It's a holiday weekend and there's not much much baseball news out there, plus it's snowing here in Wisconsin which means it's movie watching time. I have read many list of baseball's greatest movies on other sites, and mainly they all list the same movies..."The Natural", "Bull Durham", "Field of Dreams", etc. I wanted to do something a little different. This is my list of the best dialogue from a baseball movie. This means one line quotes such as "If you build it, he will come", or James Earl Jones' baseball "...reminds of us of all that once was good and it could be again" speech from "Field of Dreams" isn't on the list.
1) The Natural wasn't just my favorite baseball movie, but my favorite movie-movie for a long time. It was the first baseball movie that captured the "magic" of the game, the main reason I love baseball.
Pop Fisher: You know my mama wanted me to be a farmer.
Roy Hobbs: My dad wanted me to be a baseball player.
Pop Fisher: Well you're better than any player I ever had. And you're the best God damn hitter I ever saw. Suit up.
I love this scene. From the lighting coming over Roy's shoulder creating a glow around his body, to the way we see Pop Fisher as a reflection in the mirror. Even if this wasn't a baseball movie, it'd still rank high on my list just because it's a beautiful movie.
2) When "bull Durham" first came out, I wasn't that impressed with it. It was released shortly after "Field of Dreams", a movie that I thought captured the essence of baseball, so "Bull Durham" suffered by comparison. (I went back and checked my facts about the release dates, and I'm wrong. "Bull Durham' was released in June of 1988, while "Field of Dreams" hit the theaters in April of 1989. Isn't it weird how our minds work in remembering things, I would have swore "Field of Dreams" came out first. So now, I have no recollection of why I didn't like it) I've changed my mind about that though, it's one of my favorites, and it's because of dialogue like this...
Annie Savoy: Oh, where are you going?
Crash Davis: After 12 years in the minor leagues, I don't try out. Besides, uh, I don't believe in quantum physics when it comes to matters of the heart.
Annie Savoy: What do you believe in, then?
Crash Davis: Well, I believe in the soul, the cock, the pussy, the small of a woman's back, the hanging curve ball, high fiber, good scotch, that the novels of Susan Sontag are self-indulgent, overrated crap. I believe Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone. I believe there ought to be a constitutional amendment outlawing Astroturf and the designated hitter. I believe in the sweet spot, soft-core pornography, opening your presents Christmas morning rather than Christmas Eve and I believe in long, slow, deep, soft, wet kisses that last three days.
Crash Davis: Goodnight.
Everyone remembers the "I believe..." line from the movie, but the lines leading up to it are just as good...especially the "After 12 years in the minor leagues, I don't try out.". Who hasn't felt like that before?
3) Another baseball movie that was released at the end of the '80's (April 1989) was "Major League". In my opinion, not as good as "Bull Durham" or "Field of Dreams", but entertaining none-the-less. It's one of those movies that when you're flipping through the channels, when you see it's on, you have to stop and watch.
Serrano: "Ahh, Jesus, I like him very much, but He no help with curveball."
Harris: "Are you trying to say Jesus Christ can't hit a curveball?"
One thing that bothers me about this movie is a couple of the actors don't "look" like ball players. The Ed Harris character looks like someone's grandpa trying to play catch with the kids, and Tom Berenger just doesn't pull it off to me. On the other hand, Charlie Sheen looks like he just stepped off a minor league pitcher's mound.
4) There are two things I don't like about "Fever Pitch"...it centers on the Red Sox winning the World Series and having to watch Drew Barrymore talk out of the side of her mouth (although, I still think she's hot), but it's still a funny movie that centers on my favorite sport.
Ben: You know what's really great about baseball?
Ben: You can't fake it. You know, anything else in life you don't have to be great in - business, music, art - I mean you can get lucky.
Ben: Yeah, you can fool everyone for awhile, you know? It's like - not - not baseball. You can either hit a curveball or you can't. That's the way it works...
Ben: You know?
Ben: You can have a lucky day, sure, but you can't have a lucky career. It's a little like math. It's orderly. Win or lose, it's fair. It all adds up. It's, like, not as confusing or as ambiguous as, uh...
Ben: Yeah. It's - it's safe.
At the end of this movie, after Drew Barrymore runs across the field and is about to get arrested, the first thing Jimmy Fallon asks her is what the outfield grass feels like. You gotta love his priorities.
5) Okay, this last one's not from a baseball movie, but it has to be included in this list. From the movie "The Naughty Nineties":
Abbott: I say Who's on first, What's on second, I Don't Know's on third.
Costello: Are you the manager?
Costello: You gonna be the coach too?
Costello: And you don't know the fellows' names.
Abbott: Well I should.
Costello: Well then who's on first?
Costello: I mean the fellow's name.
Costello: The guy on first.
Costello: The first baseman.
Costello: The guy playing...
Abbott: Who is on first!
Costello: I'm asking you who's on first.
Abbott: That's the man's name.
Costello: That's who's name?
And on it goes...