I am literally obsessed with the 90s. Everything about it. The music. The clothes. The TV shows (Saved by the Bell is and always will be my jam-had a giant crush on AC Slater as a kid. Zach Morris was too typical for me). But one thing about the 90s that will always be classic is the kids sports movies…baseball in particular. I’m in my early 30s now and I still find myself hitting record on my DVR when one of these gems is on TV. So here we go. I’m gonna break it down for you real good right now with my top 5 best of the best 90s kids baseball movie classics starting from the bottom…
- Angels in the Outfield – 1994
Why it’s so good: Well for starters this movie just makes you feel really really good in general. There’s a boy (most of you probably know him as Robin in The Dark Knight Rises) who is a diehard Anaheim Angels fan with no family living in foster care whose best friend is also living in foster care with him. His jerkoff dad falsely promises to reunite the family if the Angels make it to the World Series, so the kid decides to pray that this will happen…..THEN the kid befriends the negative manager (played by Danny Glover) of the team and starts seeing actual Angels in the outfield….helping the team win. He’s the only one who sees them and believes they are real. I don’t know about you but my 10 year old self gets goose bumps every time an angel appears. Christopher Lloyd (whose probably about 90 now) plays the lead angel and tells the boy the angels can’t help the team during the playoffs. Oh shit? What does this mean?? Everyone has to believe in angels now?? YES. YES YOU DO. Danny Glover’s attitude completely turns around, the boy gets the entire ball park to believe in angels and the Angels baseball team win the freaking pennant by themselves solely on talent and faith. Oh not to mention, the kids shitty dad breaks his promise SO Danny Glover then adopts BOTH boys and becomes their adoptive father. Tears. Fucking tears everywhere. Having a shitty work week? Your kid bouncing off the walls or won’t stop playing Fort Night? Watch Angels in the Outfield. You’re welcome.
- Rookie of the Year – 1993
Why it’s so good: Ummm where do I start?? Unpopular 12 year old kid (Henry) who is raised by his awesome Mom (dad passed away when he was younger) and sucks at Little League breaks his arm going for a fly ball and tripping on a baseball. This break in his arm causes him to SOMEHOW be able to throw a 100mph fast ball. “GOSH HENRY YOU SHOULD PLAY FOR THE CUBS!” Yes Henry-you’re 12. You should definitely play for the major leagues. Do it. It’ll make all my childhood dreams come true if I see this happen. It happens. The Cubs (who are having a struggling year of course) sign Henry to a contract and he becomes the lead pitcher after some coaching from Chet Steadman-the veteran aging pitcher on the team who takes him under his wing and teaches him how to play in the big leagues. This movie has so many laughs too. Every.Single.Person knows the famous line “pitchers got a big butt!” Yea that’s from Rookie of the Year. If you never said that as a child, did you even have a childhood? At the end of the movie, the Cubs are of course in the finals….but oh no Henry trips walking to the mound and has the EXACT SAME FALL as in the beginning of the movie causing him to lose the talent in his pitching arm. I remember being a kid and thinking “they’re doomed.” BUT they’re not. Because when you’re 12, you’re still a kid and you’re super creative with a wild imagination. Trick plays?? Kids trash talk? (Which let’s be honest it’s the best kind their is). YUP. Cubs win. Henry is lifted on their shoulders. A movie that makes you think anything is possible and team work makes the dream work. Also-it’s hilarious.
- A League of their Own – 1992
Why it’s so good: some may not qualify this as a kids movie, but I watched it when I was a kid and this is my article so I win. Anyway-one of the best baseball movies in my opinion. This actually hits home for me as a female athlete. It’s premised around the time of World War 2 and pretty much all of the men were drafted. Baseball was huge and the money hungry owners didn’t want to lose money so they held tryouts for women to play baseball while the men were away. Everyone thought it was a joke at first. Girls playing baseball? Come on. At this time women were just known to be house wives so this movie gave a whole new outlook on women in sports. Tom Hanks plays the has-been manager of the movies star team “The Rockford Peaches” and even he thinks it’s a joke….until it’s not. The All American Girls Baseball League becomes a dynasty. The stands that were empty in the beginning of the season now have becomes sold out venues. Like holy shit these girls are really fucking good at baseball. They break their fingers, bruise their bodies, play double headers night after night while their husbands are fighting in the war. Case and point-they are legit athletes. A movie like this was needed in the 90s. Women were finally coming out of their shells in the sports world and proving they could get down and dirty and OWN IT. So good.
