Readers: Best baseball movie moments
From the Page 2 mailbag

Continuing our movie theme of the past couple of weeks, Page 2 asked readers to send us the best moments from baseball movies.

Here's how Page 2 editors ranked the all-time best moments from baseball movies:

1. Roy Hobbs' (Robert Redford) home run into the light tower in "The Natural"
2. "There's no cryin' in baseball" scene from "A League of Their Own"
3. Lou Gehrig's (Gary Cooper) "Today I am the luckiest man on the face of the Earth" speech in "Pride of the Yankees"
4. Ray Kinsella (Kevin Costner) playing catch with his father (Dwier Brown) in "Field of Dreams"
5. Roy Hobbs' homer off the scoreboard clock in "The Natural"
6. Jake Taylor (Tom Berenger) lays down a bunt to win the pennant in "Major League"
7. "Let them play" chant from "Bad News Bears in Breaking Training"
8. Crash Davis (Kevin Costner) telling the opposing batter what pitch Nuke LaLoosh (Tim Robbins) is going to throw, and the guy hitting a home run in "Bull Durham"
9. Ricky Vaughn (Charlie Sheen) enters from the bullpen in "Major League"
10. Roy Hobbs strikes out "The Whammer" (Joe Don Baker) on three pitches in "The Natural"

After going through more than 400 e-mails, we've listed Page 2 readers' top 10 choices below. Be sure to vote in the poll at right to crown the all-time best moment from a baseball movie.

Here's the readers' list:

1. Ray Kinsella (Kevin Costner) plays catch with his father (Dwier Brown) in "Field of Dreams" (86 letters)
Every time I see it I call my dad and try to arrange a catch. Hell, that scene alone is the sole reason that I can't wait to have a son (I am only 20). Nothing in life is as magical as having a catch with your father, especially when you are no longer a child. If my friends ever ask me what is so great about baseball, I point right to that scene and tell them of the pure joy and love that is expressed by a father and son as they quietly throw a ball back and forth.
Glenn Schneck Jr.

I have owned my copy since it came out on video, and after all these years and hundreds of viewings, it still makes me misty-eyed. For every son who ever fought with his dad, this is the defining moment of reconciliation. We all reconcile eventually, but never so dramatically. For every son who ever lost a father, it is the moment we all wish we had.
Andy Coppock
San Diego

2. Lt. Frank Drebin (Leslie Neilsen) performs the national anthem (as Enrico Pallazzo) and then umps the Mariners-Angels game in "The Naked Gun: From the Files of Police Squad!" (62 letters)
You had Mel Allen, Reggie Jackson, Jim Palmer and a whole slew of classic quotes to choose from. Who could forget the seventh-inning rundown scene in which commentator Curt Goudy says, "I know this is hard to believe, but it appears the umpires now have Creshone in a run-down!" No question, that scene defined the "Naked Gun" movies, as well as set a standard for silly humor with sports.
Scott Davis
Bucyrus, Ohio

Field of Dreams
"Field of Dreams" supplied two of Page 2 readers' favorite moments.
3. Roy Hobbs' (Robert Redford) home run into the light tower at the end of "The Natural" (59 letters)
The perfect ending to a storybook movie. The chips are down, it's the bottom of the ninth, two out, two strikes against you, haven't hit the ball yet that day, and -- to make matters worse -- you just broke your lucky bat. The only thing left to do is swing for the fences, and then some.

That movie always brings back so many memories about the stadium and the city it was filmed in, Buffalo's old War Memorial Stadium, or "the Rockpile," as it was affectionately known to us. Great memories in that ballpark, and from that film, but none better than watching the greatest player ever in his greatest triumph. It's the kind of thing you dream about as a kid and long for as an adult.
Jeff Imes
Lewis Center, Ohio

4. The young Moonlight Graham (Frank Whaley) steps over the foul line and turns into the doc (Burt Lancaster) in "Field of Dreams" (32 letters)
People often talk about the final father/son catch scene in "Field of Dreams" as being the most emotional moment, but I beg to differ. Sure that scene gets to me, but not as much as when young Archie Graham steps over the foul line and becomes old Doc Graham. After saving the little girl's life, he is thanked by a grateful Kevin Costner, who then realizes Doc cannot go back. The tears start welling up as Doc walks past the other players and then start pouring when Ray Liotta calls out, "Rookie! You were good." Burt Lancaster's face at that moment says it all.
Winter Springs, Fla.

The Natural
So many great moments in "The Natural" likely caused some split votes.
5) Roy Hobbs knocks the cover off the ball in his first game with the Knights in "The Natural" (17 letters)
You are correct that "The Natural" had many memorable moments, but how could you leave out Roy Hobbs knocking the cover off the ball? It was so amusing watching the outfielders having problems retrieving the ball as it unwound itself into a pile of string. "That's not a ball, we want a real ball!"
Anthony Burd
Medford, Mass

6. Ham Porter (Patrick Renna) tells the crosstown rival's star player he plays baseball like a girl in "The Sandlot" (13 letters)
Great scene, the ultimate insult to a kid playing ball Any kid can relate to this insult, and as an adult, you have to go back in time as a child to fully grasp the "arrow through the heart" feeling that this insult provides. "The Sandlot" is why we play baseball.
Scott King
Fulton, Mo.

7. Kelly Leak (Jackie Earl Haley) gets thrown out to end the championship game, and Tanner Boyle tells the Yankees what to do with their trophy in "Bad News Bears" (12 letters)
This movie's great moment was actually Kelly Leak swinging at ball four of the intentional walk, hitting it to the gap in right center, and then, while trying to score, getting thrown out at home. The Bears lose the game, but they win self-respect and the admiration of the Yankees, even though Tanner tells them to take their trophy and stuff it. You can't beat that for a classic moment, and there is no Disney ending with them winning the game.
Brian Kraus
Bellingham, Mass.

Bull Durham
Readers didn't lollygag in offering their favorite moment from "Bull Durham."
8. Larry Hockett (Robert Wuhl) settles the conference on the mound in "Bull Durham" (8 letters)
The best sports scene from the best sports movie. There was a lot of heavy "stuff" going on there -- cursed gloves, live roosters, jammed eyelids, you name it. And remember, candlesticks always make a nice gift. OK, let's get two.
Jim Stoddard

9. Buck Weaver (John Cusack) watches an aged Joe Jackson (D.B. Sweeney) play semipro ball at the end of "Eight Men Out" (7 letters)
Buck watches his old teammate, now playing under an alias, make a spectacular over the shoulder catch. All the while, kids at the game are speculating that the mysterious outfielder might be "Shoeless Joe," but Weaver dismisses them saying, "Those guys are all gone now."
Joel Thompson
Buffalo, N.Y.

10. Ricky "Wild Thing" Vaughn (Charlie Sheen) enters from the bullpen in "Major League" (5 letters)
Gotta go with Wild Thing's entrance to face Haywood in the American League East playoff game, and the three straight heaters Ricky blows past him. A clutch performance to the backdrop of a great song.
Laura Whaley
Bluntstown, Fla.


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