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What are the Top 5 Baseball Movies?

This is one of my favorite arguments to have, because there is no wrong answer.

Baseball has been the subject for some of the best movies of all time. And I mean that seriously. You can make dramatic movies ("Eight Men Out"), comedic movies ("Major League"), and even supernatural ones ("Field of Dreams"), because baseball has that kind of influence. It is a part of the fabric of America, and as film is one of our most prominent art forms, it makes sense that baseball should be featured prominently within it.

The question, "What is your favorite baseball movie of all-time?" elicits a wide array of answers, as you can see by what happened on our Facebook page last night. It is truly one of my favorite arguments to have, because there is no wrong answer.

With that in mind, here are my Top 5 baseball movies of all time. My hope is to inspire some lively discussion, so make sure you tweet me or comment on this blog with your thoughts on my list. Disagree? Post your own list below.

5. "For Love of the Game" This story is told in a unique way, through the eyes of an aging pitcher during his most dramatic game, while flashing back through his career and the events that led him to his current situation. Kevin Costner (arguably the greatest baseball movie actor of all-time) is fantastic playing Billy Chapel, a hometown hero in Detroit who has seen his best days pass him by and who is facing the greatest of all questions: When do I bow out? Kelly Preston is her usual lovely, talented self, and John C. Reilly gives a wonderful performance as Billy's devoted catcher. The baseball scenes themselves are also shot well, which is essential in any baseball film.

4. "Field of Dreams" A classic, and one of the best movies, period, ever made. James Earl Jones shines as Terence Mann, a writer long past his era of influence who finds that his passion still exists in the world of baseball. Costner is again great, though this time not as a player, but as an emotionally confused guy who longs for a second chance to please the father he barely knew. If not for what is a mediocre performance by Ray Liotta (he missed the nuances of Joe Jackson, which I'll talk about in a minute) and a few details that were inexplicably missed (like the fact that Jackson was left-handed), this movie would be higher on the list. It's still an amazing film, and it gets bonus points for listing "The Voice" as played by "Himself" in the credits. Neat move.

3. "Eight Men Out" One of the most controversial moments in baseball history, the 1919 "Black Sox" Scandal, is dramatized with amazing attention to detail. No punches were pulled in the making of the film, including the portrayal of White Sox owner Charles Comiskey as the ultimate cheapskate, and D.B. Sweeney's amazing acting performance playing Joe Jackson as he was: sadly uneducated, woefully naive, but a brilliant ballplayer nonetheless. An awesome ensemble cast, including Christopher Lloyd, David Strathairn, and John Cusack make for an interesting, and incredibly performed movie.

2. "Major League" This movie is, in my opinion, one of the funniest ever made. From James Gammon as straightforward, old-school manager Lou Brown to Tom Berenger as aging, give-it-one-more-shot catcher Jake Taylor, the acting talent is there. Throw in some hysterical comedic work from Wesley Snipes (sorry Omar Epps, you were fighting a losing battle in the sequel), Charlie Sheen, Dennis Haysbert, and of course, Mr. Baseball himself, Bob Uecker, as Harry Doyle, and the laughs never stop. Ever. And, on top of that, it has an element of sad realism; a team which is never given a shot, with a bunch of guys either past their primes or never expected to have one, led by a manager who was selling tires before the season. It's an underdog story, and everyone loves to root for the underdog. Again, great filming of the baseball sequences are essential to the movie's success.

1. "Bull Durham" Any of these movies could be number one, and movies like The Natural, The Sandlot, Pride of the Yankees, and others could easily make the list, but I'm going with Kevin Costner again for my number one. Bull Durham is probably the most accurate depiction of baseball ever seen on film. And the reason it works so well is because it shows Minor League Baseball as it is: a ragtag bunch of guys, all desperate to make The Show, playing because they love the game. The long bus trips, small but passionate towns, and ridiculous Minor League promotions are all included, but at it's heart Bull Durham is about Crash Davis, and what guys everyday are asked to do when they are past the point of being considered Major League prospects and are, instead, playing just to go to the ballpark everyday. There are several scenes in the film which are shown in almost every ballpark in America (see: The visit to the mound scene.) as timeless examples of baseball in film. Great baseball action scenes, classic and quotable lines, and fantastic performances by Costner, Susan Sarandon, Tim Robbins, and Robert Wuhl give Bull Durham serious street cred.

Mike and I are also looking forward to the upcoming release of "Moneyball", the film adaptation of Michael Lewis' best-selling book about the 2002 Oakland A's, which is slated to hit theaters in September. I mean, who wouldn't want to see Brad Pitt portray A's general manager Billy Beane and funny man Jonah Hill as his right-hand man? By all accounts, the talented director Bennett Miller, screen play writer Aaron Sorkin and co. have gone to great lengths to make the baseball scenes as authentic as possible. So, perhaps the film will give "Bull Durham" a run for its money for the most accurate depiction of baseball in a film.

