Apr 132010
Authors: Johnny Hart

So, I’m a sports fan at heart.


Shocking, right? As a member of the Collegian staff, I should be attending colloquiums on the economics of something completely boring or something blah, blah, right?

I get a hell of a lot of flak from some of my co-workers and buddies for even bringing up the notion that I like to talk about sports more than, say, politics.

But look, as humans we’re meant to compete. We come from a long string of evolution, starting with the original athletes: cavemen and women.

They had to compete, albeit for survival, but they were athletes nonetheless. Their trophies looked more like human skulls than medals or plastic, but who’s counting?

Me, I’m a baseball fan first and foremost. I get a lot of crap for that, too. But every spring, I get that little tingling feeling and before I know it, it’s Opening Day.

So this week’s Top 5 is related to American’s Pastime: the best baseball movies of all time.

P.S. If you don’t like baseball, you’re un-American. And the terrorists win. And you hate babies.

I’m gonna grab a hot dog.

1. ‘The Sandlot’

I’m going out on a limb here, but I’m going to say that “The Sandlot” is perhaps one of greatest movies of our generation, if not one of the most quotable.

From “You’re killing me Smalls!” to “The Sultan of Swat!/ The King of Crash!/ The Colossus of Clout!/ The Colossus of Clout!” to “You play ball like a girl!” –– apparently they shouted a lot in this movie.

This movie slices out a big piece of Americana, bringing people of all ages back to their childhood.

I’ll love this movie for-ev-ver, for-ev-ver, for-ev-ver, for-ev-ver.

2. ‘Bull Durham’

Kevin Costner is a sports movie god. I’d feel remiss if Costner wasn’t on this list more than once.

“Bull Durham” may be beyond many of your years, but it’s always on a baseball fan’s radar.

This movie cemented Costner as a star, which he’d prove the next year with “Field of Dreams,” and it launched Tim Robbins’ and Susan Sarandon’s careers.

It’s hilarious, too.

3. ‘Field of Dreams’

“If you build it, they will come.” If you make a good movie, people will watch it.

Kind of a dur. Whatever. This movie’s sick.

Never have I felt such a love for baseball and such a hatred for corn and hot dogs than after “Field of Dreams.”

Trivia wildcard: James Earl Jones is in both “Field of Dreams” and “The Sandlot.”

4. ‘The Natural’

Robert Redford is just plain cool. And in “The Natural,” Glenn Close isn’t so hideous.

“The Natural” has this weird, smoky nostalgia feel to it that harkens back to the baseball days of yore.

I mean, it’s the same old story about boy gets seduced by girl, girl shoots him, boy makes a comeback in the majors as an old man and man hits in winning homerun to win the pennant.

Oh, oh, and the lights explode. Sweet.

5. ‘The Bad News Bears’

If there’s any movie, other than “Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom” that deserved something a little stronger than a PG-13 rating, it’s “The Bad News Bears.”

Never have I heard so many ethnic slurs come from a child in a movie. Ever.

Oh and yeah, that was a Motion Picture Association of America reference. Deal with it.

“The Bad News Bears” really captured that era of the ‘70s and ‘80s when kids played baseball and coaches would drink and drive.
How did we ever survive those decades?

Runner-up: ‘A League of Their Own’

This week you get an extra bonus –– a runner-up.

I used to watch “A League of Their Own” over and over again as a child. It was a bit unhealthy even.

But though this movie is a classic, just doesn’t quite reach the Top 5. Close though.


Entertainment Editor Johnny Hart should really be watching the Rockies game. E-mail him at verve@collegian.com.

Top sports movies by category:

Arm Wrestling: “Over the Top”

Auto racing: “Days of Thunder”

Basketball: “Hoosiers”

Bob Sled: “Cool Runnings”

Bowling: “Kingpin”

Boxing: “Rocky”

Chess: “Searching for Bobby Fischer”

Curling: “Men With Brooms”

Documentaries: “Dogtown and Z-Boys,” “Hoop Dreams,” and “Murderball”

Dodgeball: “Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story”

Figure skating: “Blades of Glory”

Fishing: “A River Runs Through It”

Football: “Rudy”

Golf: “Caddyshack” and “Tin Cup”

Horse racing: “Seabiscuit”

Hockey: “Miracle”

Martial arts: “The Karate Kid”

Ping pong: “Balls of Fury”

Poker: “Rounders”

Pool: “The Hustler”

Pro wrestling: “The Wrestler”

Roller derby: “Whip It”

Rugby: “Forever Strong” and “Invictus”

Running: “Prefontaine”

Skateboarding: “Lords of Dogtown”

Skiing: Anything by Warren Miller

Soccer: “Bend It Like Beckham”

Snowboarding: “Out Cold”

Swimming: “Pride”

Tennis: “Wimbledon”

Track and Field: “Chariots of Fire:

Volleyball: “Wallyball”

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