32 Incredible Moments From Baseball Movies

Kevin Costner in Field of Dreams
(Image credit: Universal Pictures)

There’s just something about the start of the baseball season that takes us back to those childhood memories of watching the sport’s heroes pull off seemingly impossible feats and fight for a chance at the pennant or even the World Series title. The same goes for the great baseball movies released over the years. Classics like Field of Dreams, Bull Durham, and The Natural gave us some incredible moments over the years, both on and off the field.

Tom Berenger in Major League

(Image credit: Paramount Pictures)

The Cleveland Indians Win The Division (Major League)

 Major League has a lot of heart, soul, and wonder. This is best seen in the final game when the Cleveland Indians complete one of the best sports underdog stories when they beat the fearsome New York Yankees to clinch the division. Jake Taylor’s bunt, Willie Mays Hayes scoring from second, and the ecstasy of victory make this a scene to remember.

James Earl Jones in Field of Dreams.

(Image credit: Universal Pictures)

Terence Mann's 'People Will Come' Speech (Field Of Dreams)

Few movies fill the heart with wonder as well as Field of Dreams, and a moment that best illustrates this is Terence Mann’s powerful speech reassuring Ray Kinsella that his plan will work and “people will come” to Iowa to experience the phenomenon. It’s in pretty much every sports movie montage, and for good reason.

Robert Redford in The Natural

(Image credit: Tri-Star Pictures)

Roy Hobbs' Game-Winning Home Run (The Natural)

Whenever a Texas Ranger would hit a home run at the Ballpark in Arlington back when I was a kid, the main theme from The Natural would play over the public address system. Whenever I watch Roy Hobbs hit the game-winning home run in this 1984 epic, I’m taken back to those sweltering summer nights deep in the heart of Texas and flooded with memories.

The Bears after losing the big game in The Bad News Bears

(Image credit: Paramount Pictures)

'Wait 'Til Next Year!' (The Bad News Bears)

There are plenty of sports movies in which the main characters lose, and The Bad News Bears is one of the best examples. After losing the championship game, the ragtag pack of misfits doesn’t want to hear any of the praise from their rival Yankees. Instead, they throw their second-place trophies in their face and tell them “Wait ‘til next year” before celebrating their own achievements. 

Jackie Robinson Wins The Pennant (42)

Before becoming one of the MCU’s most decorated superheroes, the late Chadwick Boseman played real-life hero Jackie Robinson in 42. There are a dozen or more great scenes in this triumphant sports biopic, including the film’s final moments in which the trailblazing sports icon secures the National League pennant for the Brooklyn Dodgers. Sure, it’s not entirely factually accurate, but it's incredible nonetheless.

Tom Hanks in A League of Their Own.

(Image credit: Columbia Pictures)

'There's No Crying In Baseball' (A League Of Their Own

A League of Their Own gave baseball and movie fans some incredible and unforgettable moments upon its release more than 30 years ago, with one of the most legendary being the “There’s no crying in baseball” line. The way Tom Hanks’ Jimmy Dugan delivers the line to Evelyn Gardner should earn the actor an induction into the Baseball Hall of Fame.

Kevin Costner in For Love of the Game

(Image credit: Universal Pictures)

Billy Chapel Clears The Mechanism (For Love Of The Game)

For Love of the Game isn’t the best Kevin Costner baseball movie (that’s still up for debate), but this 1999 Sam Raimi film does feature one of the actor’s best line deliveries with his “Clear the mechanism” moment at the start of Billy Chapel’s perfect game bid at Yankee Stadium. The way he shuts out the heckling New Yorkers, his off-the-field issues, and the ticking clock on his career never ceases to amaze.

Mike Vitar in The Sandlot

(Image credit: 20th Century Fox)

The 'Night Game' (The Sandlot)

The Sandlot has withstood the test of time for a myriad of reasons, including how well it captures the spirit and wonder of childhood. The scene that best illustrates this is the Fourth of July game in which the gang plays under the glow of a fireworks display. It’s pure, it's full of wonder, and it’s iconic.

Kevin Costner in Bull Durham

(Image credit: Orion Pictures)

Crash Davis Calls His Shot (Bull Durham)

Kevin Costner’s Crash Davis could very well be the best fictional baseball player of all time (especially if we’re talking about guys who spent 21 days in the show). He looks great throughout all of Bull Durham, but the scene that takes the cake (at least at the plate) comes when he starts trash-talking the opposing pitcher, telling him to “Come on, Meat” before cranking a dinger over the left-field wall.

Chris Pratt in Moneyball

(Image credit: Sony)

Scott Hatteberg's Walk-Off Home Run (Moneyball)

Most of what makes Moneyball an all-timer takes place off the field, but the scene where Chris Pratt Scott Hatteberg comes off the bench to hit a walk-off homer that extends the Oakland A’s winning streak to 20 games is without a doubt the film’s crowning moment. The cinematography, the music, and the way time slows down as the ball bounces off his bat and into the stands, all work together to create an unforgettable moment. 

