A Reluctant Baseball Fan
Opening Day, the evening of March 31/day of April 1.
Not being a fan does not extend to not liking baseball movies (and books). There are quite a few of both out there that are very enjoyable no matter which sport you watch. Some of my favorites are:
Moneyball – As strange as it may sound, Michael Lewis makes statistics riveting. It is the story of how Oakland Athletics General Manager Billy Beane used sabermetrics to make his team competitive despite having a huge financial disadvantage. Once you watch or read Moneyball, take a look at the Society for American Baseball Research to start your own sabermetric research.
Field of Dreams – When I watched Field of Dreams, I was skeptical. It was the first time I had ever seen a movie about baseball and it has since become one of my favorites. Field of Dreams is also based on a book – Shoeless Joe by W. P. Kinsella. It all begins when Ray Kinsella (played by Kevin Costner), a farmer in Iowa, hears a voice “If you build it, he will come.” What follows includes a cross-country trip to see Burt Lancaster and James Earl Jones, a little time travel, building a baseball diamond and ghosts. Or maybe not ghosts…it is hard to really tell… If you want to immerse yourself in the experience, you can even visit the farm where Field of Dreams was filmed.
The Pride of the Yankees – If you see only one baseball movie, this should be it. Gary Cooper plays Lou Gehrig in this biopic based on the book by Paul Gallico (who also wrote The Poseidon Adventure). Cooper does a great job portraying Gehrig from college until his death at age 37 of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis. The film ends with an adaptation of his famous speech at Yankee Stadium.
And, by the way, do not forget the great team we have right in our backyard – the Trenton Thunder. I may have spent the first paragraph telling you how I do not like baseball but, being at Arm and Hammer Park and seeing the game up-close is really exciting. Ticket prices are reasonable ($10 to $30 per ticket) and they have promotions or fireworks every game.
-Andrea at the Hopewell Branch
Photo courtesy of Dougtone