- Little Big League – 1994
Why it’s so good: Well first of all, this movie was on television last week and I watched it not once but twice. Second of all, the overarching message of the story is a winner for any sports lover, old or young. Stop whining, have fun and play baseball. The person who delivers this message in the movie just so happens to be a 12 year old boy named Billy Haywood. This kid is raised by his Mom and his best friend is his grandfather who leaves him an entire baseball franchise (The Minnesota Twins) in his will when he passes away. Not for nothin, this kid knows more about baseball than anyone. He is like the guru of baseball and his grandfather thinks there is no better person for the job. The Twins suck of course and they have a shitty Coach so Billy decides not only will he be the owner, but eh what the hell, he’s going to manage the team as well. Of course he’s doubted at first. The kid hasn’t even hit puberty yet and he wants to coach a professional baseball team with guys who could be his dad. The best thing about Billy Haywood is he GENUINELY LOVES the game. He has a passion for it at such a young age. A passion all the players he manages on the Twins have lost along the way. Billy somehow manages to bring that passion back into the locker room, the team and the entire city of Minnesota. I never in my life saw a sports movie where a kid makes such an impact on so many people. Also-the kids got balls. He’s not afraid to stand up to the umpire or the players on the team who doubt him at first. His whole attitude is, “gimme a chance to prove you wrong.” AND HE DOES. The Twins end up losing in the big game, but that’s not the point of the movie. The point of the movie is not losing your passion for the things you love just because it’s a job. A GOD DAMN 12 YEAR OLD teaches these players a valuable lesson in appreciation and fun and fuck, I love it. Not to mention, the movie has Ken Griffey Junior in his prime playing their opponent. Come on. So when you wanna complain about your life, either change it or sack up and get your shit together!
- The Sandlot – 1993
The Sandlot is undoubtedly the best kids baseball movie ever. It takes us back to a time before the internet rotted kids brains (another reason I live for the 90s). It takes us back to a time when kids would leave their houses for hours on end and only go back home for dinner or when the street lamps came on. There was literally 3 parents seen in this movie. KIDS PLAYED OUTSIDE ALL THE TIME. A kid (known as Smalls) moves to a new town in the midst of summer and sees a bunch of boys playing baseball at “The Sandlot”. He’s never played before but wants to fit in and make friends. After sucking up the place the first time he tries, the lead guy “Benny the Jet Rodriguez” (I love the names in this movie) teaches him how to play and ends up making him the 9th man, thus completing their baseball team. Throughout the summer the guys embark on so many adventures, and getting into lots of trouble with one big event in particular. Smalls borrows a baseball from his step dad which just so happens to be signed by Babe Ruth himself “THE GREAT BAMBINOOOOOO”….and he hits it over the fence (dumbass kid didn’t know who Babe Ruth was). The boys spend a large part of their time trying to get the ball back before the step dad finds out and grounds Smalls. Remember when kids got grounded? Like your punishment was not letting them play outside. Now you have to force kids to go outside (fucking millennials-my eyes are rolling in the back of my brain right now). This movie is great because it’s sooooo 90s….they have a legit tree house that all 9 of them have sleepovers in, they play with erector sets, they wear PF Flyer shoes and they have block parties on the 4th of July. I miss block parties. The Sandlot is all about baseball being life for these kids. It’s filled with so much kid humor and it straight up DEFINES kids in the 90s which is why it is without question number 1 on my list.
Hope you enjoyed this trip down memory lane.
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NOW GO PLAY OUTSIDE!!!