If you were going to build a team consisting of only characters from baseball movies, who would you choose? Would you call in Ricky “Wild Thing” Vaughn from Major League to close out the big game? Would you put his old battery mate Jake Taylor behind the plate, or would you go with Dottie Henson, even if she may or may not have dropped the ball on purpose during the A League of Their Own ending?
After spending much of my life watching all the great baseball movies, I am going to put my knowledge to good use and fill out an opening day roster of the best fictional players to step on the diamond.
Starting for the CinemaBlend Movie Baseball Team is Billy Chapel (Kevin Costner) from For Love of the Game. Sure, younger pitchers like Ebby “Nuke” Laloosh (Tim Robbins) from Bull Durham could get the start, but Chapel threw a perfect game and looked like he could go another nine innings if given the chance.
In the event Chapel gets pulled from the game, Kit Henson (Lori Petty) from A League of Their Own could come in for some relief work. And closing out the game is none other than Ricky “Wild Thing” Vaughn (Charlie Sheen) from Major League, who we all know can come in with two outs in the top of the ninth and save the day.
And, an honorable mention goes to Henry Rowengartner (Thomas Ian Nicholas) from Rookie of the Year, who could get out of a jam or at least distract the opposing pitchers.
The catcher is usually the backbone of the team, the coach on the field if you will, so a strong leader who is capable of handling the grueling day-to-day of the position is a must. That person is Dottie Henson (Gina Davis) from A League of Their Own. The most committed player in the movie, she proves time and time again she has the physical and mental ability to control the pace of a game (and serve as de facto coach if need be).
Crash Davis (Kevin Costner) would be another ideal movie catcher to lead the team with his great baseball mind and killer swing, but his tendency to lose his cool could cost us a game or two. And, Jake Taylor (Tom Bergeron) from Major League is another option, but his knees could hold him back.
Clu Haywood (Pete Vuckovich) is on the opposing side in Major League, but there's no denying the Chicago White Sox first baseman is one of the best fictional baseball players. I mean, he’s a triple crown winner, has a .341 batting average, 48 home runs, 121 RBI, and homered twice against Ricky Vaughn. Although not the most athletic of defensemen, Haywood is an intimidating presence at first base.
If Haywood were to be scratched from the lineup the day after an extra-inning game, Lou Collins (Timothy Busfield) from Little Big League, Mr. Baseball's Jack Elliott (Tom Selleck), or a late-career Stan Ross (Bernie Mac) from Mr. 3000 could come in for the save, as well as knock in a few dingers along the way.
The late Chadwick Boseman’s Jackie Robinson from 42 would be perfect for second base, but unfortunately he can’t be on the roster because he’s based on a real player. That being said, Marla Hooch (Megan Cavanagh) from A League of Their Own would be the perfect player to step in for this position. She’s strong defensively and she’s possible the best power hitter in the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League.
If Hooch were to leave the team halfway through the season, the versatile utility player Kelly Leak (Jackie Earle Haley) from The Bad News Bears could take over the second bag.
Short stop is probably the most difficult position in the infield, so there needs to be someone with a great amount of skill, versatility, and leadership at this spot. That person is none other than Benny “The Jet” Rodriguez (Mike Vitar) from The Sandlot. Perhaps the most gifted and well-rounded five-tool player in The Sandlot cast, Rodriguez dominates at hitting, hitting for power, running, fielding, and throwing. Though he’s not a full-time shortstop in the movie, “The Jet” is a legend capable of taking on the position.
If Rodriguez were to have to play a different position, then his teammate Alan “Yeah-Yeah” McClennan (Marty York) could enter the game and take on the role.
With third base, you need someone strong and athletic enough to leap up and prevent a ball from going to the outfield and also pick up a quick grounder and throw it to first in time. It also doesn’t hurt to have someone with some power in their swing. That person is Doris Murphy (Rosie O’Donnell) from A League of Their Own. This confident and successful ball player was one of the best Rockford Peaches and is pretty much unmatched across the board.
Another option would be Roger Dorn (Corbin Bernsen) from Major League, but his history of purposely missing routine plays and being an all-around jerk puts him on the bench.
Left field typically isn’t the position where you put the best overall player, but there have been some competent fielders to take on the position over the years. Getting the start here is Scotty Smalls (Tom Guiry) from The Sandlot. He isn’t as good as his teammates, but he has gumption and a habit of doing everything he can to help his team, even if it means stealing his step-dad’s prized Babe Ruth baseball.
Another option for this position would be Ben Williams (Matthew McConaughey) from Angels in the Outfield, who could get some help from his winged friends to rob a home run in a tight spot.
There’s no question here, Willie Mays Hayes (Wesley Snipes) from Major League is the undisputed king of baseball movie centerfielders. I mean, this is the guy who wasn’t invited to spring training but still earned a starting position (and a key role in that classic American Express commercial). His speed out on the field and on the base-path make him a no-brainer for a guaranteed spot on the team.
But, if you wanted someone with better skills in the batter’s box, then Mae Mordabito (Madonna) from A League of Their Own could do the trick.
Rounding out the team in right field is Roy Hobbs (Robert Redford) from The Natural. Sure, he started out as a promising pitcher, but he became a decent enough outfielder with one hell of a swing years after a shooting nearly ended his life and career.
Another ideal candidate is Pedro Cerrano (Dennis Haysbert) from Major League, who could provide some much needed power at the plate. Either of these players could also serve as the designated hitter since Major League Baseball has done away with pitchers taking swings (unless your name is Shohei Ohtani).
You can’t have a championship-caliber team without a decent coaching staff. Luckily, there have been numerous baseball movie coaches over the years. Here are some possible members to flesh out the staff: Major League’s Lou Brown (James Richard Gammon) as the head coach, A League of Their Own’s Jimmy Dugan (Tom Hanks) as the hitting coach, For the Love of the Game’s Frank Perry (J.K. Simmons) as the pitching coach, and Hardball’s Conor O’Neill (Keanu Reeves) as the bench/assistant coach.
All in all, this is a squad that could go run-for-run with any team out there, especially with the level of skill, power, and versatility found on the field and at the plate.
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Philip grew up in Louisiana (not New Orleans) before moving to St. Louis after graduating from Louisiana State University-Shreveport. When he's not writing about movies or television, Philip can be found being chased by his three kids, telling his dogs to stop barking at the mailman, or chatting about professional wrestling to his wife. Writing gigs with school newspapers, multiple daily newspapers, and other varied job experiences led him to this point where he actually gets to write about movies, shows, wrestling, and documentaries (which is a huge win in his eyes). If the stars properly align, he will talk about For Love Of The Game being the best baseball movie of all time.