Ray and his young dad in Field of Dreams.

(Image credit: Universal Studios)

'Hey, Dad, Wanna Have A Catch?' (Field Of Dreams)

It’s impossible to watch Field of Dreams and not a) fall more in love with baseball and b) cry until you run out of tears. Seriously, whenever Ray Kinsella’s father is revealed to be the “He” in the “If you build it, he will come” message and they finally “have a catch,” it’s pure waterworks.

One of the characters in Major League.

(Image credit: Paramount Pictures/20th Century Fox)

Ricky Vaughn's Wild Thing Entrance (Major League)

Closers are pretty much the rockstars of professional baseball, especially when they have a great entrance song. Need proof? Look no further than Ricky Vaughn in Major League when he comes out of the bullpen to tens of thousands of fans yelling “Wild Thing.” It’s cinema, baby!

The team at a game in Hardball

(Image credit: Paramount Pictures)

Conor Takes The Team To Their First MLB Game (Hardball)

There’s a scene in Hardball in which Conor O’Neill takes his ragtag team to their first major league game and it’s just delightful. The way it captures the feeling of exiting the concourse to see the bright lights and green grass of the field as well as the sensation of seeing your favorite player in person (Sammy Sosa in this case) is just perfect.

Jackie Robinson (Chadwick Boseman) and Pee Wee Reese (Lucas Black) in 42

(Image credit: Warner Bros.)

'Maybe Tomorrow We'll All Wear 42' (42)

It’s a little cheesy and heavy-handed, but the scene in 42 where Pee Wee Reese puts his arm around Jackie Robinson and says “Maybe tomorrow we’ll all wear 42” as the Cincinnati fans yell racial epithets from the stands is very impactful. And decades after that scene took place, that very thing happens every April 15th. 

Geena Davis in A League of their own

(Image credit: Sony Pictures)

Collision At The Plate (A League Of Their Own)

There’s always been a debate surrounding the ending of A League of Their Own. But no matter where you stand on the “Dottie dropped the ball / Dottie didn’t drop the ball” argument, there’s no denying the epicness and emotion of the collision at the plate that sees one sister become a champion and the other a name in the record books.

Kevin Costner in Bull Durham

(Image credit: Orion Pictures)

Crash Davis' 'I Believe' Speech (Bull Durham)

Crash Davis’ “I believe” speech in Bull Durham is not only a great baseball movie moment (one of the best, really), but also a great philosophy for life. Whether it’s the comment about astroturf and the designated hitter, the proper way to handle Christmas presents, or his thoughts on romance, you get to know the character and what he stands for in about two minutes.

The Bears yelling "Let them play" in The Bad News Bears in Breaking Training

(Image credit: Paramount Pictures)

 'Let Them Play!' - The Bad News Bears in Breaking Training

The Bad News Bears in Breaking Training may not be as beloved as its predecessor, but this 1977 baseball movie is still a lot of fun. Several high-profile stars from the first film aren’t around, but this sequel is just as raucous, especially when Tanner Boyle (Chris Barnes) refuses to leave the field at the Astrodome after the team’s game was called before completion. What follows is pretty much a riot.

Thomas Ian Nichols in Rookie of the Year

(Image credit: 20th Century Fox)

Henry Runs The Basses (Rookie Of The Year)

It’s probably the nostalgia speaking, but I love Rookie of the Year. Yeah, it’s cheesy, has a lot of holes, and kind of stinks, but it’s a lot of fun to watch. The moment that’s the most fun (well, besides the “Funky butt-loving” scene) is when Henry Rowengartner has to run the bases. The “Pitcher’s got a big butt” theatrics never get old.

Art LaFleur in The Sandlot

(Image credit: 20th Century Fox)

Babe Ruth's Ghost Visits Benny (The Sandlot)

Is it possible to count how many punk and hardcore demos started with the iconic “Heroes get remembered, but legends never die” line from The Sandlot? Probably not, but let’s not let that distract us from the fact that this scene where the ghost of Babe Ruth visits Benny “The Jet” Rodriguez and gives him some much-needed advice is one of the best of all time.

John C. Reilly in For Love of the Game

(Image credit: Universal Pictures)

'Billy, We Don't Stink Right Now' (For Love Of The Game) 

The on-screen parking of John C. Reilly and Kevin Costner, along with the rollercoaster their characters endure, makes For Love of the Game so much fun to watch. This incredible moment in the eighth inning of Billy Chapel’s perfect game bid is so honest and so humbling.

Joe Don Baker in The Natural

(Image credit: Tri-Star Pictures)

Roy Hobbs Stirkes Out The Whammer (The Natural)

Joe Don Baker’s The Whammer, who is pretty much Babe Ruth with a different name, being struck out by Roy Hobbs in the early part of The Natural is one of those incredible cinematic moments that make this movie just so grand. What really sells it is Robert Duvall’s reaction after the one, two, three.

