula as a minor league manager. Also starring Corbin Bernsen.
For Love of the Game 1999 Kevin Costner and Kelly Preston in a baseball romance tale.
Perfect Game 2000 Patrick Duffy, Tracy Nelson and Edward Asner star in a tale of underachieving Little Leaguers.


ANITA MAKAVEJEVA is a film editor living in Baltimore, Maryland. She has edited a number of sports documentaries for HBO, Fox Sports TV and other independent production companies. Aside from sports she enjoys making love to poets.

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JCBA Vol. 19
Published: October 15, 2000
Copyright © 2000 by the Cosmic Baseball Association