Baseball has been the subject for some of the best movies of all time. And I mean that seriously. You can make dramatic movies ("Eight Men Out"), comedic movies ("Major League"), and even supernatural ones ("Field of Dreams"), because baseball has that kind of influence. It is a part of the fabric of America, and as film is one of our most prominent art forms, it makes sense that baseball should be featured prominently within it.

The question, "What is your favorite baseball movie of all-time?" elicits a wide array of answers, as you can see by what happened on our Facebook page last night. It is truly one of my favorite arguments to have, because there is no wrong answer.

With that in mind, here are my Top 5 baseball movies of all time. My hope is to inspire some lively discussion, so make sure you tweet me or comment on this blog with your thoughts on my list. Disagree? Post your own list below.

5. "For Love of the Game" This story is told in a unique way, through the eyes of an aging pitcher during his most dramatic game, while flashing back through his career and the events that led him to his current situation. Kevin Costner (arguably the greatest baseball movie actor of all-time) is fantastic playing Billy Chapel, a hometown hero in Detroit who has seen his best days pass him by and who is facing the greatest of all questions: When do I bow out? Kelly Preston is her usual lovely, talented self, and John C. Reilly gives a wonderful performance as Billy's devoted catcher. The baseball scenes themselves are also shot well, which is essential in any baseball film.

4. "Field of Dreams" A classic, and one of the best movies, period, ever made. James Earl Jones shines as Terence Mann, a writer long past his era of influence who finds that his passion still exists in the world of baseball. Costner is again great, though this time not as a player, but as an emotionally confused guy who longs for a second chance to please the father he barely knew. If not for what is a mediocre performance by Ray Liotta (he missed the nuances of Joe Jackson, which I'll talk about in a minute) and a few details that were inexplicably missed (like the fact that Jackson was left-handed), this movie would be higher on the list. It's still an amazing film, and it gets bonus points for listing "The Voice" as played by "Himself" in the credits. Neat move.

3. "Eight Men Out" One of the most controversial moments in baseball history, the 1919 "Black Sox" Scandal, is dramatized with amazing attention to detail. No punches were pulled in the making of the film, including the portrayal of White Sox owner Charles Comiskey as the ultimate cheapskate, and D.B. Sweeney's amazing acting performance playing Joe Jackson as he was: sadly uneducated, woefully naive, but a brilliant ballplayer nonetheless. An awesome ensemble cast, including Christopher Lloyd, David Strathairn, and John Cusack make for an interesting, and incredibly performed movie.

2. "Major League" This movie is, in my opinion, one of the funniest ever made. From James Gammon as straightforward, old-school manager Lou Brown to Tom Berenger as aging, give-it-one-more-shot catcher Jake Taylor, the acting talent is there. Throw in some hysterical comedic work from Wesley Snipes (sorry Omar Epps, you were fighting a losing battle in the sequel), Charlie Sheen, Dennis Haysbert, and of course, Mr. Baseball himself, Bob Uecker, as Harry Doyle, and the laughs never stop. Ever. And, on top of that, it has an element of sad realism; a team which is never given a shot, with a bunch of guys either past their primes or never expected to have one, led by a manager who was selling tires before the season. It's an underdog story, and everyone loves to root for the underdog. Again, great filming of the baseball sequences are essential to the movie's success.

1. "Bull Durham" Any of these movies could be number one, and movies like The Natural, The Sandlot, Pride of the Yankees, and others could easily make the list, but I'm going with Kevin Costner again for my number one. Bull Durham is probably the most accurate depiction of baseball ever seen on film. And the reason it works so well is because it shows Minor League Baseball as it is: a ragtag bunch of guys, all desperate to make The Show, playing because they love the game. The long bus trips, small but passionate towns, and ridiculous Minor League promotions are all included, but at it's heart Bull Durham is about Crash Davis, and what guys everyday are asked to do when they are past the point of being considered Major League prospects and are, instead, playing just to go to the ballpark everyday. There are several scenes in the film which are shown in almost every ballpark in America (see: The visit to the mound scene.) as timeless examples of baseball in film. Great baseball action scenes, classic and quotable lines, and fantastic performances by Costner, Susan Sarandon, Tim Robbins, and Robert Wuhl give Bull Durham serious street cred.

Mike and I are also looking forward to the upcoming release of "Moneyball", the film adaptation of Michael Lewis' best-selling book about the 2002 Oakland A's, which is slated to hit theaters in September. I mean, who wouldn't want to see Brad Pitt portray A's general manager Billy Beane and funny man Jonah Hill as his right-hand man? By all accounts, the talented director Bennett Miller, screen play writer Aaron Sorkin and co. have gone to great lengths to make the baseball scenes as authentic as possible. So, perhaps the film will give "Bull Durham" a run for its money for the most accurate depiction of baseball in a film.