Gary Cooper in The Pride of the Yankees

(Image credit: RKO Radio Pictures)

Lou Gehrig's Fourth Of July Farewell (The Pride Of The Yankees)

Lou Gehrig’s iconic and emotional “I consider myself the luckiest man” farewell speech is one of those unforgettable baseball moments, and Gary Cooper’s recreation of it in the 1942 film, The Pride of the Yankees, is just as powerful.

The boy saying "Say it ain't so, Joe" in Eight Men Out

(Image credit: Orion Pictures)

'Say It Ain't So, Joe' (Eight Men Out)

An ‘80s movie that doesn’t get enough love, Eight Men Out chronicles the notorious “Black Sox” scandal in which the 1919 Chicago White Sox threw the World Series. There are some great moments throughout, but the scene that will forever be remembered is the one where the young boy cries out “Say it ain’t so, Joe” after D.B. Sweeney’s “Shoeless Joe” Jackson after the scandal blew up.

Brad Pitt in Moneyball

(Image credit: Sony Pictures)

'How Can You Not Be Romantic About Baseball?' (Moneyball)

Billy Beane saying “How can you not be romantic about baseball?” after hearing a story about a player who unknowingly hit a home run in Moneyball is one of those great movie quotes some will never forget. And it pretty much sums up the 2011 movie and every other about “America’s Pastime.”

Tom Selleck in Mr. Baseball

(Image credit: Universal)

Jack Elliot Bunts To Preserve Uchiyama's Home Run Record (Mr. Baseball)

Though not one of the most popular fish-out-of-water movies, Mr. Baseball is a great addition to the collection. This movie, about an American baseball player (played by Tom Selleck) adjusting the vastly different culture and approach to baseball in Japan, is full of great moments, but the best comes at the end when Jack Elliot bunts instead of trying for a home run to keep his manager’s long-standing record intact.

The Angels in the Outfield cast

(Image credit: Disney)

Mel Gets Help From The Crowd (Angels In The Outfield)

Right after we find out that Mel Clark, Tony Danza’s character, doesn’t have long to live, Angels in the Outfield gives us a powerful scene in which the entire crowd and California Angels roster get out of their sits and cheer him on in his bid to clinch the division.

Dennis Quaid in The Rookie

(Image credit: Disney)

Jim Morris Enters The Game (The Rookie)

A great, and uplifting, example of a movie based on a true story, The Rookie sees Dennis Quaid play Jim Morris, a high school science teacher whose dreams of making the big leagues come true at an age where most players are settling down. The whole movie is great, but Morris’ MLB debut at the Ballpark in Arlington is triumphant and a wonder to watch again and again.

Barry Pepper in 61

(Image credit: HBO Films)

Roger Maris Breaks The Record (61*)

Directed by Billy Crystal, the 2001 HBO film, 61* follows Roger Maris (Barry Pepper) and Mickey Mantle (Thomas Jane) as they try to break Babe Ruth’s single-season home run record. It’s hard not to get emotional when Maris finally breaks the record during the last game of the 1961 season and celebrates with thousands of fans at old Yankee Stadium.

The famous mound visit scene in Bull Durham

(Image credit: Orion Pictures)

Meeting On The Mound (Bull Durham)

Mound visits are a part of the game and can serve multiple purposes from getting a team on the same page to giving a relife pitcher more time to warm up. But in Bull Durham, the Bulls use the in-game meeting to settle some differences and discuss gift ideas for an upcoming wedding, creating a hilarious moment in the process.

James Earl Jones in The Sandlot

(Image credit: 20th Century Fox)

The Gang Gets The Ball (The Sandlot)

A scene from The Sandlot that never gets old comes at the end when the gang finally go to Mr. Mertle’s house and tell him about the Babe Ruth ball and his dog, Hercules. Instead of getting mad at the kids, James Earl Jones’ character simply laughs and tosses them a baseball signed by the “Murderer’s Row.” 

Charlie Sheen in Major League II

(Image credit: Warner Bros.)

Vaughn Vs. Parkman (Major League II)

Though Major League II is nowhere as great as its predecessor, the showdown between Ricky Vaughn and Jack Parkman, former battering mates and now bitter rivals, is so much fun to watch. The final strikeout that sends the Indians to the World Series is a nice touch and a great way to end this toned-down 1994 sequel.

Ken Griffey Jr. in Little Big League

(Image credit: Columbia Pictures)

Ken Griffey Jr. Smashes A Dinger (Little Big League)

Was there anything cooler in Little Big League than Ken Griffey Jr., who was like the hottest player in the world in 1994, showing up in the final game to dash the Twins’ hopes of reaching the playoffs? That dinger, that trot, and that wink as he rounds third base is so cool, even if we weren’t supposed to root for “The Kid.”

While this seems like a lot of incredible moments, it's only scratching the surface of the great scenes baseball movies have given us over the years. Until next time...

Philip Sledge
Content Writer

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.